Ranch, the beloved dressing and condiment of the American people. And even if you don’t like using ranch on pizza or other delicious scenarios, it most certainly is one of the preferred dressings across the US.
I do enjoy ranch quite a bit, but like most dressings or condiments found in the stores, it has quite a bit of junk added to it. Not to mention most of them are typically soy bean oil based, which is totally not my thing. Homemade ranch dressing, on the other hand, can be made out of your preferred ingredients and is actually super easy. As we’ve talked about previously, dressings are one of the places that gluten can sneak in and make us sick. If we make it ourselves, we are in control of what goes in it.
The base of most creamy dressings, and a condiment in its own right, is mayo. That’s where most of the soybean oil is found as well. Now you may be thinking “Really?! Don’t tell me you want me to make my own mayonnaise?!” You don’t have to, but it’s worth it and sooo easy! Mayonnaise is something called an “emulsion” which is basically where you obliterate the fat molecules and bind them with something else to create that creamy texture that we associate with mayo and other creamy dressings. When you go to a restaurant and the menu says they use an aioli, that just basically means they make their own mayo.
We can easily achieve that with a jar and a stick blender. The basic procedure is really to just throw your ingredients in the jar, and blend it 1-3 times with the stick blender, and voila! You have just made your own mayo! If you don’t have a stick blender, or feel like that’s too easy, then put all the ingredients in the bowl (recipe is below) other than the oil, and whisk them together well. Then, while whisking, slowly stream in the oil until it all comes together. You’ll get a much better arm workout this way!
Making it ourselves allows us to use high quality oils that have not gone rancid or are processed from soy or canola. I really love using a good extra virgin olive oil (like the one from our local farmer’s market), but you could also use avocado oil if you wanted a base with a more neutral flavor.
The rest of the ingredients in our homemade ranch dressing are full fat sour cream, spices, plus maybe a touch of heavy whipping cream or buttermilk to thin it out. That’s all ranch (and most creamy dressings) is! It is mayo, milk of some form, and spices. If you like it thicker, then use sour cream, or if you like it thinner, then use buttermilk.
The recipe that I have calls for dried minced onion, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, dill, and parsley. Feel free to adjust the amounts and the specific ingredients to your liking. With a bit of tweaking (some Parmesan cheese, a bit of lemon, no dill, and maybe an anchovy) you could easily take the same base and end up with a Caesar dressing.
I do want to say thanks to Jack Spirko at The Survival Podcast and Andrew from one of my facebook pages for these specific recipes and techniques. I didn’t realize you could use a stick blender until I heard Jack talk about it.
Homemade Mayo: Yields about 1 cup
1 Cup Oil
1 Large Raw Egg (if the raw aspect bothers you, you can get pasteurized eggs)
1 TBS of mustard
1 TBS of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TSP of salt
- Add all ingredients to a qt jar or the blending cup that came with your stick blender.
- Pulse the blender (about 1 second pulses) 1-3 times in the ingredients until the oil is totally emulsified and no longer sitting on the surface
- Throw a lid on it, and enjoy on your favorite sandwich or turn into a dressing.
Homemade Ranch Dressing: Yields about 2 cups
1 Cup of good mayo (preferably homemade)
1 cup of whole fat buttermilk or sour cream
1 tsp of fresh cracked pepper
1.25 Tbsp Minced Onion
1 tsp dried dill
2 tsp Dried Parsley
¾ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- Add all dry ingredients to the sour cream, blend well.
- Then add mayo and stir with a rubber spatula until well mixed.
- Enjoy on your favorite salad!
See! Isn’t that super easy? With just a bit of effort you can make high quality food for your family at home. Enjoy! Let us know in the comments how you like to use ranch! It should last about 2 weeks in a sealed container in the fridge.
Make it a tasty day,