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What’s Ranch Dressing?

Um. . . yum! We love our Ranch Dressing!

Hey, how fun! I got an email from a reader in Great Britian who is trying to make the Easy Cheese Ball that I recently blogged about, but doesn’t know what ranch dressing is. It’s a small world because of the internet, and I guess I didn’t take into account that not everyone lives “out west” with me, where ranch dressing rules supreme!

Well, no worries dear-love. You can make your own!

Ranch dressing—American’s favorite—has taken its place with “Mom, home and apple pie”. Every restaurant serves it. Ranch dressing is hard to criticize since everybody loves it, especially kids.

But, grocery store ranch dressing has its serious drawbacks. Have you taken a look at the ingredients? Sugar and MSG are very high on the list! MSG has been linked to asthma, headaches, and heart irregularities, and is destructive to brain cells. Sugar makes you eat more than you need, and forms cavities and breaks down health in general.

Ah, do we have to give up our beloved ranch dressing?

No, no, no. Just make it yourself out of healthy ingredients! This recipe is so good that the kids didn’t even see a difference. You won’t miss the MSG or sugar, either. For complete enjoyment, fill an empty ranch dressing bottle with your new homemade version to keep the skeptical happy. Keeps in refrigerator for as long as buttermilk stays good, 3 weeks or more. But, believe me, they will eat it up long before that!

Healthy Ranch Dressing
Takes just 2 minutes to stir up!

In a bowl, whisk together:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. dried parsley (or 2 tsp. fresh parsley, finely minced)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
optional: 1 teaspoon fresh dill weed, minced

For complete enjoyment, fill an empty ranch dressing bottle with your new homemade version. Keeps in refrigerator for as long as buttermilk stays good, 2 weeks or more.

If you are feeling extra ambitious, make the ingredients from which ranch dressing is made, and you’ll really have a healthy version!

Homemade Mayonnaise
Very quick and easy, plus you can make it without all the long list of additives found in grocery store mayo.

1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice (or vinegar)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Works best if ingredients are at room temperature. Put the egg, 1 tablespoon of the juice and salt in the blender. Cover and blend on low speed. While blender is running, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of oil. Blend on high speed. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of juice and slowly pour in remaining oil while blender is running on high speed. The mayonnaise will amazingly and very suddenly thicken up. Makes 1 cup. Store in the refrigerator.

Home Cultured Buttermilk

Measure 1/2 cup of buttermilk into a quart canning jar. Fill jar with raw milk or grocery store (pasteurized milk) and cover. Let the jar stand on your counter at room temperature for at least 24 hours or until clabbered and thick. Store in the refrigerator after it has clabbered. To make more buttermilk, use1/2 cup of this buttermilk to start a new batch.

P.S. You can make this super easy by leaving approx. 1/2 cup of buttermilk in the bottom of the grocery store buttermilk carton or jug, and just refilling with milk. Shake well and proceed as above.

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