Sunday, August 28, 2011

Enlightened Ranch Dressing

I'm currently on a quest to incorporate healthier snacks into my life. I tend to be hungry every 2-3 hours, especially when I eat light for breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, I don't naturally think about snacks when I'm making my grocery list so I'm forced to rely on the available snacks in the vending machine or break room in the office, which typically results in my eating a bag of chips.

Growing up I used to love dipping carrots and celery into ranch dressing as part of my lunch, but bottled ranch isn't exactly on the fast track to health. And the light or fat free ranch offerings in the store tend to fall flat in the flavor department. All this motivated me to try and make a healthier ranch option that I could pack up with celery and carrots and take with me to work.

In order to achieve this, I used light mayo and low-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream along with fresh herbs. The result is a full, herby flavor that pairs really well with the fresh veggies. I will admit, however, that I enjoyed the flavor much more the second day than right out of the blender. I think that's because time allowed the herbs to mellow into the base and coexist more harmoniously than at first. So, if you want to serve this with a salad for dinner or take to work for a snack, make this dressing a day ahead for maximum enjoyment.

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Enlightened Ranch Dressing

1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
3/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
Handful of chives
Small handful of fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill weed (or 1 tablespoon fresh dill if available)
1 clove garlic, pressed
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Start by pouring the buttermilk into the bottom of the blender.
Next add the Greek yogurt,
lime juice,
olive oil,
dill, salt and pepper.

Blend in blender until smooth.
Enjoy on a salad or with your favorite raw veggies.
Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats

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