DIY Dressing Ideas for Homegrown Salads

No matter how small your backyard, there’s often enough soil to plant at least a few items. And when space is at a premium, the vegetation of choice tends to be ones that can land in a salad bowl. There’s not only a huge array of lettuces to cultivate, but also fresh green herbs, which have a delicate flavor and consistency, and which can be a much larger component of the salad presentation than most people realize.

Don’t have time to make your own? Shop for natural and organic salad dressing at Vitacost!

That leaves us with dressings ““ the healthy ones you make yourself and that don’t come  from a bottle. Here are three dressing ingredient options:

Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, which can provide the acid kick to a salad dressing, is the fermented juice of pressed, fresh apples. An unpasteurized product, it contains “mother,” the nutrient-rich sediment responsible for the liquid’s amber-brown color which has a string-like appearance.

Stevia. When you’re creating a fruit-based dressing ““ try mashing up strawberries for a fragrant surprise ““ you might want to add more sweetener, such as stevia, which is twice as sweet as sugar. An all-natural product and a great alternative to artificial sweeteners, stevia comes from the sweetest part of the stevia leaf. It can also be used in beverages.

Cayenne Pepper. For upping the heat quotient of a salad, there’s nothing better than cayenne pepper, which is a powdered form of red chili pepper, a fruit from the capsicum family. What provides the heat is cayenne’s high concentration of capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide), a natural alkaloid. In traditional Ayurvedic health practices, it’s used for a variety of health-promoting purposes. Popular in Mexican, Cajun and Carribean cuisine, cayenne also contains vitamin A carotenoids, including the antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as vitamins B6, C and K, manganese and fiber.

What’s your favorite way to add flavor to salads? Share it with us in the comments below.

Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.

 

Dr. Laurie Steelsmith

Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness. Visit her website at www.DrSteelsmith.com.

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About Dr. Laurie Steelsmith

Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness. Visit her website at www.DrSteelsmith.com.

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