Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

Author:           Updated December 2, 2018
Categories: Salad Dressing - Vinaigrette    

This is super simple for a first try at making salad dressing.

Shake and serve simple salad dressing in a glass jar next to a veggie plate
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 10 minutes Makes: 1 cup Difficulty: Easy

Gluten free Dairy free Egg free Grain free Soy free Vegan option

Use all organic ingredients, ensure any dried spices are labeled certified gluten free and ensure the vinegar is labeled gluten free.

Shopping Tips - what to look for to get the best gluten free, real ingredients for this recipe:

Fresh herbs and spices should be 100% certified organic.

This reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fresh fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

They found that all organic produce has consistently been tested to show low or very low levels of residue. This can make you confident that organic is a good way to go. A link to their summary page on pesticide residues is linked below.

Testing specifically on fresh and dried herbs and spices is more limited, and has not been done as consistently as other produce. Some of the testing that has been done, mostly on conventionally grown herbs and spices, is showing much higher pesticide residues than on other common fresh produce. For this reason, all fresh and dried spices and herbs should only be purchased as 100% certified organic.

A good option is also to grown you own herbs. Many herbs can be easily grown in small pots, even if just on your window sill in your kitchen. It is then possible to completely control what goes on them and into the soil.

Check out these 4 articles. The first is the Consumer Report on pesticide residues in general. The second article explains what the different versions of organic labeling mean. The third article is the USDA report on pesticide residues on organic produce. The fourth article is a pesticide report specifically on fresh and dried herbs and spices, in a limited market in the US:

Look for organic apple cider vinegar, labeled gluten free, and preferably unpasteurized, with the "mother."

Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the "mother," is very good for most people. Some people will count this as a super food.

This vinegar can be used any time vinegar is called for. It does have a unique flavor, but for most recipes this can be a suitable vinegar.

Be sure to read the label, to ensure it only contains apple cider vinegar. The additives added to some brands cause varying levels of digestive upset, and should be avoided.

Bragg’s is a brand of this specific type of apple cider vinegar that is quite well known, and as of 2018 creates a superior product. Check out the link below (I am NOT an affiliate).

To learn more about vinegar, check out this article:

You want to look for organic, extra virgin olive oil, with some sort of certification seal, such as NAOOA (The North American Olive Oil Association). It should be in a dark bottle, and will not be cheap. It should be used up within 2 years of harvest or bottling date. If it smells or tastes off, then try a different brand.

There has been some reported fraud cases of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the last decade.

When you dig into the actual facts of the claims, there is a big conflict of interest. The sponsors of the studies were actually olive oil producers who were really trying to promote their own products over their competitors. These studies have also not been able to be repeated.

There are some gaps in the current testing methods. There is no true way at the moment to test for 100% accuracy of high quality extra virgin olive oil.

However, there is some certification that will give you a higher chance of getting good quality oil, such as the NAOOA seal on the bottle.

For additional reading on olive oil, check out these 5 articles:

You want to find raw, unfiltered honey. It has many nutritional benefits over pasteurized and filtered honey.

The best place to buy it is directly from the bee farmers, either at their farm or at a farmer’s market. Sometimes smaller health food stores may carry it. There's limited regulations on the word raw, so often store bought raw honey won't actually be raw. You can hunt for a farmer who is located next to organic land or wild land, and it will be the least contaminated.

Raw unfiltered honey will not be crystal clear. It should be crystal like, and have small or tiny "floaties." These floaties are bee pollen, honeycomb bits, propolis, and even broken bee wing fragments. Some farmers will have some light filtering, which will be simply a course sieve. This will remove the wings, but leave in the smaller bits of pollen and propolis.

Over time, raw honey will solidify. You don't want it filtered, or heated, or treated, which completely removes any benefits of honey.

For additional reading on raw and unfiltered honey, check out these 3 articles:

You want to buy organic stevia. It comes in a variety of suitable forms, and a variety of non suitable forms.

