This creamy ranch dressing is so special that it deserves its own post.
America’s favorite dressing goes beyond salads and raw veggies. From baked cauliflower to chicken nuggets, and from pizza, potato skins and smashed potatoes to replacing mayo in potato salad, the possibilities are endless.
Ranch dressing that’s oh so delicious and oh so good for you!
As we mentioned in a recent post for our Southwestern Wedge Fully Loaded, the ingredients of most store bought ranch dressings include not only lots of dairy, but MSG, high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, less than 2% of natural flavor, and so much more processed stuff.
It just makes sense to make our own!
The dressing is super easy to make. However, you have to allow about 6 hours for soaking the raw sunflower seeds in a small bowl covered with lukewarm filtered water.
You could skip the step of soaking the seeds, but you won’t want to. Let’s talk about why.
Nuts and seeds have high amounts of enzyme inhibitors which protect these foods from sprouting prematurely, but which also give nuts and seeds a bitter flavor and make digesting them difficult.
Soaking nuts and seeds has so many benefits, such as:
- neutralizing the enzymes allowing for proper digestion
- encouraging the production of beneficial enzymes
- removing and reducing phytic acid and tannins
- increasing amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins
- enabling their many nutrients to be more easily absorbed by the body
Depending on the nut or seed, different soaking times are required, which may vary from 2 to 12 hours.
It’s important to only soak nuts and seeds that are raw, as those that have been roasted or heated at high temperatures loose many of their enzymes and nutrients.
Also, it’s good to choose organic nuts and seeds when possible, simply because if not they are likely to have been treated with chemicals.
When the seeds are done soaking, drain out the soak water and discard. Thoroughly rinse the seeds. The soaking step can be done up to a day in advance. After draining and rinsing, store soaked seeds in the fridge until you’re ready to make the dressing.
Transfer seeds to a high-speed blender. Add hemp seeds, water, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, coconut aminos, and white wine vinegar. Start blending on low and gradually increase speed. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 45-60 seconds.
Health food stores and markets such as Whole Foods and Sprouts carry hemp seeds, nutritional yeast flakes, and coconut aminos. If you can’t find these products in your area, they are available online.
Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in garlic, dill, parsley, chives, paprika, and a little salt and pepper. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Enjoy…with endless possibilities, including our Southwestern Wedge Fully Loaded!
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Creamy Ranch Dressing
Yield 1 1/2 Cups
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
America's favorite salad dressing!
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds + water to cover
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp salt, divided (1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp raw coconut aminos
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp minced fresh dill
1 tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley
2 tsp minced fresh chives
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp black pepper
- Soak the sunflower seeds in a bowl of lukewarm filtered water to cover at room temperature for 6 hours, or up to 8 hours. The water should be at least double in volume as the amount of seeds. Drain and rinse well.
- Smash garlic clove with blade of knife. Sprinkle first ¼ tsp salt over garlic. Mash into a paste with a fork. Set aside.
- Transfer sunflower seeds to a high-speed blender with hemp seeds, water, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, coconut aminos, and vinegar. Start blending on low and gradually increase speed. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 45-60 seconds.
- Transfer to medium bowl, and whisk in reserved garlic, remaining ¼ tsp salt, dill, parsley, chives, paprika, and pepper. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. This makes a scant 1 ½ cups.
- Nuts and seeds have high amounts of enzyme inhibitors. This is a reason that unsoaked, they are hard to digest. Soaking neutralizes the enzymes allowing for proper digestion.
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