In this day and age, we are bombarded with hidden sugars. They are quite literally lurking everywhere. They are in our cereals, bread, yogurts, tomato sauces, and even in our salad dressings. Seriously? Did you intend to order that salad with a side of insulin-spiking Italian or the candy bar equivalent, Honey Dijon? While reading the label of one fairly popular Dressing, I noted the second, third, and fourth ingredients were high fructose corn syrup, honey, and sugar. Why not just call it what it is? It’s sugar, sugar, and still more sugar!

So, why are the big brands doing this? It is quite simple. Sugar is addictive, especially when mixed with the perfect ratio of dietary fats. That is what salad dressing is supposed to be, right? Many of the big food corporations have entire research teams dedicated to finding the perfect ratio of sugar and fats to ensure you keep coming back for more… and more… and more.

The reality is, you can spend hours analyzing labels and searching for terms like grape sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, mannitol, molasses, raw sugar, sorbitol, sorghum syrup, sucrose, turbinado sugar, or xylitol (to name a few) or you can make your own.

Here are three of my personal favorites…

Balsamic Vinaigrette (2T serving)- This is perfect for when you’re in the mood for something a little bit sweet and a little bit tart. It pairs beautifully with bright green baby spinach, toasted almonds, and freshly sliced strawberries.

1c Balsamic Vinegar

1c Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ c Fresh Lemon Juice

3T Dijon Mustard

1T Ground Thyme

2 tsp Pepper

Add the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until they are thoroughly blended. Serve immediately and refrigerate all leftovers. If stored in an airtight container, then the leftovers should remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.

Lemon-Dijon Dressing (1T serving)- This is the perfect way to add a little bit of tang into your meal. Consider tossing it with mixed greens, tomatoes, and sliced cucumbers.

¾ c Water

9T Dijon Mustard

6T Fresh Lemon Juice

3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¾ tsp Pepper

6 Garlic Cloves, Minced

Add the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until they are thoroughly blended. Serve immediately and refrigerate all leftovers. If stored in an airtight container, then the leftovers should remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.

Tahini Dressing (1T serving)- This is a go-to recipe for when you’re craving something creamy and a bit heavier. When massaged thoroughly, it hangs on every kale leaf as though they were meant to be lifetime partners.

¾ c Tahini

1 Garlic Clove, Minced

1T Low Sodium, Tamari

¼ tsp Onion Powder

2T Lemon Juice

¼ c Water, add until it reaches the desired consistency

Add the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Allow sitting for at least 20 minutes to marry the flavors. Serve and refrigerate all leftovers. If stored in an airtight container, then the leftovers should remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.