Dressings and Sauces are what add flavour to our favourite foods. When we buy them at the store, they’re often full of added sugars, sweeteners, and stabilizers, none of which is great for our health. When we make them at home, they tend to have a short shelf life and can easily separate.
Short shelf lives are fine; with a bit of planning we’ll eat it all then move on to a new flavour. The basic skills involved are the same, we just need a variety of recipes.
Separation is solvable. In a vinaigrette, we can just give the bottle a bit of a shake or a whisk before we pour it for a temporary emulsion. These recipes tend to be quick and simple, and should be kept in a bottle so they’re easily shaken.
For a smoother texture that will coat your meal more like a store bought bottle, emulsified dressings are worth the effort. Certain ingredients, called emulsifying agents, will create a semi-permanent to permanent emulsion that can last for a few hours to a few days, like mayonnaise, ranch and hollandaise.
Once you’ve mastered this technique, you’ll be adding homemade sauces to enhance all of your meals! (Perhaps this can cut back on the Ketchup that Jimmy wants on everything?)
We made a Lemon Vinaigrette, a Dijonnaise, and a Tomato / Basil Mayo in our Market Demo if you’d like to see the process in action!
Emulsifying agents are what keep the oil bubbles from regrouping in a water based sauce. They should first be mixed in with the water based ingredients of your recipe so it can grab on to the oil as it’s whisked in.
- Lecithin: Found in egg yolks and soy, very effective. Max ratio is about 1 egg yolk to 7 ounces of oil.
- Cholesterol: also contributes to the emulsifying action of eggs.
- Mayonnaise: because this is already a stable emulsion, you can add a small amount for a quick suspension.
- Mustard: has a complex polysaccharide component to help emulsification, but not as long lasting as Lecithin.
- Honey: helps to break apart fats that accumulate together, also not as effective as Lecithin.
You can use a whisk, a blender or a blending bottle for salad dressings, but our favourite tool for this job is the Immersion Blenders (also known and hand blenders). They come with a tall skinny mixing jar that’s perfect for dressings, and will fit right into a mason jar or working jar for quick work and cleanup. Depending on what other tools you have in the home, the higher end models might be the workhorse your kitchen needs!
Saturday Market Demo
Join us this Saturday as we show how to make dressings at home to rival the favourites from the store. We’ll share tips on how to make salads quick and easy with all the nutrition your body craves, and how to make sure those salads make it to lunch time or the park for a picnic still crisp and delicious.
RSVP For the Facebook Event Here to get notified when we go live!