Busy work weeks usually force me to multi-task. Let me tell you…this girl does not multi-task well. At all. I’m more of a pour-myself-into-one-single-project-and-dwell-on-every-last-detail kind of girl. Life is not generally structured for people like me. So…I try to make the most of the small things.
This dressing is a perfect example of that. We eat salads often and love vinaigrettes. So, just by choosing ingredients thoughtfully and adding a few to jack things up can turn an ordinary salad dressing into a superfood party!
Let’s break this down by ingredients and chat about what makes them superfoods:
- Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fermented crushed apples. Bacteria is added to turn it into acetic acid, the main component of vinegar. The raw and unfiltered vinegar contains something called the mother. The mother is visible at the bottom of the bottle in the form of sediment. It contains proteins, enzymes and healthy bacteria. There are too many claims of health benefits to mention here and not all are supported by science, but raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar may lower blood sugar levels, it may help give you a greater feeling of fullness, lower cholesterol and give you some energy. Whether those claims are true or not…apple cider vinegar is a tasty addition to this vinaigrette.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). MUFAs can lower total and LDL cholesterol levels and possibly help with insulin and blood sugar levels. Bona fide extra-virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olives. It should be fruity and have a smooth, thick consistency.
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt is a very pure form of salt, hand-mined and minimally processed. It can contain up to eighty-four trace minerals. Commercial salts are heavily processed, refined and can have lots of additives.
- Chia Seeds are tiny superfood overachievers! They are a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and are loaded with fiber. Chia seeds absorb moisture and develop a gelatenous exterior. Perfect to thicken up dressings like this one and helpful in creating a sense of fullness and slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates.
- Organic Raw Honey is full of antioxidants and healthy bacteria or probiotics. Look for dark varieties that contain more antioxidant compounds and try to find local honey to possibly help with any allergy symptoms.
- Pure Maple Syrup is a plant-based natural sweetener full of minerals and antioxidants. There are over fifty-four antioxidants found in pure maple. Choose your maple syrup based on your preference. There are various levels of Grade A, which are a bit lighter and Grade B with a darker, more robust flavor.
One jar of this simple vinaigrette can add so much nutritionally to your salads through the week. I love to make a jarful and use it as a base to add other flavors or ingredients, depending on the type of salad I’m making. Sometimes, I’ll add a bit of salsa to create a spicy vinaigrette for a taco salad, or add a few pinches of cumin and oregano for a more Mediterranean dressing. Play around with your own flavors…I’d love to hear what you do with it!
- ⅓ cup organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon organic raw honey or (for vegans) pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a 12 ounce or larger jar with a tight fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously.