May 24, 2012

Probiotic Salad Dressing

by Diane Loftness

Here is a probiotic salad dressing that we eat nearly every day.

Before I tell you the ingredients, I need to tell you about my family's favorite way to eat lacto-fermented beets and turnips. (Lacto-fermenting is a fancy way of saying pickled with probiotics.)
The turnips are weighted down with smaller jars inside the gallon jars in the back 
I was given a lot of turnips and beets but I knew we couldn't eat them fast enough. The easiest way to preserve them is to pickle them in gallon jars.  I used a GAPS diet recipe, using a combination of turnips, beets and onions.  One of the beauties of lacto-fermenting is that you can choose your combinations and quantities.  On this page look for Fermenting Vegetables with Whey recipe or the Vegetable Medley recipe.  After they have pickled for a week or so on the counter, everything is a beautiful red.

These are my younger son's favorite pickles!  With two boys plus my husband and I, it didn't take long to get to the bottom of the jar with all the pickles gone and delicious juice left over.

What to do with the juice?
After thinking on it a while, I decided that a great place to hide this delicious and probiotic juice would be in salad dressing.
The second ingredient?  My older son likes spicy brown mustard so we often use that or dijon mustard.

I had a Walmart bottle of mustard that was half empty so I just filled it up with pickle juice, added a teaspoon of unrefined sea salt (to taste), put the lid on and shook it.

Eventually, because my family likes this dressing so much, I started buying mustard by the gallon from Azure Standard.

Then I started mixing it in quart jars because it was easier to pour into and made more.

Be sure to let your children be creative when they make it.  I had to flex a little with my teenager to suit his creativity. I think he has also used whey or kombucha when we were short on fermented pickle juice.  And he definitely prefers the spicy brown mustard over the dijon.

It makes a beautiful salad!  We like to put pansy flowers in our salad over the winter.  Yes, they are edible and the more flowers you pick, the more they will produce.  In the spring when my turnips went to seed, I decided that those beautiful yellow flowers would make a beautiful salad.  And they did!

This dressing does not have oil in it because I put the oil on the greens first.  It helps the liquid to stick to the leaves. (My teenager who is interested in physics says it has something to do with the surface tension of the water molecules on the oil molecules.)

Simply pour olive oil over your salad greens first and toss until the oil is evenly distributed.  Use 2 tablespoonfuls, up to 6 or 8 for a big salad.  I add more or less depending on how much other good fat I have in my meal.  The human body needs fat to help incorporate the vitamins and minerals in the salad.  Eating beautiful greens without the addition of a healthy fat is, well, not so healthy.

The salad ingredients can be mixed in the bowl ahead of time but don't toss with oil and dressing until just before serving.

How to Toss a Salad 
A salad-expert friend of mine taught me how to toss a salad.  Using this method, most of the dressing will stick to the oil and greens instead of going to the bottom of the bowl.

Use two separate utensils, large forks and/or spoons - one for each hand.  Slide the utensils down the side of the bowl until they meet at the bottom.  Then gently lift them up and toss the salad a little into the air so it falls off of the utensils.  Keep turning the bowl as you are doing this until the oil is evenly distributed on the salad ingredients.  Everything in the bowl should have an oil shine on it.  Then add the liquid part of the dressing and toss again.

While typing this, my teenager just told me that this is a good recipe to share!  I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine has.

-Diane Loftness
Conway, Arkansas

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  1. Mouth-watering! You really are good when it comes to experimenting with real foods! This is the first time I learned about this recipe and I'm really interested. I'd probably try to do this for my family this weekend. I'm actually taking my daily dose of probiotics supplements but this one is really different. I think real food is even better. However, is it safe to put onion in it?

  2. Sure! You can put anything in it that you think would taste yummy or zip it up! I have put lacto fermented jalapeno pepper (one piece!) in. For something like onions, I would do it the day before so the flavors meld. I put organic onions in with nearly everything I pickle so then I don't add more in the dressing. Currently, I am dressing with some sauerkraut juice I need to use up so it isn't the beautiful red, but it is still delicious.



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