This is a plant that has a natural sweetness about 100 to 300 times as sweet as sugar. The chemical make up of this plant is actually different, so the sweetness does not actually come from a sugar type of molecule, thus it has none of the effects of sugar, such as being a load on the insulin system in your body.

Fresh leaf - The best form to use would be to use the fresh leaf, and chop it very fine, and add to your dishes. Since it's green, it can take a bit getting used to. A trick I used when I first started using fresh stevia was to just think of it like mint.

Dried leaf - You can also buy it as a dried herb. This also can be used chopped fine and added to food. You can place it in the liquid part of your dish for a couple hours, and the sweetness will enter into the dish.

You can also brew it like coffee, and make "sweet" water, that you can then add to dishes.

Concentrated liquid or powder - NO FILLERS - You can also buy it as an extremely concentrated pure liquid or superfine powder. You need to be VERY careful when you buy this, as you want pure liquid or powder extract. You DO NOT want to buy the new versions that have recently hit the market that are loaded with all kinds of fillers, additives and sugars.

Since stevia in it's natural form takes up a ton less space than sugar, you will need to adjust how you cook. The "cup for cup" new products out there are a toxic mess. Don't buy those, as most of the fillers and additives will cause varying degrees of stomach upset. And the ones with sugar as fillers are just plain stupid. The point of using stevia is to stop using sugar.

Give yourself at least a couple weeks to get used to it if you don't like the taste. For those who are new to stevia, lemon (and other citrus fruits) are a good mask to the slightly different flavor of stevia. This is such a great sugar replacement, that it really will be worth the effort to get used to it.

To get your family and kids used to it, if they whine about it, then mix it 25% of the recommended amount of stevia, with 75% of the amount you would normally use of sugar or honey, and then transition over a couple weeks to fully using stevia. They also will get used to the taste. 1/32 of a teaspoon of powdered stevia (no fillers!) is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey.

Check out this list of articles about stevia:

You want to find unrefined salt, with no additives. It should say unrefined on the label. If it is refined, it will simply say salt. Refined salt does not need to list the chemicals used in the refining process, but the word "refined" will tell you that something was used (and most are toxic).

Look for unrefined sea salt, Himalayan salt, or various gourmet hand crafted salt.

Good sea salt should be unrefined, and will not be pure white.

There is also Himalayan salt that many consider a healthy source of salt. It is generally unrefined. There is some debate as to the quality, and the exact makeup of the other minerals found in it. If you find a source of it you like, then go ahead and use it. It's largest benefit is that it does not have added chemicals, and has a wide range of other minerals. If you want the other minerals, then this is a good option.

There are a number of different gourmet salts that are hand crafted via evaporation that are nice quality. With some investigating, you can find very clean, uncontaminated sources.

For additional reading on salt, check out this article on our site:

You want to buy 100% certified organic spices, with no additional additives, labeled gluten free, and labeled to state that no anti-caking agents or additives have been used.

100% organic certified products will contain no GM substances, and will not be irradiated. Without anti-caking agents, they can stick together. This is easily solved by stirring with a clean tool prior to using, if it has clumped together.

Note that when it says only Organic, it can contain small amounts of synthetic and GM substances (up to 5%). Many chemicals used in spices are not required to be labeled, thus you want 100% Certified Organic, and statements noting no additional additives used.

Spices should be used up within about 6 months. Any older and they can spoil, and will lose any benefits, and the flavor will fade.

To read more about spices and anti-caking agents, check out these 2 articles on our site:

Check out these other 2 articles on buying good spices and what the term Organic means:

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1 Whole clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil, or a mix of some specialty oils
1 teaspoon Honey, raw and unfiltered
1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
1/8 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Vegan: Instead of honey you can use a non animal based liquid sweetener such as agave or maple syrup.
  • Press or mince the garlic clove. Combine ingredients in a jar. Cover and shake well. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • You can customize it to your own taste by adding some fresh herbs, such as thyme, or some other herb that you like the flavor and aroma of. Try some different oils, and different vinegars for more flavor variations.


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