When I first started cooking for myself, I discovered that I really enjoyed making things from scratch. I liked the challenge of creating something fantastic out of basically nothing. The magic of taking raw ingredients and putting them together to make something totally different fascinated me. (can you say food nerd!?!) Also, when I first started cooking, I was fresh out of college and living on a very tight budget. Whipping things up from scratch with ingredients I already had on hand turned out to be the most affordable way for me to prepare a meal. As I've continued to improve in the kitchen and immersed myself in the world of food blogs, I've discovered another awesome (and possibly the coolest) benefit of going homemade: no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors! Just all natural good-for-the-bod ingredients. Sure, I still eat packaged foods for convenience, just like everyone else does, but it is nice to replace those items with something homemade when possible.
Recently I picked up the bottle of fat free ranch dressing I had in the refrigerator. As I read the ingredients, I started to wonder if the calories saved by eating fat free dressing really outweighed some of the artificial ingredients in the bottle. Do you know what maltodextrin, modified food starch, or disodium phosphate are? Ok, me either. I don't claim to be an expert on the matter, and I'm sure those things are fine to eat (believe me, I'm not done with Hidden Valley just yet!). But... when it comes down to it, next time I'm preparing a healthy salad, I'd rather top it with a dressing made from a few good ingredients that I know as opposed to a laundry list of fillers I've never heard of. Best of all this dressing takes about 2 minutes to make and is still low in fat and calories!
-1 cup of low fat buttermilk
-1/2 cup light mayonnaise
-1 1/2 tsp onion powder
-1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1 1/2 tsp dried dill
In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk and the mayo until nice and smooth. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, and dill. Continue whisking until well combined. Pour the dressing into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Since homemade ranch isn't loaded down with preservatives like the bottled kind is, the shelf life will be a little shorter, so try and use it up within a couple of weeks.
It's time to start feeling good about the food we eat!