Updated: Aug 22
An amazing plant-based, vegan-friendly, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free Zesty-Creamy Ranch Dressing recipe that makes approximately 30 servings taking about 5-10 minutes to prepare, with no additional cook time.
Have you been looking for a dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, plant-based, or vegan-friendly homemade ranch dressing? If so, look no further. Store-bought dressings are often filled with preservatives that are not healthy to consume. Hidden Valley Ranch is said to be the best-selling ranch dressing, but the ingredients aren't great (1). Hidden Valley Ranch may have no MSG added, no preservatives, or artificial colors but what they do have is salt, onion, modified food starch, sugar, garlic, spices, maltodextrin, buttermilk, and dextrose with less than 2% of natural & artificial flavors, lactic acid, calcium lactate, guar gum, disodium, inosinate & guanylate, and calcium stearate.
Approximately 30 million to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, including up to 75 percent of African Americans and American Indians and 90 percent of Asian Americans, myself included. That's not even counting that traditional dairy is linked to an increased risk of broken bones, diabetes, ovarian cancer, antibiotic resistance, and is brimming with saturated fat, somatic cells (pus), and hormones. To learn more regarding The Truth About Cow's Milk, click here.
Plant-based ranch is an excellent alternative, but it's essential to understand that not all plant-based options are created equally. For instance, many options are made from soybeans. Although soybeans do have some health benefits, we must remember that most non-organic soy products are brimming with GMOs, causing less nutritional value and more toxic effects due to the chemicals involved in the genetic modification process. Soybeans contain compounds like phytate, which may interfere with the body's ability to absorb vitamins and minerals crucial for vegan and plant-based dietary demands. These same anti-nutrient compounds may also cause digestive issues due to a reduction in the gut's barrier functions resulting in inflammation that causes these digestive problems. To learn more regarding The Truth About Soy Products, click here.
For instance, Hidden Valley Ranch has a plant-powered version of its top-selling ranch. Still, the ingredients include water, vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola), sugar, salt, soybean protein isolate, vinegar, less than 1% of spices, phosphoric acid, garlic, onion, xanthan gum, modified food starch, natural flavors, parsley, with nisin preparation, sorbic acid, calcium disodium EDTA and rosemary extract added to preserve freshness (2).
Modified food starch is frequently composed of around 10% maltodextrin, which camouflages the existence of monosodium glutamate. Monosodium Glutamate table salt from the common amino acid glutamic acid is one of the main ingredients; hence sodium is in the name. Starch treatment with less than desirable chemicals increases the risk of contamination, and in some cases, we are consuming the chemicals (3).
Monosodium Glutamate is made by fermenting starch, sugar beets, sugar cane, and molasses, meaning it is filled with salt and sugar, both things we should be limiting. Unfortunately, despite plenty of reports to the FDA of adverse events following consuming MSG, the FDA still considers it safe despite the various forms of toxicity it has been linked to and thoroughly discussed in scientific journals. According to the Mayo Clinic:
MSG is also a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that's "generally recognized as safe," but its use remains controversial. For this reason, when MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that it be listed on the label (4).
To learn more regarding The Truth About Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), click here.
Thankfully, you can safely make your ranch dressing at home, knowing exactly what's going into it. Since I am allergic to soy and have adopted a plant-based lifestyle (no meat or dairy), this recipe is vegan-friendly, plant-based, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. This recipe makes approximately 30 servings of ranch dressing.
The best part about this recipe is it's loaded with probiotics since it's made from yogurt instead of mayonnaise.