BEAUTY


Raw Ranch Dressing

Melissa

For the past four years, I've been playing around with eliminating certain foods from my diet.  This month marks three years of discovering I had gluten issues, and eventually diagnosed Celiac. I've been "clean" since (with a few slips here and there!) and now it's time to rid my body of a few other devils - sugar and dairy. I also have a diagnosed allergy to dairy and sugar (fructose), but unlike gluten, it won't kill me if I eat it, it just makes me really uncomfortable.

I'm on day 10 of a 14 day elimination "diet", and this isn't my first rodeo. The first time was really painful, I couldn't have salt, oils, booze, anything flavorful or enjoyable for 1 month. Yes I was slimmed down, my skin in better shape, but I was a miserable #$%&$ and literally just slept for a month straight to deal with life. The 2nd time I couldn't have sugar, fruit, vinegars, dairy, or nuts and again, looked amazing, my skin and eyeballs were glowing in the dark, but I missed out on "sauces". This is now my third time, self embarked elimination diet and I am making my own rules and getting smarter.

Let's just first tackle this no dairy situation. There is a way around it, if you are like me, and used to drench everything from pizza to french fries in ranch dressing, you will definitely need a "sauce" that is safe. Enter the lovely world of "nut" cheeses. After soaking, activating, and blending nuts, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities - from faux ranch dressings, cheeses, faux cool whips, you name it. I've tasted these in some of my favorite raw/vegan restaurants, but never made at home. Last week I got a wild hair up my rear and decided to figure out how to make a delicious dressing that I can drizzle on everything from my eggs, salads, quinoa, and turkey burgers. I found a gem by my mad scientist kitchen skills.

After that tirade, finally the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups nuts. I chose cashews since I have a tested slight allergy to almond.
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cloves garlic. 2 or none if you are sensitive. I just love garlic's microbial properties. It can kill anything and make anything taste good.
  • 1 jalapeño
  •  unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV for short)
  • lemon
  • salt to taste

Additional ingredients if you are feeling crazy.

  • any kind of herbs or spices- tarragon, parsley, sage, thyme, cilantro, turmeric, cardamom, etc, etc.

PREPARATION

  1. soak nuts for 3 hours (cashews) 8 hours for almonds
  2. throw the entire soak of nuts + water into high powered blender
  3. add entire jalapeño, garlic cloves, 1 juice of lemon. Blend
  4. 1/4 ACV (more or less to taste and create a little tang)
  5. add selection of herbs and spices of your preference.
  6. salt to taste
  7. Blend until desired thickness

I've been feeding this miracle dressing to my husband, intern, new mothers, and anyone who will taste it, and they are shocked at how amazing it is. So am I! It goes on everything and can't wait to make more variations.  Just need to get through the month supply I made. Anyone want some?