If you are anything like me, a salad without the olive oil is just plain naked. There’s a good reason for that because many of the vitamins in fruits and vegetables are fat soluble – meaning that they need a bit of fat for absorption. And wouldn’t you know it but studies have shown that monounsaturated fats give you the biggest bang for your buck. They help you absorb more nutrients with less oil than polyunsaturated or saturated fats.
Olive oil is the undisputed queen of monounsaturated oils. Of course you need to get the extra virgin type that comes from the first cold pressing, also known as EVOO. So forget the unsatisfying low-fat salad dressings and the ghastly canola oil, which whilst also being monounsaturated, is completely unnatural and highly processed.
The best thing about homemade olive oil salad dressing recipes is that they need not be complicated or time consuming. My favourite olive oil recipes involve splashing the oil straight onto the salad, adding a squeeze of lemon juice from a real lemon or a dash of balsamic vinegar, plus a fresh crack or two of black peppercorns. By the way, the pipperine in black peppercorns also ramps up nutrient absorption so it’s a match made in heaven.
Healthy Olive Oil Salad Dressing Recipes
If you want to get more technical, make a salad dressing with 3 parts EVOO and one part acid (balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon or lime juice, orange juice mixed with vinegar or fruit vinegars like raspberry and blueberry).
Add any of the following that take your fancy:
- Minced onion
- Minced garlic
- Dijon mustard /egg yolk
- Fresh herbs, chopped (basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, parsley, coriander)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground flax seeds
- A spot of raw honey
- Black pepper
Put in a jar and shake.