Finally! A Vegan, Oil-Free Ranch Dressing!
A creamy salad dressing is a beautiful thing - but not when it's made out of dairy milk, cream and yogurt loaded with fat, cholesterol, chemicals, contaminants, cruelty and animal protein that all do our bodies wrong. I've finally ventured into the world of silken tofu and found it very mild tasting as the base for a rich-tasting, creamy yet totally clean salad dressing with no added oil that is also naturally very low in fat.
Look how my cucumbers sit up in the dressing!
But, are you are wondering about the safety of soy in your diet because there are so many myths floating around online, you don't know what to believe?
Here are some highly reputable resources (with no meat, dairy, big food or big pharma industry ties) explaining the most current medical evidence on the absolute safety and health promoting benefits of soy in your diet:
I was also told this information from my integrative oncologist, who suggested I add some whole food sources of soy into my diet including soybeans, tempeh, soy milk and tofu. So, this dressing is just another delicious part of my overall health plan.
I'm in heaven...Just watch!
Vegan Cooking Level: Beginner
Read to the end of the recipe first to decide what you might like to mix-in to your ranch.
Here is how to blend it up (literally)...
1 package silken tofu (mine was 1 pound)
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 lemon, squeezed
3 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
water, up to half a cup
optional mix-ins, your choice below
Dump the tofu straight from the container into a fine mesh strainer and drain away excess liquid while getting together the rest of your ingredients. Throw all ingredients (except mix-ins) in a blender and blend on high until the mixture is liquefied and completely combined. Add a bit of water if it does not spin and blend freely. For a thinner dressing, add water 1/4 cup at a time until it reaches the consistency, YOU want. Transfer mixture to a jar with a lid. This is your plain ranch base. You can stop here or add in more taste.
Now, decide on mix-ins (pick only one!) and shake to combine in a jar.
For a mild Russian-like dressing (that's pink) kids will love: Mix in 2 tablespoons (or more) ketchup
For an herb ranch: Mix in fresh chopped herbs of your choice, such as parsley, dill chives and even chopped, peeled cucumber. Dried herbs don't add much taste so I advise fresh.
For a spicy, smoky ranch: Mix in 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or more as desired).
For a salty, savory ranch: Mix in 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari (hold the salt from the original recipe until after adding this if you still desire more saltiness)
Taste for your self and adjust mix-in flavors to add more if you like it! Don't be afraid to experiment with a small amount of the plain ranch dressing base in a little bowl to try different mix-ins or even create your own ideas.
You can also remove some at the thicker stage to use as a dip and add a bit of water to the other half to create a dressing consistency so you have two different versions.
Pour this on a fresh chopped salad or serve with sliced raw veggies as a dip!
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