New year, new … dressing: vegan ranch. I’ve been stuck in a dressing rut for some time now. All I make is balsamic vinaigrette and, considering I eat salad with most meals, that’s a lot of the same flavor day after day.My requirements for this new dressing were simple: healthy, delicious and not containing balsamic vinegar. This vegan ranch dressing fits the bill.
WHY IT’S HEALTHY // Cashews, particularly soaked cashews (read about the benefits of soaking here) are a great source of healthy unsaturated fats and antioxidants. They are rich in magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. Garlic is a natural antibiotic, energy stimulant and helps with blood circulation. Fresh lemon juice helps with fat metabolism in the liver and is extremely high in vitamin C. //
This dressing is good for you and tastes amazing: creamy, tangy and, mostly importantly, free of artificial anything. To give you a sense of the difference between this ranch and your commercial, store-bought ranch let me list the ingredients in the ubiquitous Hidden Valley, which is owned by Clorox. If this doesn’t convince you to go make your own ranch dressing right now, I don’t know what will.
Hidden Valley Ranch Ingredients: Soybean or canola oil, water, egg yolk, sugar, salt, cultured nonfat buttermilk, natural flavors (milk, soy), spices. Less than 1% of dried garlic, dried onion, vinegar, phosphoric acid, xanthan gum, modified food starch, monosodium glutamate, artificial flavors, disodium phosphate, sorbic acid and calcium disodium EDTA as preservatives, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate.
MSG? Disodium what? Click on the links for more information about those ingredients. And then do yourself and the environment a favor; make your own ranch from now on.
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
- Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. For a dressing, use full amount of coconut milk. For a dip, use a bit less.