April 17, 2013 by Living Girl Living Foods
Over a week ago I shared some pesky ingredients that can be found in dressings and other condiments. Today I would like to share a few ideas why creating a homemade mystery ingredient free dressing is the way to go.
Dressing vs. Marinade
A dressing and a marinade are not the same. Dressings are not the main attraction compared to a marinade, marinades give something with not so much taste a flavor. Dressing is a sauce for salads, typically consisting of oil and vinegar mixed together with herbs, spices or other flavorings creating a vinaigrette dressing.
I think we are all familiar with Balsamic Vinaigrette. Balsamic, olive oil, garlic, onion, may be oregano, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, parsley, salt, paprika, basil are in there too. Sounds about right?
While a bottle of Balsamic Vinaigrette from the store has sugar most likely listed as the very first ingredient, yup sugar. Followed by salt, another highly addicting fattening and unnecessary ingredient.
For the most part, I believe people choose a salad over a sandwich for example, to make a healthier choice. When in the end one teaspoon of this pre-made or mix at home dressing has 100+ calories per teaspoon.
The third ingredient is probably natural flavoring, so it could be just about anything really. Then dairy, yeah dairy in a balsamic vinaigrette! Finally the vegetables, herbs and oils enter the ingredients list.
Please make your own dressings at home. You will save money, there are no mystery ingredients, you have control of the salt, sugar and fat and it will taste better because you made it.
Want to make Ranch dressing? Soak cashews, drain and blend with onion, garlic, chives, vinegar and water might be the way to go for you. Most bottled dressings from the store have almost 20 ingredients. Including things that personally creep me out like eggs, you are going to put liquid egg mix on your salad?
An ingredient that can almost always be found in condiments, especially dressings is xanthan gum. Xanthan Gum is made by fermenting corn sugar with a bacteria, Xanthomonas campestris. It’s the same bacteria that creates black spots on broccoli and cauliflower.
Xanthan gum may be derived from a variety of sources such as corn, wheat, or soy. All of which are foods that more and more people are becoming highly allergic to. Nutritionally, xanthan gum is a carbohydrate with 7 grams of fiber per tablespoon. This may cause bloating in some people.
Xanthan gum emulsifies (blends easier) and thickens (adds that fatty feel). This makes it easier for large quantities of this product to be produced and have a long shelf life.
Do I personally believe this is necessary?
Nope, I find this ingredient to make the food addicting and it is difficult to have control and only use a teaspoon.
Am I wary of it?
Yup, anything that makes a product with eggs in it “okay” to consume up to 2 months after opening it gives me the hebejebes.
I hope this spreads some light on dressings & xanthan gum. Thank you all for stopping by and reading my post. Much love ❤ and raw power 😉