Salad dressings have gotten a bad rap in recent years due to confusion about fats, and this has led dieticians and nutritionists to frequently advise against them entirely – suggesting either lowfat dressings or lemon juice as alternatives.
The problem is that salads dressed only in lemon juice are tasteless and unappetizing!
Lowfat commercial dressings are loaded with neurotoxic MSG in the form of hydrolyzed vegetable protein or hidden away under the “natural flavors” label.
Regular versions of bottled, commercial dressings are made with cheap, low quality oils that have been made rancid with high temperature processing. Stabilizers, preservatives, artificial flavors, colors and belly-bulging corn syrup add further insult to injury.
Even organic healthfood store dressings made with canola oil should be avoided. Canola oil is high in brain boosting omega 3 fat, but is usually genetically modified (GMO) if not organic and goes rancid very easily, requiring manufacturers to deodorize the oil to hide the off smell.
If that isn’t bad enough, the deodorizing process required to manufacture canola oil forms a dangerous form of transfat, not listed on the label of these supposedly healthy dressings.
The solution to the many problems with store bought dressings is to make your own, of course!
Excellent dressing takes very little time to make and requires no other equipment than a fork and a bowl. Homemade dressing should include extra virgin olive oil plus raw vinegar or lemon juice in proportions that suit your personal taste.
Salad Dressing Made with Kombucha?
While a high quality extra virgin olive oil from a vendor you trust for 100% authenticity is a must, the vinegar portion of the recipe can be changed up for variety.
I typically use rice wine or raw apple cider vinegar for my salad dressings, but enjoy the flavor of kombucha, a traditional fermented Russian beverage, in its place from time to time. Kombucha can be brewed very inexpensively yourself or purchased at the healthfood store.
Kombucha has been consumed for hundreds of years and has been found via analysis by Russian scientists to be an effective overall body detoxifier through the binding of the organic acids in the kombucha tea to all manner of toxins present in the body. Once tightly bound to the organic acids, the toxins are then rushed to the kidneys for excretion.
Lore dating back before the fall of the Iron Curtain suggests that the Soviet Union used kombucha as one of its secret weapons in the training of Olympic athletes – the athletes would drink up to 1 quart of kombucha per day while training to prevent lactic acid from accumulating in the muscles (lactic acid = sore muscles). So, athletes drinking this brew would be able to train harder and longer than athletes who did not drink kombucha.
For weekend warriors and other mere mortals, kombucha is simply a delicious, hydrating, enzyme and probiotic rich beverage. When fermented for 2 weeks or more, it becomes very strong, taking on a decided vinegary taste which is perfect for use in homemade salad dressings.
If you have some kombucha sitting in the back of the refrigerator that is too strong for drinking, use it to make kombucha salad dressing rather than let it go to waste.
Prefer a vinaigrette dressing? This recipe for raspberry vinaigrette is a delicious one to try too! Or, add some probiotics to your salad or sandwich with this fermented thousand island salad dressing.
Maple Kombucha Salad Dressing
Makes about 1 cup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (trusted source I use)
1/3 cup plain kombucha
2-3 Tbl Grade B maple syrup (where to find)
1 Tbl organic dijon mustard (I like this brand)
1 crushed organic garlic clove
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp flax oil or walnut oil, optional (where to find)
Dip a fork into the jar of dijon mustard, scoop out about a tablespoon and place in a small bowl. Add the kombucha (best if brewed for at least 2 weeks), maple syrup, pepper and crushed garlic close and mix with a fork.
Add the olive oil in a thin stream stirring constantly with the fork until the oil is emulsified. Add 1 tsp flax oil or walnut oil and use immediately.
An easy variation on this basic dressing is to make a creamy dressing by adding ¼ cup of cultured cream or creme fraiche to ¾ cup of this basic dressing and blend with a fork.
Your enzyme and probiotic rich kombucha salad dressing will last for weeks in the refrigerator.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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