Thursday, July 23, 2015

Better Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salad dressings are tricky; they can make or break a salad. They can also make or break your diet efforts whether it be for weight loss, nutrient absorption or overall health. Too often I see people buying fat-free or “healthy” dressings that are loaded with preservatives, chemicals, low-quality oils and plenty of added sugars. (Pro tip: If a product claims to be "low-fat" or "fat-free”, check the label and the ingredient list. Chances are the added sugar and salt are much more than their “average-fat” counterpart.) While the consumption of vegetable oils is still a controversial issue in the nutrition world, I personally try to consume fats in whole food form (think raw nuts & seeds, avocados, olives, coconut meat, etc.) because they are more nutritionally dense than their oil counterparts.

Today’s recipe is a simple balsamic vinaigrette, because I love vinegars and this dressing is great for any kind of salad, really. Besides requiring a bit of time to soak a couple ingredients ahead of time, this recipe is quick, simple and uses just 6 ingredients. I used dates and cashews for a more nutritious (but equally delicious) dressing than a traditional vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
By Bailey West, B.S. Nutrition/Dietetics
Serves 3 - 4

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cashews (dry)
3 shallots
3 medjool dates, soaked
1 t liquid aminos

1. Soak cashews and dates overnight. Remove pits from dates if not already pitted.

2. Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy. 

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