Thursday, May 9, 2013

Vegan Ranch

I've never purchased veganaise before.  I've heard of it plenty of times, but I'm not a vegan and I don't even have mayonnaise at my house so I've never had the need to purchase it.  I don't make sandwiches and if I make anything that calls for mayonnaise I sub it with plain Greek yogurt to make it healthier.  But, this recipe really intrigued me.  I've seen homemade ranch recipes galore and they always use Greek yogurt so when I heard about this one using veganaise, I decided to give it a try.

At first glance at the store I thought my ranch making days were ending before they started.  I saw the container of veganaise and it said it was made with canola oil.  Lame.  I try not to eat canola oil.  But, good news!  Right next to the original version was a newer version made with grapeseed oil.  Yippee!  I was in business.  Grapeseed oil is made with grapes (just so we're clear) :) and I haven't read anything about it that shows any concerns. 

You can find Veganaise at health food stores in the refrigerated sections.  It's approximately $5.

Pros: I can pronounce all the ingredients, I know the soy is non-gmo so I'm safe there, and zero grams of sugar. 

Cons: Just because it's vegan doesn't mean it isn't full of calories and fat.

Warning...still eat this in moderation!  It'll be tough.  I've been dipping my carrots in it for a snack like there's no turning back.  Josh always tells me I need some fat with the veggies to help absorb the nutrients.  For some reason I believe everything that man says...someday I will learn, but for now, I'm sticking with his advice. 1 T. of this has 90 calories and 9 grams of fat so moderation is the key!  (Although, I'm more worried about the saturated fat and it's only 1 g so that makes it more bearable)

You may be wondering why I'm an advocate of this when you don't save on calories or fat compared with real mayonnaise.  Here's why.  Mayo has refined sugars, fillers and preservatives in it.  (Phosphoric acid anyone?  This is a chemical that is also used for rust removal)  Lovely. And don't get me started on that bottle of ranch and it's list of ingredients.

Moral of my story?  This homemade version is way better because you know exactly what you're putting in your body and it's "clean".  Just don't make it every week if you're trying to drop a few pounds.  However, if your family enjoys ranch out the bottle, this would be a superb alternative!

As for taste-I LOVE it.  Is it exactly like ranch?  No.  But, it's so delicious.  Josh even liked it.  We've been putting it on our salads this whole week.  And last week.  Alright, I admit, I'm already on my second bottle.  I'll get the moderation thing down soon.  Do as I say, not as I do.

Homemade Vegan "Ranch"

1/2 C. Veganaise
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. almond milk (or more to reach desired consistency)
fresh herbs to taste (basil, oregano, parsley)

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake until  combined.  Easy as that.  Store in refrigerator.  Enjoy!

*I only buy unsweetened vanilla almond milk so I used it.  I didn't want to buy plain to only use a little bit.  It tasted just fine.  If you don't care if it's vegan, you can use regular milk.  I added more than a teaspoon of almond milk because I prefer it thinner and I figured the more I thin it, the less calories!  I also used fresh basil, but only had dried oregano and parsley.  Just a few shakes was enough, but adjust to your liking.

This is how Josh and I have started our meals most nights the past two weeks.  I love salads!

1 comment:

  1. I swear, I learn something new every time I read your blog.


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