Have you ever been on the “perpetual salad diet?” We know that there is probably no diet with this real name, but haven’t we all determined to lose weight by substituting salad for at least one meal a day? We love salads and we do merge them into our low-carb lifestyle. However, we make our own salad dressings from scratch so we can control the ingredients. One of our favorites is Low Carb Raspberry Vinaigrette. It is sweet, yet tangy, has a beautiful pinkish-red color, and the taste is wonderful. With baby spinach, fresh berries, and pine nuts you will have the perfect salad and a fresh delight!
So why doesn’t your salad diet work? You merge it in your diet plan and eat it many times a week. The culprit in this failing diet plan, even though you are salad crazed, is the dressing. Most store-bought dressings are filled with high-fructose corn syrup, vegetable oils, preservatives, and lots of other colorings and additives. The labels say fat-free, low sugar, etc. – but the reality is they are not healthy. We make fresh and healthy dressings, store them in canning jars (Mason jars) for weeks in our fridge and enjoy great taste and weight control. Our favorite is homemade ranch dressing; we will save that one for a later post.
Let’s talk about the colorful raspberry vinaigrette. For years it was found on almost every classy restaurant menu – it was in vogue with the French food craze and became a true classic. For some reason it began to vanish, relegated to restaurants that trended toward ultra healthy menus with spring salads. It also started to become a seasonal (summer) dressing. The most popular dressings today are Ranch, Italian, Caesar, Blue Cheese, and even the Vinaigrettes have trended toward balsamic and lemon flavored. It is time to bring back Raspberry Vinaigrette!
Raspberry Vinaigrette Ingredients
This dressing is simple to make and the ingredients are readily available. A good oil for emulsion is a key ingredient. We like avocado oil but a tasty extra virgin olive oil is also delicious. Of course, you must have raspberries. We like to use fresh raspberries and today they are not just seasonal. You can find them at the market year round. Again, you control the ingredients. In a pinch you can substitute frozen raspberries – just make sure they are thawed and drained well.
A vinaigrette must have vinegar. We like sticking with raspberry vinegar, although it can be difficult to find. We found a delicious “pulp-based” framboise with vinegar at Whole Foods that we like, but, you can make your own. Take 16 ounces of fresh raspberries, crush them in a bowl with a fork, add a warmed mixture of 2 cups of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of dissolved swerve or your favorite sugar substitute, and pour the warmed vinegar and berries into a large jar with a sealed lid. Store in a dark place for 10 days, then strain the berries in a strainer or cheesecloth and the liquid will be a delicious raspberry vinegar!
We also will sometimes use some red wine vinegar or Bragg’s Organic Apple cider vinegar in our recipe. You will need some Dijon mustard and sugar substitute to complete the dressing and we stress a little salt is necessary to bring out the flavors.
Raspberry Vinaigrette Preparation Tips
A food processor or heavy-duty blender is a must for this recipe. There is no actual cooking involved unless you make your own raspberry vinegar, as noted above. But the blended ingredients will make a creamy emulsified dressing that coats well and taste great. A lot of vinaigrettes are very thin – use a bowl and a fork if that is your preference, but we suggest a blender. We love our Vitamix blender and use it for dressings, hot soups, mixed drinks, ands many delicious sauces. It is a must have for your kitchen! Remember, Christmas is just around the corner – a Vitamix is a wonderful gift!
Just place all the ingredients in your favorite food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a canning jar (Mason jar) and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. We suggest pulling it from the fridge for 15 minutes before using and shake vigorously to blend since the oil may separate within the dressing.
Our Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing will work with any salad, but we prefer it on spinach or fresh garden greens. It pairs well with fresh berries, pine nuts, and red onions and the presentation is beautiful. Check out our accompanying salad recipe and enjoy this Tasty Low Carb vinaigrette tonight! And, make a pledge to make your own healthy dressings for that “low-carb” salad diet!
- Place all ingredients into a blender (Vitamix) and mix until creamy. Place in a canning jar (Mason Jar) with a secure lid in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake before using.