The Problem with Ranch…
Alright, listen up y’all! I am from the great state of Texas, where everything is bigger and better…and covered in ranch dressing. We are pretty much raised on the stuff. I remember going out to eat with my mom, sister, and nephew who was 13 months old at the time, and he literally picked up his side of ranch dressing and drank it! My husband and I still laugh about that today; it was so cute and funny!
Personally, I don’t enjoy ranch on my salads because then you can’t actually taste the salad...go figure. However, I love to dip veggies and fries in ranch, and my husband loves it on everything! The problem with ranch (and a lot of creamy dressings you could buy at the supermarket), is that it’s really not too good for you. A serving (2 tbsps) of a popular brand name is 140 calories, and 130 of those are from fat! If you eat a 2,000 calorie diet, this is 22% of your fat intake! Instead of eating a yummy, creamy avocado, you are wasting your fat intake on a measly two tablespoons of dressing. The saturated fat level is 12% of the recommended intake, and the sodium level is 11% of the recommended intake (again, following a 2,000/day calorie intake).* It seems better to me to season our food well so that we don’t need to drown it in fatty dressing.
I will admit, though, sometimes you just need to dunk your crispy sweet potato fries into a bowl of ranch. While on Whole30, that need for cool, zesty ranch dressing drove me to try two different brands of compliant ranch dressing, and they were good, but pretty pricey. I recently decided to try my hand at making my own, and my whole family loved the results! We have used it on salads, meats, baked potatoes, and for dipping fries and veggie chips. Zemirah’s favorite is just to lick it off her fingers!
The base of this dressing is mayonnaise/aioli, so you can either make your own (which is shockingly simple!), or your other option would be to find a high quality mayonnaise at the store made with avocado oil or olive oil without a bunch of yucky additives. After that, all you really need is a blender/food processor, coconut milk, and some herbs and spices!
Dairy free Garlic Herb Ranch
This recipe makes about a cup of dressing, and could easily be doubled if you want more.
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise/aioli
- 1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk (it will be thin if you get low fat)
- 1/2 tsp of white vinegar
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 scallion, cut into quarters
- 3 tsp chopped fresh dill (or 2 tsp dry)
- 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, depending on taste (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste (I like a lot!)
- Measuring spoons
- Blender or food processor
- Combine all ingredients in blender/food processor
- Blend until smooth
- Store in the refrigerator, in a covered container, for a week
This is a simple recipe, but I hope having my healthy, dairy free ranch on hand helps you spice up your family’s meals! Have a blessed week…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!