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How to make basic oil and vinegar salad dressing: Eat healthier and save money

How to make basic oil and vinegar salad dressing: Eat healthier and save money
Photo courtesy of Miguel G. Saavedra/ used with permissions

Make your salad dressings at home, do not buy store bought ones. Many store bought salad dressings are made with high fructose corn syrup and contain a lot of sodium. Even fat-free or reduced fat brands, which have less fat, are not good for you. Read the label and you will find that many of them are high in sugar, carbohydrates and ingredients you cannot even pronounce.

Instead, make your own salad dressings from scratch. It is not complicated, just start with a basic oil and vinegar salad dressing. It is recommended that you buy the best olive oil you can afford. One that you will find affordable with good flavor, excellent for salad dressing, is Trader Joe's California Estates 100% extra virgin olive oil. At only $5.99 per 16.9 ounces it is one of the best and most affordable olive oils on the market.

You can substitute sunflower or safflower oil for the olive oil, if desired. Safflower or sunflower oil are light, but vegetable oil or canola are not good substitutes. Vegetable or canola oil will do in a pinch, but it is best to choose a good olive oil and use that only for making oil and vinegar dressing.

Next, decide on the vinegar you would like to use. You can use a basic white vinegar if desired, but you may find that your oil and vinegar dressing is too acidic tasting. Instead, try using apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. Some people recommend balsamic vinegar, but if you use too much balsamic vinegar it tends to overpower the olive oil. Balsamic vinegar is best used on its own.

Oil and vinegar dressing will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks and up to a month. This recipe can be doubled or tripled if you have a large enough jar and will use it within a month's time.

Basic oil and vinegar salad dressing recipe

Ingredients for oil and vinegar salad dressing:

  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 mashed garlic clove)

How to make a basic oil and vinegar salad dressing:

  • Add ingredients to jar with tight fitting lid.
  • Shake well to combine all ingredients.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. Shake well before each use.
  • Yield 1 cup
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