Salad Dressings 101

Articles
November 05, 2012

Salad Dressings 101

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.
 
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