Here at That Salad Lady, honey mustard is one of our staple dressings. Browse our recipes and you’ll notice it’s included as an “option” for many of our salad bowl creations. Though you might want to opt for a store-bought version out of convenience, we highly recommend making our honey mustard dressing at home. This one’s packed with protein, super simple to make, absolutely delicious and unbelievably nutritious. Indeed, a must try!
Unlike your typical bottled blends, our honey mustard dressing is chock-full of “purposeful” ingredients. Put another way, there’s no fluff in our stuff. Richly flavored with a blend of honey, mustard and yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), apple cider vinegar and freshly minced garlic, ours’s delivers the perfect balance of creamy, tangy, sweet and savory to satisfy practically every taste sensation – and it all comes together in five minutes!
THE BALANCING ACT
Look at the ingredients for our honey mustard dressing recipe and you’ll see that we suggest using full-fat yogurt as a base ingredient. Coupled with EVOO, this essentially makes it a “full-fat” dressing. Compared to low-fat yogurts, full-fat yogurt is better suited for dressings, as it’s a lot richer, creamier and thicker with a texture and flavor profile that’s similar to mayonnaise-based dressings. If you’re dieting, your “calorie” alarms are probably already ringing.
Indeed, full-fat dressings are often shunned by dieters trying to lose weight. Full-fat dairy foods have a bad rap too. Just as full-fat dairy isn’t the devil, neither is full-fat dressing. While fat-free dressings generally house fewer calories, they tend to house way more sugar when compared to full-fat varieties. Similarly, despite the relatively higher calorie counts in full-fat yogurts, they contain more protein and calcium than their fat-free counterparts. But it doesn’t stop there.
Not only does full-fat yogurt contain more nutrients, but the fat it contains helps the body better absorb fat-soluble vitamins and certain antioxidants in plant-based foods. In combination with the other ingredients, this brings even more wholesomeness to our honey mustard dressing. Rather than focusing on fat, we suggest enjoying our dressing in the sensible portions we suggest below. This way, you’ll reap the benefits of good nutrition and good flavor.
Let’s talk more about what’s in our honey mustard dressing recipe and why.
The Dynamic Duo of Honey and Mustard
Honey and mustard go together like peas and carrots. This is why there’s a dressing with their namesake. The natural sweetness and mild flavor of honey perfectly offsets the sharp and tangy taste of mustard. It’s the perfect pairing of each that brings out the best elements of both ingredients. Our recipe calls for generous amounts of both – but not just any types.
100% Pure, Raw and Unfiltered Honey
While largely comprised of natural sugars, unlike refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, honey contains a unique combination of phytonutrients that function as powerful antioxidants. Compared to refined sugars, consuming honey also causes much smaller spikes in blood sugar levels and even helps curb hunger and suppress appetite. We suggest using 100% pure honey for our dressing, as most phytonutrients are lost when it’s overly processed.
A honey that’s raw and unfiltered, which means it’s taken straight from a hive and retains the full array of phytonutrients, is also ideal. Raw, unfiltered varieties do come at a higher price point. If those don’t fit in your budget, at the very least, ensure that the honey you choose is 100% pure (check out our Nutrition Glossary to learn more about honey).
French or Dijon Style Grainy Mustard
We suggest using either a French or a Dijon style grainy mustard. As implied by the description, grainy mustards have “gritty” textures making them great for salad dressings and marinades too. Choosing between French and Dijon is just a matter of your taste preference. French mustards have a savory, slightly sweet taste while Dijon varieties tend to be on the spicier side.
Regardless of the type, eating mustard won’t necessarily lead to significant improvements in your health. But doing so can induce a short-term thermogenic effect. While you won’t lose 20 pounds from this, you will get a little fat-burning boost. Hey, every little bit counts! Mustard is also a valuable source of micronutrients, which can contribute to your daily tally.
Plain and Strained Full-Fat Yogurt
We suggest using full-fat yogurt (4-5% fat) as it’ll bring the “mayonnaisy” texture and flavor that’s characteristic of classic honey mustard dressings. In combination with the honey and mustard, yogurt greatly boosts the overall nutritional value of the recipe. Besides being a valuable source of protein and calcium, yogurt is also rich in probiotics, which aid in healthy digestion and boost immune function.
