5 Dairy-Free and Easy-to-Make Salad Dressings

comments (0) August 7th, 2015

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EllisWakefield EllisWakefield, member
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What makes a good salad, good? – A bowlful of freshly-picked romaine lettuce, thinly-sliced red onion rings, some vibrant-looking cherry tomatoes, pecans toasted to perfection, and a dash of salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

For the dressing, the options are limitless: vinaigrette, ranch, coleslaw, blue cheese, creamy garlic, and so much more. Now all you have to do is whip your salad fix up, find the most perfect spot in your garden, and munch on your homemade vegetable goodness.

But not so fast, buddy, not so fast, because here is where the bane of your life enters – you are either lactose intolerant or a die-hard, cannot-be-cajoled, full-on vegan.

Here's the kicker: Dairy-based salad dressings are SO delicious they'd send you straight to salad heaven. Ranch dressing is always the go-to dressing for quick salad whips. However, your lifestyle choice demands that you stay away from these temptations.

Also, studies show that eating dairy-based meals more than what is recommended contributes to a lot of health conditions.

First, let's identify what these are (aside from your lactose intolerance, which is a given).

Hormones. As you may know, cow's milk is for cows. When we speak of hormones, we'd like to highlight that there are naturally-present hormones found in cow's milk that are considered stronger than those of a human.

Well, it still depends on how cows are raised, but make no mistake. There are those that are given drugs and other substances that contribute to their high milk production and health. The hormones found in the milk of these cows may have a negative effect on the hormonal structure of humans.

Inflammation due to the excessive acids found in dairy products. Dairy products have acid-forming elements that may affect your biochemical balance. These acid-forming substances found in dairy products may overwork the acid-forming mechanisms found in our body. Too much intake of dairy-based meals may contribute to calcium deposit build-up. In the long run, this may lead to certain health conditions such as arthritis and inflammation. A few studies also show that too much consumption of dairy-products may cause osteoporosis.

Skin Problems

The condition of your skin somehow reflects the condition of your whole body in general. As with any other organs in the body–and as you may know, it's considered the largest organ–the skin is also an indicator of how the inside of the body is doing.

The skin tries to take care of whatever is not processed and released by the internal organs. So if you have a high-dairy diet, chances are you'd have a hard time processing food, affecting the liver and the digestive system. The end result? Acnes, pale skin, or sometimes redness.

Homogenized milk is hard to digest. Your lactose intolerance is already on the table. Lactose-intolerant people have a hard time digesting milk and dairy-based products. This may be attributed to lactase deficiency. Lactase is an enzyme that helps digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. Homogenized milk and dairy products may also cause the body to overreact causing the immune system to get overworked.


High Cancer Risks. The worst thing that you can get from too much dairy is consumption is, well, cancer. Research shows that over-consumption of dairy-based products may contribute to breast, prostate, testicular, and colon cancer.

However, dairy's not all bad. Low-fat dairy products come with helpful benefits as well, as long as your intake is in moderation: protein and vitamin D for bone health, help reduce high-blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.

But if you'd still like to go dairy-free, you may be surprised by the wide array of healthy and equally-satisfying dairy-based meals.

Now that we have the issue settled, let's go back to your salad fix. Listed down are 5 easy-to-prepare dairy-free salad dressings.

1.Mustard Vinaigrette

This is one salad dressing that's easy to make but still gets everyone's salad craving satisfied.


1 clove of garlic, smashed, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, ⅓ cup Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon coconut or maple syrup, dried parsley, dried thyme, salt and pepper.

To make: In a bowl, mix all the ingredients. You may also mix the ingredients in a blender if you have one available. Drizzle onto salad.

2.Dairy-Free Caesar Salad Dressing

Dairy-less Caesar dressing, you ask? Well, this one's possible.


1 tbsp. minced garlic, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, ½ cup olive oil, 1 tbsp. white miso paste, ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce, ¼cup water, salt and pepper to taste.

To make: Mix all ingredients in a blender till the mixture becomes smooth. Store in refrigerator.

3.Coconut Ranch Dressing

Coconut indeed has many uses. Cross out the buttermilk and mayonnaise from the list. This easy-to-make ranch dressing is all that you'll ever drizzle your salad with.


1 cup coconut milk, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1 tbsp. finely-chopped chives, 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsps. fresh parsley, 1 tsp. dried basil, 1 tsp. dried thyme, Salt and pepper to taste.

To make: Using a blender, mix all the ingredients in high speed. You can add more of the liquid components to get the right consistency.

4.Avocado Dressing

Fruit-based salad dressings make the whole "salad experience" even more delectable and healthier. Here's how you can achieve that.


1 clove of garlic, smashed, 1 whole avocado, sliced into cubes, 1 tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, 2-3 tbsps. olive oil

To make: Using a high-speed blender, mix all the ingredients. Drizzle onto salad

5.Lemon Garlic Mustard Dressing

Mustard, mustard, and more mustard. I mean, you can never go wrong with this kitchen staple.


2 tbsps. lemons, ½ tsp. garlic, minced, ½ tsp. onions, diced, 2 tbsps. cashew or almond butter, 2 tsps. mustard, ¼ cup water, salt and pepper to taste.

To make:

In a small bowl, blend all the ingredients. Mix well and drizzle onto salad.


There you have it! There are plenty of healthier but equally delicious alternatives to your usual high-dairy salad dressings. All you have to do is pick some fresh vegetables from your greenhouse or garden, gather whatever's on your kitchen counter, except for, of course, the dairy, and whip up that mouth-watering salad!

Bon appétit!

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