Homemade Ranch Dressing

“Maltodextrin, buttermilk, sald, monosodium glutamate, dried garlic, dried onion, lactic acid, calcium lactate, citric acid, spice, artificial flavor, xanthan gum, calcium stearate, carboxymethylcellulose, guar gum”     MMMM! Delicious! What???!!!   hidden valley ranch packets

Let’s take a look at the scary things in this ingredient list. Maltodextrin is a starch, a carbohydrate, that mostly just gives bulk to powdered things – a filler if you will. Monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, is an excitotoxin that has been proven to cause brain lesions and a long, long list of other horrible side-effects that are hazardous to your health. Citric acid is NOT, as the name implies, derived from citrus fruit. Citric acid is derived from Genetically Modified corn and is used to give foods a tart or sour flavor. Spice is a completely unregulated and undefined term the FDA allows food processing companies to use when they don’t want you to know the proprietary ingredients they are using. Basically it’s a loophole to protect the $ of the company and NOT to protect the consumer. Frequently “spice” means MORE MSG! Artificial flavor – again this could be anything.  Some artificial flavors are more toxic than others but since they don’t tell you we just don’t know.  Xanthan gum is a thickener made from bacteria that in and of itself is ok, but you don’t know what the growing medium for the bacteria was. Most likely it was GMO corn again. Calcium stearate keeps things from clumping, to waterproof fabrics, to make concrete pavers, to make glossy printer paper and as a lubricant in crayons. Hmmmm, is it food? Carboxymethylcellulose helps your laundry detergent clean tough soil stains better, they also put it in ice cream to make it seem thicker when they haven’t used any real cream or eggs. Again, is it food?

Thank goodness you can make Ranch Dressing at home!  Like so many, many of our modern foods this salad dressing was once both frugal and healthy.  Made from the buttermilk leftover from churning raw cream into butter it was high enzyme and had probiotic properties. The addition of a little sour cream boosted the probiotic factor and also added healthy fat that aided the digestion of the fresh salad greens and garden vegetables with which it was eaten. Try this recipe with your own homemade kefir in place of the buttermilk for even more probiotic goodness.

Ranch Dressing    minced garlic

1/2 cup cultured buttermilk or kefir

2 Tblsp quality, full-fat sour cream

2 Tblsp homemade mayonnaise or a good store-bought safflower mayonnaise

1 to 3 tsp chopped shallots or green onions

1 tsp chopped chives

1 tsp chopped parsley

1 tsp chopped thyme

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp sucanat or raw honey

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 small clove of minced fresh garlic OR you can use 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill for one hour to let the flavors blend. Store in the refrigerator in a glass jar for up to one week.

thyme

4 thoughts on “Homemade Ranch Dressing

  1. Kathy

    Okay gals – now you are totally confusing me. I thought safflower was in the 2nd worst category of oils, with corn, soybean, sunflower, cottonseed (better if cold pressed, but not going to be in mayo) (NT pg 19) – what gives??

    1. wellfedfamily Post author

      Kathy,
      Sorry for the delay, your comment got sent to the spam folder and I’m just now seeing it. Regarding the safflower mayonnaise comment you are right – it probably isn’t cold pressed in a store bought mayo. This is a case of choosing between a lesser of two evils. The best option is to make your own mayo and then use it to make salad dressings. Many, many people aren’t at the point where they feel able to make mayo, but are open to making homemade salad dressing. Safflower mayo is a better choice in this case since the oils will more likely be organic or expeller pressed (although not kept cold as you stated) and definitely not GMO. There are better choices available for purchased mayo (see the Weston A Price Foundation’s annual shopping guide for sources http://www.westonaprice.org/about-the-foundation/shopping-guide/ ) but they are not widely available if you don’t have a good health food store or co-op in your area.

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