It’s the same thing, year after year. Most new year’s resolutions last not even a nano second beyond, “Oh, I said that?” But maybe you wrote your’s down, as though somehow seeing it on paper will make us more accountable. Maybe you coerced a friend, family member or even a spouse to help you stick to it.
For the vast majority, those resolutions involve losing weight, eating healthier or a combination of both. So, out come the salads and fresh vegetables. A few days of eating like that and without good seasonings and we gravitate toward the ranch and blue cheese dressings…for the milk fats of course. But then the slope gets more slippery and before we know it, we are eating those healthy salads and vegetables with some of the most UNHEALTHY dressings available. (before this develops any further, we are not here to rattle the truth in labeling saber – we are simply using this example, as nothing more than that…an example!)
So, in an effort to continue eating healthy, you buy a dry mix that you can make your own vinaigrette with. The manufacturer tells you right on the package that “you make it fresh”. Well of course you do, as opposed to what? Buying a pre-blended bottle of whatever that’s been sitting on the shelf since who knows when?
And how can you go wrong with it’s so clearly marketed as “an artfully crafted blend of herbs and spices”. Well there may be a blend of herbs and spices, but the only thing artfully crafted is the marketing to get you to believe that it’s “good seasons”. The best part about it is the free cruet you get (that glass shaky thing with the cap that comes in some of the packages).
But, really how good can it be when the first ingredient on the list is… SUGAR – and not the unrefined kind. It also contains xanthan gum, maltodextrin, guar gum and natural flavor. What’s xantham gum you ask? Or guar gum, or maltodextrin for that matter? And what’s that vague “natural flavor” all about?
Whoa, whoa, whoa, one question at a time. First, lets’ let the xanthan gum manufacturer speak for themselves.
“Xanthan Gums are produced by a fermentation process using the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. The composition and structure of xanthan gum produced by commercial fermentation is identical to the naturally occurring polysaccharide formed by Xanthomonas campestris on plants belonging to the cabbage family.” (click here to be taken directly to the manufacturer’s page)
Boy do I feel better about that…synthesized, almost like the real thing but entirely unnaturally through the use of bacteria. No thanks, that’s not the healthy eating regimen I had in mind.
Maltodextrin? It’s a food additive that is found primarily in junk foods, candies and soda as a filler/ sweetener. The FDA considers it “safe”, but that’s not the same as healthy!
And natural flavor? While this can refer to “spice” if it is included in the ingredients list – and it is – it is typically code for free glutamic acid (
naturally not so naturally produced MSG).
Wow, not nearly as healthy as you might think and yet you want so hard to do the “healthy” thing right? As far as store bought salad dressings go, it’s all down hill from here. So, here is our recommendation:
Start with a simple vinaigrette, add some garlic (if you aren’t allergic) and some salt and pepper. (you know where you can get good salt and pepper by now) You’d be surprised how much better your salad tastes with just that. But, if you find you still crave something more flavorful, it’s ok. We will be introducing just the thing to help you maintain your resolve and meet your goal – whether that’s to eat healthier or to lose weight.
Either way stay tuned, keep eating your salads and veggies and… hang on to that cruet, we’ll give you a better use for it in a week or so!
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. aged balsamic
1 clove garlic
2 pinches Sel Gris
pepper to taste