Salad Dressings 101

November 05, 2012

Salad dressing can add a zing to any salad or even as a marinade for meat - find out what to look for on labels

What are Bottled Salad Dressings? 
Creamy, vinaigrette, and flavored dressings, suitable for salads or marinades; available on the shelf or refrigerated.
How to Buy: 
Sold bottled to pour or in spray bottles to mist
Choices are numerous: primarily creamy (1000 Island, French, Blue Cheese, Buttermilk Ranch); vinaigrette (Caesar, Italian); flavored, the largest category (fruit infused, spicy/tangy, avocado, cheese); ethnic (Asian sesame or salsa-infused.)  
May contain: buttermilk, yogurt, cream, vinegar (Balsamic, rice, red wine, champagne, apple or white), oils (sunflower, canola, olive or soybean), plus a plethora of seasonings, seeds, and flavorings. Bottles are 12-16 oz. in glass or plastic, plus food-service size gallon containers. Organic choices are also available.
How to Store: 
Keep in cool, dry cupboard until opened; once opened keep refrigerated for up to four months or note expiration date. Chilled purchased dressings should always be refrigerated; check expiration.
How to Use: 
Use a sprayer bottle to mist a salad to curb calories or purchase mist-style bottles. Savory/spicy choices make excellent marinades for baked or grilled vegetables, meats or fish. Tasty substitute for yogurt, sour cream or mayonnaise in salads.
Health Benefits: 
Suggested serving for dressing is 2 tablespoons.
Many choices are high in fats (saturated and unsaturated). Range is from 0 to 15 grams, (0 to 2.5 saturated) with creamy dressings the highest. Sodium range is 120-630mg per serving, and calories range from 30-200+, all for the 2 tablespoon suggested serving. Sweeteners: honey, sugar or high fructose corn syrup all add calories. Read labels, both nutrition facts and ingredients to determine if the dressing is right for you.
Smarter Shopping: When fat, sugar or salt is removed, something replaces it. Read labels carefully and consider making your own dressing at home.
For more product 101s download our free Smarter Shopping App.