What Is The Healthiest Dressing For A Salad?
A staple in any healthy diet has got be the one and only…salad !
But have you ever wondered what is the healthiest dressing for a salad? keep that thought…
Salad is one of those dishes that is loved by so many as it’s great as an accompaniment to any number of dishes, yet equally as nourishing as a meal in its own right. Usually combining fresh, nutritious produce you’ll easily find in the fridge, a salad is also easy to throw together no matter what the occasion.
It can be tempting to detract from the wholesome nature of a salad by dousing it in unhealthy toppings, where sugar, salt and calories often lurk in abundance. Armed with just a little more information, you can easily choose the healthiest salad dressing to add some zing to your bowl of goodness. While the healthiest salad dressing will always be homemade, you can also find shop-bought varieties that won’t dent your diet, and we’ll go over both below.
What Is The Healthiest Dressing For A Salad?
It’s often assumed that healthy foods are bland, and the salad gets a particularly bad rep in this regard. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Pair the right combination of hearty veggies and protein with a killer homemade vinaigrette and you’ve got the holy grail; a meal that not only tastes good, but does good too.
If you’re searching for what is the healthiest dressing for a salad? that is also incredibly simple to make, then you came to the right place. The following dressings can be whisked up in mere moments and generally with ingredients you’ll probably already have.
As a general rule, the healthiest salad dressing will combine healthy fats (such as olive oil), with flavourful low-calorie embellishments (such as vinegar or lemon juice) to complement the main components of your salad. Here are a few ideas to get you started on what is the healthiest dressing for a salad.
For light, summery salads
You can’t go wrong with a zesty vinaigrette on a Greek or Mediterranean style salad. It’s like summer in a bowl. Keep it simple with a classic combination of olive oil and lemon juice, or pair olive oil with raspberry vinegar for something a little more unusual.
Balsamic vinegar also works great with olive oil, and don’t forget to add a good twist of black pepper to taste. If you have a sweet tooth, then you might also want to add a drop of honey to your dressing, but don’t go overboard as the sugar content can quickly creep up.
For protein-rich salads
If you like your salad with a healthy dose of chargrilled chicken breast, or heaps of juicy tuna, then you might want to add a little kick to your dressing. Try a simple lime and chilli dressing by combining olive oil with lime juice and some finely chopped chilli, or chilli flakes. Check out our prawn and avocado salad here, which pairs perfectly with a lime and chilli dressing. Definitely one of our personal favourite dressings and for us the perfect combination definition of what is the healthiest dressing for a salad.
Not a fan of too much spice? An Asian-inspired, ginger and soy dressing is to die for over a beef or chicken salad, and also works great over bean and legume salads if you’re vegetarian. Combine oil (sesame is best, but olive would still work) with rice vinegar, soy sauce, minced garlic and grated ginger – both of which are nutritional powerhouses as well as being known for their intensity of flavour. Again, a teaspoon of honey can be added here to counter the spice – just don’t add too much!
For hearty, filling salads
When it comes to what is the healthiest dressing for a salad . Creamy salad dressings tend to be the most likely culprits for unwanted fats and calories, but with a few small adjustments you can easily create a homemade, healthy version of your favourite ranch or Caesar dressing.
By using low-fat Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise you can quickly cut out unnecessary calories. Add olive oil, some Dijon mustard, lemon juice, minced garlic, anchovy paste and salt and black pepper for a healthier take on the classic Caesar dressing. For a ranch-style dressing, combine fat-free Greek yogurt with minced garlic, lemon juice, onion powder, dried dill, dried parsley and salt and pepper. Simply thin with water to your desired drizzling consistency.
For green, leafy garden salads
Most often served as a side alongside a main meal, the garden salad is a worldwide classic. Unassuming in nature, it is the most versatile of all the salads – meaning you can pair it with pretty much any of the salad dressings listed above.
If served as a side, we would always stick to the timeless yet tasty combination of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. If served as a main, you’ve got the opportunity to be creative! Think of the garden salad as your blank canvas, and experiment with different types of oil (avocado oil is a delicious alternative to olive, but can be tricky to source), vinegar and mustard. Mix and match with other healthy additions such as fruit juice (freshly squeezed, never from concentrate) and your favourite herbs and spices. The world’s your oyster when it comes to a garden salad. Just remember to keep it healthy by holding off on refined sugar or too much salt.
A word on shop-bought salad dressings
Here at simple yummies, we believe that healthy, tasty food needn’t be complex, which is why we love making our own salad dressings that are not only easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to make (no pun intended), they’re also nourishing for your body and soul.
In conclusion to what is the healthiest dressing for a salad? we believe the healthiest salad dressing will always be one which you’ve whipped up yourself, it is possible to find some healthier alternatives on the shelves at your local supermarket. Look for dressings with a short list of ingredients and try to avoid anything with ingredients which you can’t pronounce or have never heard of. Make sure you check the sugar, salt and fat content are all low, as some companies will substitute one for the other in order to market them as ‘fat-free’ or ‘low in sugar’.
What is the healthiest dressing for a salad?– We’d love to hear about your favourite homemade healthy dressing, so don’t forget to get in touch in the comments section, or come visit us on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram at @simpleyummiesfood.