Monday, October 21, 2013

EASY, FAST Ranch Dressing & Dip - Gluten Free / GF

One thing that is a staple in my home is dressing for salads.  Around here we also use dressing on dishes like quiche, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, rice, chicken, noodles, french fries, and more.  

Since going gluten free I had to learn to make my own dressing after I realized the dressing we used was a hidden source of gluten, in the form of MSG (monosodium glutamate).  I thought we were entirely GF, & then I became informed about the MSG we were unknowingly consuming & that it meant we were also consuming gluten.  Once that was eliminated many of the sporadic symptoms of gluten exposure were then gone for the most part (the final piece to the end of sporadic symptoms was put into place when we realized we had to make our home GF & had to stop allowing even guests to consume gluten in our home, as discussed in AFFORDABLE Eating Away From Home While Traveling or Just Out & About - YES, Even With Allergies!! ).

During that time I also learned that traditionally, before the age of chemical preservatives, dressings & condiments were fermented.  Why were they fermented??  Fermented foods not only provide great, healthy bacteria for our guts, they also help us digest our foods better.

Could the lack of fermented foods in our present day diet be a huge reason for all of the acid reflux, bacteria overgrowth, & oodles of health issues that are so rampant?!  While I am not a doctor I don't believe it takes one to realize that if we don't process & digest our food properly, our health will be impacted in a negative way.  More on that in future posts!

Anyway, while searching for a good GF Ranch dressing recipe, I discovered that the recipes vary almost as much as advice on how get your child to sleep... almost!

I took the most common ingredients in most of the recipes I found & came up with my own Ranch dressing recipe to suit what I usually have in my kitchen.  I didn't want to come up with this awesome recipe that I would need to constantly worry about having the right ingredients on hand for.

I also make it in a thicker version to double as Ranch dip & have received many compliments on it from even non-GF eaters.  It is a forgiving recipe, meaning measurements don't have to be exact, like when a little person wants to "help" & ends up dumping 1/2 a CUP of salt into the mixing bowl instead of 1/2 a teaspoon (YES, I was able to get most of the extra salt out of that batch by scooping as much as I could out & by adding a little more of this & that to balance our the extra salt).

While this recipe isn't fermented itself, it does contain fermented ingredients, which add some flavor,  beneficial bacteria, & extend the shelf life of it.  We truly enjoy this recipe & hope you do too!  I use a Vitamix to make it SUPER quick, but you can use any blender or even just whisk it all by hand.




MAMA LEE'S GF RANCH DRESSING

1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream plus 1/4 cup of water OR 1 cup buttermilk
1 T. apple cider vinegar or kombucha
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed (optional, but it REALLY imparts the Ranch taste)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp tsp onion powder (minced onion, etc.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper

MAMA LEE'S GF RANCH DIP

1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup sour cream plus OR 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 T. apple cider vinegar or kombucha
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
1-2 T. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed (optional, but it REALLY imparts the Ranch taste)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp tsp onion powder (minced onion, etc.)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper

DIRECTIONS


Using a Vitamix or blender for the dressing or dip:

1. Place all ingredients into a Vitamix (or other blender) container in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1 for Vitamix (or low for another blender).
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 5 or 6 (or medium speed in another blender).
4. Blend for 10-15 seconds or until smooth.    

Besides ease of use, quick cooking, & quick prepping in a Vitamix, clean up is also a breeze!  Fill 1/2 way with water, add a drop or 2 of liquid dish soap, & turn the blender on high for about 15-30 seconds, rinse the container well, & air dry.  All clean, easy as 1-2-3!!  

I imagine you can also do a super quick clean up in a standard blender, but I haven't tried it yet so I don't know for sure.

By hand for either the Ranch dressing or dip:

1. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. 
2. Stir or whisk vigorously until everything is smooth & creamy

Notes: 

- Refrigerate in airtight container (For Ranch dressing I use a repurposed glass bottle that some grapeseed oil came in, which is perfect because it has a handy, dandy pour spout & is just the right size.  For storing Ranch dip I try to use a repurposed glass jar but have been known to reuse a sour cream container too)!


ENJOY!!


What is YOUR favorite dressing??  What is your favorite dip??  Do you buy them or make them??  Do these recipes sound quick & simple enough??  Will you try making either the dressing or dip (or both)??

<3 Mama Lee <3