Updated: Jan 14, 2020
Salad dressings can make or break the taste and nutritional value of your meal in a BIG way. Although there are better store bought brands on the market offering higher quality ingredients, nothing comes close to a homemade batch with fresh and live ingredients. A few ways you can easily up the nutrient density with little effort is by honing in on liquids with live cultures, herbs, and healthy fats that offer the most bang for your buck in nutrition and taste. Listed below are a few of our favorite additions along with a guide to practical recipes you'll use over and over again!
Adaptogens: think outside of the box when integrating these potent powders into your daily routine. Many of these adaptogenic herbs come in a fine powder form that mixes easily into your favorite salad dressings, smoothies and sauces to up the health factor and flavor profile. Incorporate a dash of Reishi powder for an immune boost for the body and a savory spin for your tastebuds. After a stressful day at the office give Ashwaganda a try to alleviate daily stressors.
A trusted brand for Reishi, cordyceps, and other adaptogenic powders can be found here.
Probiotics: there are countless options to add a heavy duty dose of probiotics into your salad dressing – which is a winning combo when you pair your probiotics with prebiotic rich vegetables. Your gut and immune system will be feeling EXTRA. Start with a liquid base such as raw apple cider vinegar, Kombucha, or Sauerkraut juice (if you’re feeling adventurous). Layer on the good stuff from there with savory flavors from fermented Miso paste and you might have a new favorite Asian inspired dressing. If you’re really wanting to go big here, sprinkle a capsule of probiotics into the dressing right before serving. Browse through the Herb & Tonic store for high quality probiotics, or through here.
MCT Oil: There are many reasons to try MCT oil but it’s especially beneficial if your goal is to lose weight. MCT oil has been shown to promote feelings of fullness, act as an immediate source of energy for the brain, it has 10% fewer calories than long chain triglyceride fats, and it can help promote the growth of favorable bacteria in the gut. It’s an easy fat to incorporate into salad dressings, smoothies, and lattes due to its mild flavor. If you love the taste of olive oil, don’t remove it completely from your favorite dressing recipe; instead swap in ¼ to ½ the portion for MCT oil. My favorite brand can be found through the Herb & Tonic Store or through Amazon here.
Sea Vegetables: Spirulina and chlorella are highly nutrient dense sea vegetables. In fact, gram for gram, spirulina is considered to be the most nutritious food on the planet. Spirulina is packed with B vitamins, powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and nutrients such as iron, copper, and protein. This often comes in a powdered form that mixes well in smoothies and sauces – and of course salad dressings! Spirulina can be found here and a great option for chlorella can be purchased here.
Anti-Inflammatory Spices: Herbs and spices have been used for centuries to help with a variety of ailments, and that’s thanks in large part due to their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and maybe as a result of the changes they cause in the gut microbiome. Nutrients prevent inflammation, and spices provide an abundance of nutrients with very few calories. The antioxidant of herbs and spices is so high that just half a teaspoon of oregano has the antioxidant level of three cups of spinach. Try adding in ginger, turmeric, pepper, garlic, and Italian herbs to enhance the flavor and nutrient profile of your dishes!
Click here a recipe guide for some amped up dressings!