Making a white, creamy salad dressing or sauce when you don’t eat dairy or cashews is not an easy feat. That’s why I feel this dairy-free ranch dressing recipe is quite an accomplishment. It’s really tasty and it passed all the tests in this house, inclusive of the two men who are not plant-paradox compliant and can eat any sauce or dairy they want (my dad and my husband). Read on to find out what the secret ingredients are.
Since I came to Romania, I’m buying organic almonds (much easier to find here than in Dallas) and soak them. Both my dad and I love to have them as a snack, peeling them before we eat them. Today I had quite a few soaked and decided to peel all of them in the morning. A meditative task if you ask me.
What is ranch dressing made of?
Before I reveal all the ingredients I used, here is the reason why you don’t want to buy a ranch dressing. These are the ingredients in a store-bought: vegetable oil (usually canola and soybean), water, sugar, egg yolk, salt, nonfat buttermilk, natural flavors, artificial flavors, monosodium glutamate, disodium phosphase, vinegar and spices and many more preservatives. Even the healthy versions are pretty scary.
The main ingredient of the homemade ranch should be milk, buttermilk and sour cream, which can be made plant paradox friendly if you eat dairy, but what if you can’t? In general, I had a hard time creating white dressings and sauces since I gave up dairy. Not only that, but I was also eating a low histamine diet and even the non-dairy yogurt alternatives were out of the question. I’m still relatively low histamine, but I have reintroduced ingredients that make my life much easier such as apple cider vinegar, lime, or lemon. These make a sauce like this dairy-free ranch dressing possible.
Blanched almonds and hemp seeds
I have tried to make a ranch before but it was never so good that I wanted to share it. But this one is the perfect lectin-free, dairy-free ranch dressing. No cashews (which are not nuts anyway) and no dairy at all, but it’s creamy and full of flavor. Hemp seed milk is my favorite ever milk and I make it often at home, that’s why I decided to mix blanched almonds and hemp seeds.
For flavors, I used garlic, onion, fresh parsley, dry dill, dry chives, salt and black pepper. You can use fresh herbs if you have them. Dill and chives are not always easy to find, so I think using them dry is convenient. I like to use fresh garlic and onion but you can also use powder if you want. I’m personally not a fan of the powders especially when the fresh version is easily available. For acidity, I added lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, and for fat and liquid, extra virgin olive oil and water.
Depending on your blender, you can start by adding less water and adjusting the quantity as you blend, to achieve your desired thickness.
This homemade ranch dressing will go with almost anything, but it will perfectly match my Mustard Sage Crispy Wing Platter.
Cauliflower Salad with Homemade Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing
And try this salad I just made today: 1/2 al dente boiled or steamed cauliflower, cut in small pieces; 1/2 cup pressure cooked chickpeas (can be replaced with sweet potato); 1 carrot, grated or cut in ribbons, one generous handful of parsley, chopped; kalamata olives, as much as your heart desires; and a 4-5 tablespoons of ranch dressing. Add more lime or lemon, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, all to your taste. You can also mix in some greens, such as arugula if you wish.
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A multi-purpose creamy and flavorful sauce or dressing. TO MAKE BLANCHED ALMONDS: Soak almonds with skin in water, in the fridge, for about 24 hours. After soaking, skins will come off easily. If you buy almonds already blanched, soak them in cold water for about five hours before using them. Add all the ingredients to a blender and combine until creamy and smooth. You can add more water if it needs more liquid. Adjust taste to your preference, adding more lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, or pepper. Store in a closed jar for up to 2 days in the fridge.
Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing (Lectin-Free)
A multi-purpose creamy and flavorful sauce or dressing.
TO MAKE BLANCHED ALMONDS: Soak almonds with skin in water, in the fridge, for about 24 hours. After soaking, skins will come off easily. If you buy almonds already blanched, soak them in cold water for about five hours before using them.
Add all the ingredients to a blender and combine until creamy and smooth. You can add more water if it needs more liquid. Adjust taste to your preference, adding more lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, or pepper.
Store in a closed jar for up to 2 days in the fridge.