(NaturalNews) Salads are a great way to load up on your daily servings of fresh vegetables. If you are topping them with store-bought dressings; however, you may be doing more harm than good. Most commercial brands contain soybean or canola oil, sugar or corn syrup, preservatives, thickening agents and stabilizers - and sometimes ingredients like "natural flavor" or "yeast extract," which can disguise MSG. It's easy to make your own dressings at home, so you can control the quality of your ingredients. Try this Italian dressing recipe made from extra virgin olive oil, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, raw honey and a few other ingredients from your spice rack.
Typical commercial salad dressings contain white vinegar that is distilled from corn. This type of vinegar is inflammatory and offers no real health benefit. Apple cider vinegar that is raw, organic and unfiltered is a much better choice because it actually contributes to health in many ways - eases heartburn, joint pain and joint stiffness; improves skin complexion and bowel function, breaks down fat to aid in weight loss, etc. You may need to shop at a natural food store to find this type of vinegar because it is usually not sold in the regular vinegar aisle at most grocers.
Unlike the refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup in most store-bought dressings, raw honey is full of vitamins and minerals, contains high levels of antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory properties, as well. Make sure you purchase honey that is truly raw because heating (i.e., pasteurizing) honey destroys its natural health benefits! Raw honey is most likely found at your local farmers market, natural food store or health section of your regular grocer.
Making your own homemade dressing is the best way to truly know what you are pouring on top of your veggies, and you don't have to be a master in the kitchen to whip up a batch of the simple and delicious Italian dressing recipe included here. Enjoy!
"Homemade Italian dressing"
Makes about three cups
2 cups extra virgin olive oil 1 cup raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar 1 TBSP garlic granules (or 1/2 TBSP garlic powder) 1 TBSP dried oregano 1/4 cup raw honey 2 tsp sea salt 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Whisk or shake together and enjoy. Store dressing in a sealed container. (Empty olive oil and vinegar bottles work great for storing salad dressings!)
About the author: Want more natural grocery shopping guidance or recipes? Christy Pooschke is author of "Eating Additive-Free" - a natural cookbook & grocery shopping guide. She is also the founder of a natural health online community packed with hundreds of natural recipes, an additive-free grocery shopping guide, natural living discussion forums, hundreds of holistic health and inspirational videos...and more! JOIN today! Christy developed a passion for holistic health after relieving her own Fibromyalgia symptoms through natural diet and lifestyle changes in 2007. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to inspire and encourage others to take control of their own health.