The making of my Ranch dressing starts with mayonnaise. The reasonings behind why I think these simple sauces may have great importance in improving our health and in the healthfulness of meals is what “The Meal Matters Most” and Mayonnaise being a Health Food is all about. With the obesity epidemic and chronic disorders on the rise we need solutions without overhauling every single meal a person eats. One way to do that is with very humble sauces, like mayonnaise with Egg yolk, Lemon, Salt and Oil. That flavor combination of tangy, sweet, salty and mouth-feel is the source of our greatest desires; calories in tasty combinations. It is also our undoing when manufacturers imitate and amplify those flavors. I honestly feel getting back to our sauces made with some of those 10 servings of vegetables and fruits we’re suppose to get everyday could be of tremendous benefit to those trying to make healthy meals affordably.
Making sauces from scratch can not only be cheaper than their bottled counter-parts but they contain the very substances that lay the foundation for our ability to manage ourselves and our environment. They help to manage stress. And “stress”, however complicated that word may seem, is our ability and our responsiveness and our resiliency to our environment. Improving our health is about getting back to the foundations that helped build our immune systems, our brains and our bodies. It’s about food and family and the challenges of life. Foods that taste good and classic seasonings are more important than we have given them credit for. And it’s time to get back to authentically tasty foods and back to enjoying simple meals and simple ingredients. Replacing the bottled sources with the trifecta of high fructose, processed fats and food flavors (msg) I think will go a long way in reaching this goal together. This will be the first sauce recipe of many, as i already have many versions of my ranch! So get ready to enjoy and love your foods! Never miss an opportunity to improve your health and the flavor of your meal with great sauces!
We start with the egg.
This is a quick note about why some avoid eggs because of salmonella or cholesterol. Skip to next section below to go straight to recipe!
There are typically 2 reasons people avoid eggs.
1) First is the fear of the raw egg and second is the fear of cholesterol and fat. Whether you choose to buy pastereurized eggs or pasteurize the eggs yourself with heat (cooked mayonnaise) to discourage Salmonella, that is a personal choice. According to the CDC Salmonella within an egg occurs in approximately in 1 in every 20,000 eggs. Although the lemon juice, vinegars, cultured milks, garlic and various herbs discourage and in some cases eliminate this bacteria, if the yolk is contaminated enough (bacteria has built up to a large enough number or a virulent type), these additives won’t be enough, a sick egg is a sick egg, and that is a matter of a sick chicken. So it’s important to choose your eggs from trusted sources. The worst outbreak was in 2010 from a farm in Iowa that recalled over 500 million eggs. Yikes.
Read more: “How Salmonella Happens” from “the Kitchn”
Side note: I always keep a bottle of liquor handy as I do tend to have a delicate stomach balance (Iwill not give up raw oysters or sushi!!! However, I do pay attention and have sake, vodka or tequila handy) Read more from ABCnews : Holiday Miracle or Science? Homemade Eggnog Can Kill Salmonella with Booze)
2) The second issue with eggs is the cholesterol. This argument should have been thoroughly defeated by now and just purely on the concept that as foraging creatures we humans would have certainly relied on eggs as prominent food sources… well we’ll leave that for another time and say that eggs and egg yolks are generally, conceptually, good for us. If you have a compromised system that is overwhelmed by cholesterol as some genetically don’t handle it well, or if you have cardiovascular issues current, as always you should check with your physician. However, cholesterol is one of the primary building blocks of the brain, so generally speaking, I think an egg yolk is divine and rather exceptionally delicious, not to mention good for you. Afraid of what it might do to your arteries? That’s ok, the debate still continues (my veiw is if you’re not very healthy or don’t have a balanced diet, even healthy foods can become problematic, futher study is needed). However, with some additional fermented products, lemon, vinegar, balsamic and garlic, the benefits of the yolk may be more fully utilized from the egg yolks, and some of these concerns can be attenuated for most! That sounds like sauces and salad dressings to me!
There it is all lonely… let’s add some salt, half a lemon and splash (maybe tsp) of vinegar.
Himalayan Salts from Trader Joe’s. $1.99 is my current favorite. About 8-10 twists (1 tsp).
1/2 a lemon (little less if it’s super juicy, save the rest for the end to taste-it-up). I do a splash, maybe a capful or two, you can add more or leave it out, try not to do more than 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of liquid to start (you can add more later to taste).
Choose your oils (fats). I’m currently digging a mix of Grapeseed and Walnut with a splash of olive.
There’s another HUGE conversation about canola, soybean, corn and vegetable oil and why I tend to shy away from them that will wait for another time. You can also experiment with peanut, sunflower, olive oil, ghee, sesame, apricot, almond, avocado…
Start with just drips of oil, let the egg/water/oil emulsify a bit and then slowly add some more in a steady stream. Pull the mixer up and let some air get in as this will thicken the mix, then start adding the oil more liberally. In totally the oil will be approximately 1 cup. (There is a way to do this by putting all the ingredients in at once and slowly moving the blender up thru the oil… it’s failed for me before, but it does work)
There it is. Light. Creamy and amazingly smack your brain delicious!
Time to make ranch dressing
You’ll need buttermilk (real cultured), sour cream and/or plain yogurt (I have the plain grocery store varieties here, but there are MANY products and more authentic out there!).
Ok, here’s a link to my “Cowboy Spice” I add about a teaspoon of the sugar variety and then about maybe 1/8th teaspoon, a pinch, of the “Spicy Cowboy”. Feel free to play with it!
The other players here are your onion/garlic (I have powders here as this is the bare-essentails recipe, but blend in real garlic or half an onion which is fabulous!), the mix of cowboys, and then parsley, slight pinch of dill and then another pinch of oregano.
You can mix other greens and especially fresh greens from the garden here; chives, green onions, dill, oregano, cilantro, basil, thyme, chevril, tarragon. Play. Play. Play. Fresh Parsley and Chives are standards.
1 cup Mayo
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup to desired thickness Buttermilk
2 teaspoons Onion and Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Parsley-Dill-Oregano
1 teaspoon Cowboy and Spicy
Beautiful, delicious, EASY and nutritious. Did you know? Fats make the nutrients from vegetables more bio-available? The probiotics from the cultured milk are foundations for our health. The herbs, spices, fruit and vinegar help to balance the “stress” of a fatty meal? Homemade Salad Dressing? Yes, please!!