Loving the BITE: Homemade Whole-Food Ranch Dressing

The magic bullet.  Whole food super pills.  Hours of energy in a bottle.  Easy, quick, short-cut, convenient nutrition.  If you’re looking for any of these, this particular post is not for you.  To love the bike, I’m proposing that you have to take care of and love your body…the slow-food, whole-food, real-food, old-fashioned way.

This week, we’re going to get back to basics.  To eating fresh, raw, whole foods that promote health.  It’s time to eat your veggies.

Recipe of the week: Homemade Whole-Food Ranch Dressing 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic cottage cheese
  • 3-4 tsp water or milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onion
  • ¼ cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Chives, chopped
  • 4 tsp fresh dill weed (2 tsp dry)
  • ¼tsp salt, or to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Add ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (About 3 min.) Enjoy!

Or, if you prefer non-dairy, substitute 8 oz. silken tofu and 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil for the cottage cheese.

Nutrition information: (per 2 Tbsp) 20 calories , 0.5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 185 mg sodium, 1 gram carbohydrates, 1 grams sugars, 4 grams protein, 25 mg calcium

Comments:

Surprisingly, I’m not going to write specifically about the ingredients in this recipe.  Sure, they’re great.  And, I could go on and on (as you know) about the benefits of garlic, onion, parsley, pepper, lemon juice, etc.  However, this week’s recipe is actually a vehicle to a super-charged nutrient-dense diet.  By having a good dressing on hand, you can load up on vegetables every day.  And I mean load.

Why?

I don’t recommend vegetables just for my health…it’s for yours, too.  They contain components that cannot be isolated, put into a pill, or chemically derived.  Many of these components are not macronutrients (carbs, proteins, or fats), nor do they provide calories or direct energy necessarily.  They do, however, provide huge benefit to overall health.  They are miniscule.  They are alive and therefore reduced, damaged, or killed with processing or high-heat cooking.  They are not well understood.  But somehow, when consumed, they join the fight against the Big 3 cellular foes: inflammation, free radicals, and toxins.  In fact, vegetables:

  1. Reduce inflammation in your body.  Specifically, they phytochemicals which are plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing and disease-fighting compounds.  In some vegetables, such as broccoli, we’re talking hundreds of types of phytochemicals in a serving.
  2. Reduce oxidative stress from free radicals – many vegetables contain an abundance of antioxidants, which fight damaging free radicals and reduce the destruction to your cells.
  3. Provide nutrients that promote cellular detoxification – our bodies have systems in place to detoxify our blood, our organs, and our cells.  However, these systems work best when they have the right tools and ingredients.  Specific vegetables provide nutrients that either increase the detox compounds our bodies make, or provide compounds that directly work to detoxify cells that have been harboring toxins from polluted air, pesticides, food additives, and more.

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