I love ranch dressing…as a kid, I practically drank the stuff. It’s perfect on salads, over veggies, on chicken, in hamburgers, as a dip, with chips or crackers, on mashed or baked potatoes…there’s not much that it’s NOT good on.
Commercial ingredients in ranch dressing are not good for you. The *nameless company* mix is powdered, the ingredients are either dried or dehydrated.
Main ingredients include: maltodextrin, buttermilk, salt, monosodium glutamate, dried garlic, dried onion, lactic acid, citric acid, spices and artificial flavors. Dried buttermilk adds the characteristic tang to the ranch dressing.
Well, shall we start with the MSG?
The dangers of MSG can include sweating, flushing, headache, nausea, facial tightness, numbness in the face and neck and weakness. As noted by Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, these effects are usually mild and do not require medical treatment.
If you experience side effects when you eat high-MSG foods, the only way to treat the problem is to avoid MSG in the future. Sometimes MSG syndrome can cause serious symptoms, such as heart palpitations, chest pains and shortness of breath. (Livestrong)
Ummm…I don’t like the idea of having headaches from eating my ranch dressing, do you?
What about the “natural flavors”? That seems harmless enough, right? According to Wikipedia, it’s
The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations describes a “natural flavorant” as:the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or any other edible portions of a plant, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose primary function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.
And silly you, you thought it was just the way food “naturally” tasted, right? So did I!
What about “artificial flavors”? Simply put, they are just chemical mixtures that can “mimic” what we think of as natural flavors. YUM! Nothing like a chemical laden salad dressing to add some “spice” to your garden veggies!
Shall we move on to maltodextrin? Well, it’s a type of carbohydrate with a high glycemic index. Although it is technically a complex carbohydrate, it is quickly digested and broken down into glucose. It’s effects are more like that of a simple sugar than a complex carbohydrate, leading to spikes in blood sugar levels and potential weight gain.
Although it is technically a complex carbohydrate, it is quickly digested and broken down into glucose. It’s effects are more like that of a simple sugar than a complex carbohydrate, leading to spikes in blood sugar levels and potential weight gain. (whatismaltodextrin)
Aren’t most people eating salads and veggies to maintain or lose weight or to keep blood sugars level healthy?
Are you grossed out yet? I sure was!
So, I learned to make my own Ranch Dressing that gives me the same flavors without the chemical sesspool as an added bonus. Here’s my recipe for
Homemade Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup dried chives
- 1/2 cup dried parsley
- 1/4 cup dried dill weed
- 1/2 cup dried onion powder
- 1/2 cup garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 T. black pepper
Mix together and store in an airtight jar for up to 6 months. To use, simply add 2T. of the mix to 1/2 cup of mayo and 3/4 cup sour cream and mix well. Chill well before use (if you can wait) and use within a week.
Do you make your own salad dressings? Be sure to pin this for later!
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.