Thousand Island Dressing
Creamy and full of flavor, this Dairy-free Ranch Dressing is my take on the store-bought version that’s full of dairy and a lot of unpronounceable ingredients. Raw cashews and my secret weapon, zucchini, create a smooth and creamy base that is mixed with different herbs and seasonings to provide that household ranch taste.
Highlights of this ranch dressing:
- Raw cashews. Since we’re not using dairy, we need a just-as-creamy alternative. Enter: raw cashews. They provide that desired rich mouthfeel, while also adding healthy fats and a variety of nutrients like magnesium, B vitamins, manganese, and copper.
- Zucchini or yellow squash. My secret weapon for providing water (as it has a high water content), an extra boost of nutrients, and fiber. The fiber contributes to a smooth consistency while allowing water to be adding that doesn’t just thin the dressing out.
- Herbs. Beyond vitamins, minerals, and fiber, high concentrations of phytochemicals like terpenes are found in herbs. Terpenoids are the plant chemicals that provide the intense colors, aromas, and flavors to the different herbs. Not only that, but those terpenoids benefit the plant and thus our body in a variety of ways – the oils usually providing some medicinal quality such as having anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties.
- Fermented foods. This caesar dressing is not only dairy-free, but it features one of my favorite fermented foods: traditionally-fermented sauerkraut. It replaces the typical relish in Thousand island with it’s slight tang and crunch, but add those probiotics (healthy microbes) and prebiotics (food for the microbes) with aid in a healthy gut microbiome and digestion.
See how easy it is to make:
A whole-food-based, nutrient-dense spin on the classic thousand island dressing. Rich in flavor, healthy fats from raw cashews, fiber, and even probiotics. Use as a dressing or dip.
- Raw cashews, soaked until softened, 20-30 minutes, and drained
- Zucchini or yellow crooked-neck squash, chopped
- Lemon, peeled and chopped, or juiced
- Raw apple cider vinegar
- Sundried tomatoes, soaked 15-20 minutes to soften, to taste
- Date, pitted
- Celery, chopped
- Water, as needed
- Fresh parsley, torn
- Traditionally fermented sauerkraut, minced
- Granulated garlic
- Pinch kelp or dulse flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a high-speed blender, add about equal parts cashews and zucchini to a high-speed blender. Add as much lemon as desired, start with about half if unsure, and a splash of raw apple cider vinegar.
Add the tomatoes. I like to start with about 10 if I'm making a full batch, but use what you like depending on how much tomato flavor you want in the dressing. If you want a slightly sweet undertone, pop in a pitted date.
Lastly, add the celery, about 1 stalk is a great place to start. Remember, you can always add more ingredients like the tomatoes in after tasting, but can’t take away.
Blend on high, slowly streaming in water to help blend (remember the squash has water in it) until you reach desired thickness and it becomes very creamy. Use less water to make a dip or more water to make a pourable dressing.
Taste. Assess the thickness and taste. Adjust with more tomatoes, lemon or water if needed. If you’ve added too much water, blend in additional squash or cashews to make it more thick.
Once the base is to your liking, blend in a small bunch of fresh parsley on low speed, just until it gets chopped up. Remove into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, which are all to taste.
Do a final tasting before you serve. Assess the flavor and adjust by adding in more of those seasonings as desired.
- If it's tomato season and you have access to fresh tomatoes, you can swap some or all of the sundried tomatoes.
- Replace the sauerkraut with traditionally fermented pickle, or a vinegar based kraut or pickle (although there won't be the probiotics present).
*For those that don't know, my recipes are made as whole and nutrient-dense as possible, but still incredibly satisfying. I share my recipes without measurements and hope they equip you to not feel confined to a recipe, but rather confident in your kitchen to be able to create something unique, nourishing, and delicious all on your own. So take this recipe as inspiration and enjoy! Head on over to my IG @noelle.parton and tag me if you try this out, or contact me if you have questions or comments.
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