If you’re like most people, you likely live a very busy lifestyle. It seems everyone is on the go these days, which means there’s not as much time at home. When you are at home, you probably want to spend those precious moments with your family, not in the kitchen preparing elaborate, time-consuming meals. In return for a little more of your time, you may sacrifice home-cooked meals in favor of something quick and easy. Unfortunately for most of us, that means a majority of us are eating out multiple evenings a week, which in turn means your meals may not be as healthy as you’d like.
- Hardcover Book
- Holmberg, Martha (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
It’s a major misconception that preparing healthy meals at home is time-consuming. In fact, thanks in part to the development of more advanced kitchen appliances, such as pressure cookers and higher quality blenders, people are finding they can make healthy meals faster than ever, and with little effort.
You don’t need a fancy kitchen appliance to make everything, however. You can prepare certain foods in advance, such as salad dressings, so you have something on hand whenever you want a crunchy, fresh alternative to the salads you get at the drive-thru, which are often loaded with more calories than anything you’ll make at home.
One of the more popular flavors is sweet onion dressing, which can be used on anything from salads to sandwiches. Below, you’ll learn more about the numerous benefits of making your own salad dressing and see how easy it is to make at home.
Benefits of Making Your Own Dressings
Pick up a bottle of salad dressing and take a look at the ingredients it contains. You’ll find it’s loaded with numerous refined oils, which aren’t very good for your health. Store-bought dressings contain refined oils because they’re cheap and easy to make in bulk. However, these oils are often created in high-temperature environments, which means they’re likely loaded with free radicals. Free radicals can lead to premature aging and other damage to your body. Even if you think choosing organic dressings is a better option, you may be surprised to find that they’re also loaded with the same type of refined oils. When you make your own sauce at home, you can control what type of oils go into your dressing, guaranteeing that the finished product is healthier for you. Some oils that are good to use in your own dressing include olive, avocado, and sesame oil.
If you need to follow a low-sodium diet for health reasons or you just want to watch your salt intake, you may want to pause before you grab that bottle of dressing from the grocery shelf. Manufactured salad dressings are often loaded with sodium, sometimes hundreds of milligrams in just one serving. When you make your own sauce at home, you can control the amount of sodium you put in your recipe, if any. This will not only aid in better heart health, but can also offer other benefits, such as healthier-looking skin, lower blood pressure, and less water retention.
Sugar is in everything these days, even your milk. People are often oblivious to the amount of sugar in foods that are supposed to be healthy, such as your salad dressing. Most people assume that, because this type of sauce is supposed to be used on salads, it’s naturally good for you. However, if you look at the label, you may be surprised to find how much sugar and other unnatural sweeteners are hidden in each bottle. Too much sugar can lead to numerous health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions. When you make your own salad dressings at home, you can control the ingredients your sauce contains. This not only promotes better health but can also keep your weight in check.
Given all the sodium, high sugar levels, and artificial oils that are in manufactured options, it should come as no surprise that these foods are loaded with calories. In fact, a single serving of dressing, which is usually just a few tablespoons, can contain hundreds of calories. People usually eat multiple servings of dressing in one sitting without knowing it, which means that a simple salad can contain almost half of your daily allowance. Making your own sauce at home with more wholesome ingredients lets you save hundreds of calories and produce a healthier product.
Because manufactured salad dressings need to last for long periods of time on grocery store shelves, they’re filled with preservatives and artificial additives to help them keep their flavor as well as to keep them from going bad. All of those added chemicals and preservatives aren’t good for our body and can aid in causing health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. You aren’t even safe by purchasing organic options over regular dressings, because they often contain the same components. By making your own sauces, you have the opportunity to get rid of the extra chemicals, additives, and other artificial ingredients that shouldn’t be in your body.
- 1 Bottle (473 ml)
- Ingredients: Sugar, Vinegar (Cider, Distilled), Water, Vegetable Oil (Soybean and/or Canola), Vidalia Onion 7.45%,...
Removing all those additives, extra salt and sugar, and unhealthy oils leaves you with a much richer, more natural taste than buying your dressings in the store. You may think that it won’t taste as good as the familiar options you’re used to buying at a supermarket, but you’ll quickly realize how much better your natural homemade sauce tastes compared to anything you’ll ever buy ready-made from a brand name. There may be a brief period of adjustment as you get used to the taste difference in your homemade dressing, but you’ll quickly realize how much better off you are without the store-bought option. Homemade recipes not only taste better, but you also have the added benefit of knowing that the food you make is healthier for your body.
Making your own sauces also allows you to have fun experimenting with different herbs and natural flavorings to create the perfect mixture. Because homemade dressings don’t contain the artificial ingredients that are in store-bought options, they’ll only keep for about a week in your fridge. This may help you to eat more salads rather than other unhealthy options.
Aside from all the health benefits of making your own salad dressing at home, you can also benefit from seeing a reduction in your grocery bills and money spent eating out at restaurants. Because you likely already have many of the ingredients that are needed for the majority of recipes, you can cheaply and easily make many different types of these sauces without spending a lot of money. Plus, you can make double or triple the amount of dressing for a fraction of the cost that it would take to purchase the same flavor in the store.
Now that you understand all the benefits of making your own dressings at home, below is a simple recipe for making the popular sweet onion sauce that you can find in many stores and restaurants. This simple, healthy sweet onion sauce recipe is not only good for you but is also made with ingredients that are acceptable if you follow a vegan diet. You can use this delicious dressing to add a little extra thickness to pastas or soups, and of course it goes great on salads, subs, and sandwiches.
Sweet Onion Sauce
Oil for cooking — avocado or sesame oil are good choices
A fruity natural olive oil for flavor
3 large onions — sweet or yellow onions work best
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste
First, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While your oven is preheating, cut your onions into manageable pieces and drizzle them with olive oil. Then, place them on a baking pan or oven-safe saute pan. Once your oven is preheated, roast your onions for 40-45 minutes, or until they look golden brown on the outside and are soft inside. Remove your onions from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely. Once your onions have completely cooled, place them into a blender or food processor along with all your other ingredients and let them process for 3-5 minutes, or until your mixture looks smooth. Then, place the dressing in the refrigerator.
This recipe may have a strong flavor. If you prefer your sauce to have a milder taste, chop your onions and let them sit in your refrigerator until they completely oxidize. This dissipates some of the strong flavor and lets your sauce be a little smoother in taste.
Because this recipe is so potent, you won’t need to use as much in each serving, which allows it to go further. Once your dressing is ready, use it in your favorite pastas, soups, dips, or salads for some extra flavor and added creaminess.
You can find numerous recipes to make your own sweet onion sauce on the Internet, but this recipe is one of the healthiest ones you’ll find because of its limited ingredients. Once you’ve mastered the art of making your own salad dressings at home, you won’t want to go back to the store-bought options. You’ll be spoiled by the great taste of your homemade sauce and how easy and cheap it is to make. Your body and your wallet will thank you.
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