Unable to eat dairy or pro-inflammatory, omega-6-laden mayonnaise, I’ve lately been missing creamy dressings. During the colder months, I find them more satisfying than the tangy vinaigrettes that speak to me of sultry summer meals. I’ve lately been having fun experimenting with tahini, nut butters, miso, and avocado as healthful alternatives for enriching dressings. Here are two of my current favorites: Creamy Avocado Dressing and Creamy Miso Dressing. Both are embarrassingly simple to whip together, and far more delicious than anything you can pour out of a commercial bottle. They also make great dipping sauces for everything from crudite to toasted brown rice mochi squares.
Creamy Avocado Dressing
Avocados and olive oil are packed with heart-healthy omega-3s, which fight both inflammation and depression. Orange juice’s significant levels of folic acid can help regulate blood pressure and also moderate mood. This feel-good dressing has a delicate flavor I love, but for more bang (and to ward off vampires) try adding a clove of anti-inflammatory fresh garlic.
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. orange juice or more, well-chilled
salt and pepper to taste
Optional flavor boost: 1 fresh clove garlic, minced or pressed
Puree all ingredients until smooth and creamy. If dressing is too thick, add more orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Use immediately. Makes 3 to 4 servings.
Creamy Miso Dressing
Miso’s probiotics and sesame oil’s many impressive health benefits make this salty-sweet dressing another healthful option. Like the creamy avocado recipe, this dressing has a light, easygoing flavor that can be spiced up with some anti-inflammatory fresh ginger if you’re looking for more pizazz.
1/4 cup mild white or yellow miso
1/4 cup cold water
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
raw honey or agave nectar, to taste
Optional flavor boost: 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately. Makes 3 to 4 servings.