How To Avoid Salad Dressing SabotageHow To Avoid Salad Dressing Sabotage by by Emily Morris
Are salad dressings secretly sabotaging your diet?
If you are trying to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, or just improve your over-all health, everyone knows that eating more vegetables is a great way to go. They're low or no-sugar, loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as a myriad of other healthy nutrients. Salads can be a great way to get more servings of vegetables into your lifestyle, but they can also be packed with hidden calories. If you eat restaurant salads, they may taste great, but they almost never use low-fat ingredients. (After all, rich creams and oils make them taste so good, you'll want to come back and spend again!)
Would you be tempted to select any of the following at a restaurant, or make it at home?
Chicken Ranch Taco Salad - 960 calories and 57 grams of fat
That's over half your daily fat requirement, and nearly half your day's calories all in one salad
Crispy Calamari and Veggies - 1,520 calories and 98 grams of fat
That's over your daily fat requirement in just 1 appetizer and well over half your calories for the day
A triple whopper at Burger King only has 1130 calories...
Southern Fried Chicken Salad- 1,100 calories and 68 grams of fat
Better not eat any more fat grams that day...
Most of those are getting the extra calories from the creamy dressings and fried meat that's added on. However, using less tasty 'lite' dressings and just skipping salads all-together isn't a great idea. Crisp raw vegetables in tasty dressings or dips are fantastic for health. Substituting grilled meat for fried is also a tasty choice. Some dressings even help you absorb important nutrients.
For example, citrus based dressings, or salads with high vitamin-c ingredients can help you absorb the iron in leafy green vegetables. The healthy fats found in olive oil, chia seeds, avocados, nuts and some fish will help you absorb much more lycopene from tomatoes (and other red vegetables), lutein in green peppers (and other greens), and carotenoids in carrots (and many other brightly colored vegetables). They key to unlocking these healthy phytonutrients and anti-oxidants is eating the foods together. Ohio State University did a study which proved greater absorption of nutrients could be achieved when people added a healthy fat to their salad.
Ready to try something fresh and new?
This vinaigrette tastes fantastic on spinach and strawberry salad. Baby spinach leaves have a very mild flavor, and fresh strawberries are an unusual and refreshing addition.
Chia Strawberry Spinach Salad Dressing
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dry chia seed
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash paprika
In a measuring cup, simply mix together all ingredients. The seeds won't hydrate in the oil, but they'll cling among the salad ingredients. This dressing will separate into two layers if left alone, so always shake before use. You don't have to use it only on spinach strawberry salad, you can try it over your favorite greens.
Still want a creamy dressing, but don't want the calories? This dressing is thick and creamy, but has ZERO milk products of any kind. It's perfect for anyone who is lactose intolerant. This zesty dressing will amaze your guests as you serve it as a dip or over your favorite greens. They'll never guess that the tasty, creamy base is really...beans!
Creamy Cilantro Vinaigrette:
1 can cannellini beans
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup canned green chili peppers
¼ cup hot (not boiling) water
¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chia seed gel
1 clove garlic
1 pinch sea salt
This dressing is also amazingly easy to make. Just rinse and drain the beans, chop the cilantro, dice the chili peppers and mince the garlic. Put all the ingredients into your food processor or blender and hit 'puree'. The dressing is finished when everything is smooth and creamy. You can use it for dipping, or add to your favorite salad mixture.
Why are there chia seeds in each of these dressings?
The chia seeds are an important part of the recipes because they not only help to mix and distribute the flavors, they also help you to feel full. The soluble fiber on the seeds' shell forms a gel when exposed to water. This allows them to absorb nine times their weight in zero calorie water. So while you're eating less calories, you're feeling full sooner when you add chia. It's that gelling action that allows them to help with flavor mixing, improving the taste of whatever you add them to.
The seeds themselves have no flavor at all, so you can freely add them to almost anything when you want a nutritional boost. They're packed with nutrients, such as more calcium (by weight) than milk, complete protein like in meat, and healthy omega-3 oils that are usually only found in fish. They're also an easy way to boost the fiber content of a meal without changing the taste.
When changing the taste of a meal is as easy as switching the dressing, you'll never get tired of healthy salads. Store-bought dressings may sit in the fridge for months, but when you make your own dressing, it's not only much fresher, free from chemicals and preservatives, it's also in portions you decide, so there's just enough for what you plan to eat. It may take a few minutes to whip up, but the myriad of possibilities and flavors are well worth the time. Plus, isn't increasing your health, and that of your family worth the extra five minutes to mix?
Try these dressings, and loads of other great recipes in our free Chia Cook Books ! Learn more about what chia seeds can do for you at MySeeds Chia Seeds Plus, don’t forget about free shipping to get you started quickly and easily!
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