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Create Your Own Salad Dressing: Save Calories and Dollars

If weight loss is your goal, you'll probably find yourself eating more fresh salads. Besides being nutritious, salads help us feel fuller without being dense in calories.

Incorporating salads into your diet will be easier (and less boring) if you add variety and interest by topping them with a variety of dressings. Here are four distinct salad dressings that will make your taste buds sing:

Raspberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup raspberry vinegar

3 teaspoons sugar or sugar substitute

2 scallions, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Salt

Whisk the oil, vinegar, sugar, scallions, mustard and pepper together until the sugar is dissolved. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate and use when chilled. For salad recipes with salmon, go here.

Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup, drained sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Salt

Whisk the oil, vinegar, tomatoes, garlic, mustard, sugar and pepper together until the sugar is dissolved. Season with salt to taste. For another version of this dressing that includes pine nuts and basil, go here.

Basic Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 cups olive oil

3/4 cups apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Salt

Whisk the oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard and pepper together until the sugar is dissolved. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate. Serve over salad when chilled. For a garlic-flavored version of this recipe, go here.

Buttermilk Dressing

1 cup buttermilk

2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise or light mayonnaise

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/8 teaspoon horseradish

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Salt

Whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, horseradish, mustard and pepper together. Season with salt to taste. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within three days. For a version of this dressing with feta cheese, go here. For a vegan version of the feta cheese recipe, replace the feta cheese with an equivalent amount of crumbled tofu. Use this dressing for a new twist on coleslaw.

Why pay three or four dollars for a bottle of commercial salad dressing when you can make your own at half the cost?

Bon appétit!

P.S. Do you have any salad dressing recipes to share?