Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ranch!

Ranch, oh how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  Ranch has been my love since the first time my lips tasted it's deliciousness--long before I ever made any attempt at healthy eating. Because I'm terrible at moderation, I have to just cut it out of my life except for special occasions.

The one thing that has really bothered me about buying ranch is the unidentifiable ingredients.  Have you ever tried to read/pronounce all the ingredients in a store bought ranch dressing?  Go ahead, get yours out of the fridge and try to read it.

During the early days of making changes towards a healthier diet, I attempted to make a ranch dressing and it did not go well . For the recipe I was following, I had to buy a whole bunch of fresh herbs that got a little costly, and it didn't taste that great.   The experience was so unpleasant in my mind, I wrote off making my own ranch dressing forever (OK, that might be a bit dramatic.) Until recently when I was sharing some recipes I found online with friends, and we got to talking about how we wish we could find a healthier version of ranch.

Challenge accepted.



Making my own ranch dressing fits in with the guidelines of eating I try to follow--if I'm going to eat something thought of as generally unhealthy, I need to make it from scratch myself.  The goals in developing my recipe were: minimally processed ingredients, healthy as possible, easy to make, easy to keep all the ingredients on hand, and two thumbs up from the family.  I made A LOT of variations of ranch dressing this past weekend, but I finally found a combination that met my requirements and is definitely husband and toddler approved.

Toddler approved (don't zoom in too close you might see a dirty table)
My feeling on recipes is that they are suggestions, a starting point if you will, not the Ten Commandments carved in stone.  We all have different taste buds, so why should we all like recipes exactly the same?  So, I'm sharing my recipe my family enjoys.  However, I want to encourage you to experiment, play around, and see if there are other ways your family enjoys this ranch dressing.  You know what you all like, so start playing with your food it will make you a more confident cook.

We still don't eat ranch a lot, because again I have no will power when it comes to ranch, but it's nice to have an option with ingredients I can pronounce. Without further ado, the recipe...

Recipe
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plain Greek non-fat yogurt
1/4 cup 2% milk (I tried it using fat free once and it was too runny)
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic (not a dried powder)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried dill

Combine all in a canning jar, or use a food processor/blender.  I love the canning jar because you don't have to dirty any more dishes.  Put everything in the jar, screw on the lid and shake.  Shake it. Shake it like a Polaroid picture.  Seriously, shake it a lot, if the ingredients aren't combined well it will taste off.  I tried to just stir it and it wasn't enough.

Just before serving each time, shake well again to incorporate all of the ingredients.

Delicious ways to change it up:

  • Avocado
  • Chipotle sauce
  • Chives
  • Hot sauce
  • Bell peppers
  • Increase or decrease any of the ingredients
Make this YOUR ranch recipe.  Enjoy!

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