Are there any clean commercial salad dressings that don’t have soybean oil or other bad oils? I also want a better mayo sub.
– Judy Y.
The only 100% clean (raw or minimally processed) salad dressing would be to mix your own oil, vinegar and seasoning at the time of use. This is the way my family did it in the 80’s, with a spice mix in a glass shaker. Now you can get an organic, low-sodium spice mix or use an herb mix to do the same.
For a single serving, mix about 1 Tbsp. oil and 2 tsp vinegar in a small container with a tight lid by shaking vigorously. For lighter flavors use vegetable or canola oil and rice wine vinegar. For robust flavor use olive oil and red wine vinegar. Soybean oil has a fatty acid profile (high in polyunsaturates) similar to cottonseed or safflower oil and is fine to use. Mix in 1 tsp of an herb seasoning blend. I like Italian Seasoning, Herbes de Provence or Lemon Herb mixes with no sodium added.
For a creamy dressing, I suggest substituting Greek yogurt and/or pureed avocado to avoid the harmful saturated fat from the cream used in traditional versions. Check out this recipe from the March/April 2011 issue of Eating Well magazine:
- ½ ripe avocado
- ¾ cup packed fresh cilantro
- ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, quartered
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Makes 16 Tablespoons at 16 calories each; 1 g fat (0 g sat); 0 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrates (0 gm fiber, 1 g sugar); 1 g protein; 80 IU vitamin A; 2 mg vitamin C; 18 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 8 mcg folate; 80 mg sodium; 61 mg potassium.
While I’d recommend hummus in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches, for tuna, pasta and potato salads you’ll need a mayo substitute that mimics the white, creamy original. If you’re looking for a mayo substitute without eggs or soybean oil, you’ll need to find one with grapeseed oil or coconut oil, which will often include rice as a binder. Vegetarian mayonnaise substitutes are still processed products, most with preservatives. In the refrigerated section you might find preservative-free versions, which last about 2 weeks.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.