A full-fat yogurt that’s strained is most ideal. If you’ve ever eaten Greek-style yogurt you’ve essentially eaten strained yogurt. Straining involves the draining or “straining” of regular (unstrained) yogurt, which results in a thicker, creamier yogurt that’s even higher in protein and much lower in sugar. Owing to the combination of fat and protein, strained full-fat yogurt provides superior satiation (filling effects) helping to reduce urges to overeat.
Finally, be sure to choose a plain strained yogurt. Flavored yogurt will not only affect the taste profile of the honey mustard dressing, but it’ll also bring unnecessary amounts of sugar.
A Few of Mother Nature’s Meds
We round out our recipe with three of the most well-known and versatile functional foods – EVOO, apple cider vinegar and garlic. In addition to being natural flavor enhancers, each of these ingredients have powerful medicinal qualities.
100% Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
With its distinctly fruity and peppery taste EVOO is by far one of the best choices for any salad dressing. Enhanced with a few splashes of citrus juice or apple cider vinegar, it even makes for a great stand-alone dressing. The more bitter the better, as this is a tell-tale sign of freshness – and a little goes a long way.
Even if you’re not a fan of EVOO you’ll love it in our honey mustard dressing. It delivers sweet and savory flavors that both elevate and balance out the overall taste profile. Besides being a good source of the fat-soluble vitamins E and K, EVOO is also packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
As honey and mustard make a perfect pair, so does apple cider vinegar and EVOO. Like EVOO, apple cider vinegar is a classic dressing ingredient. Made from fermented apple juice, like vinegar in general, this one brings that classic sour taste to the mix. Apple cider vinegar is typically combined with EVOO in various recipes and even home remedies for illnesses.
Most of the health-promoting effects of apple cider vinegar (blood sugar control and promotion of gut health), are linked to the presence of probiotics, as it is a fermented food. For this recipe, we suggest using raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Compared to filtered varieties, it generally contains more probiotics, B vitamins and phytonutrients.
If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar in the house, freshly squeezed lemon juice will do the trick, as it has a similar taste profile and offers nutritional benefits as well.
Freshly Peeled and Minced Garlic
With its savory, aromatic qualities, garlic can bring practically any dressing, sauce or dish to life. Both an allium vegetable and an herb, garlic contains many unique phytonutrients that boast powerful antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (study up in our Nutrition Glossary to learn more).
Our recipe specifically calls for freshly minced garlic, as garlic is most effective when it’s freshly crushed or cut. You can mince garlic with a garlic press or a high-quality chef’s knife.
While you can use jarred minced garlic as a “shortcut,” we don’t recommend doing this. Jarred versions tend to have “off” flavors, which’ll be detectable in your finished dressing. Since garlic is the only ingredient, you’ll have to pre-prepare, go ahead and carve out an extra minute to reap the maximum benefit.
Once you’ve minced your garlic and gathered all the other ingredients for the dressing the hard work is practically done – hardly any work at all, right? At this point, you’ll just blend or mix the ingredients to your desired consistency. Start by simply adding everything to your blender or food processor.
With variable speed units, start with a low speed and then gradually increase it to a higher speed until the mixture is perfectly smooth. That’s it!
The Versatility of Honey Mustard Dressing
Our protein-packed honey-mustard dressing recipe makes 6-8 sweet and savory servings (2-3 tablespoons per serving). In addition to elevating the taste and nutritional profile of practically any salad bowl or dish, it also makes a great marinade for fish and seafood, poultry and pasta preparations. We recommend transferring any leftover dressing to an airtight sealed container and then storing it in the fridge. It’ll last for up to a week.
SHOW US YOUR WORK
That Salad Lady wants to see all your great work. If you enjoy our protein-packed honey mustard dressing, which we are sure you will, drop a comment below and tag pics on Instagram with @thatsaladlady, #thatsaladlady and #buildyourbowl. If you love it, pin it on Pinterest and share it on Facebook and Twitter using #thatsaladlady.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate. Please review our full disclaimer to get a clear understanding of the nutrition and health information and resources presented and written on our website.