Having had a food addiction, our founder Nina often struggled with intense cravings for both salt and sugar. After a lot of trial and error, she learned that eating sour foods helped satisfy her sweet tooth while more savory-flavored foods distracted her from salt cravings. Nina eventually concocted a super savory salad bowl with a deliciously tangy, rich and pleasantly sweet dressing that would ultimately become our “Simply Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.”
To this day, it’s one of That Salad Lady’s go-to recipes for curbing cravings. We’re sure it’ll help you curb your cravings too!
THE BALANCING ACT
Cravings hit us all from time to time – they’re a natural part of life. While some of us crave salt, others crave sugar. For long-term health and happiness, you’ve got to find a good medium between maintaining a well-balanced diet and eating the foods you crave. Whether salad bowls, toppings or dressings, here at That Salad Lady, we’re all about creating delicious, nourishing recipes to help you indulge those cravings when they hit.
Richly flavored with white balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), a touch of honey, minced garlic and wholesome herbs, our “Simply Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing” delivers the perfect balance of sweet, sour and savory to satisfy practically every craving – and it all comes together in five minutes!
Let’s talk more about what’s in our sweet balsamic vinaigrette recipe and why.
A Vinegary Twang
For this recipe, we suggest using white balsamic vinegar. Similar to its classic counterpart, white balsamic vinegar can add delicious twang to any salad bowl. However, it’s a lot milder and less sweet in taste. As with other high-quality vinegars, white balsamic vinegar is a “functional food” that has powerful antibacterial, antioxidant and anticancer effects.
Regular consumption of balsamic vinegar also supports blood sugar control, healthy cholesterol levels, and weight loss. If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar in the house, feel free to use regular balsamic vinegar instead as it’s equally beneficial.
Some “Good” Fat
Our recipe calls for EVOO. With its distinctly fruity and pepper taste, EVOO delivers sweet and savory flavors that both elevate and balance out the overall taste profile of the dressing blend. In and of itself, EVOO is naturally rich in disease-fighting antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, which are generally referred to as “good fats.”
The presence of those good fats makes our sweet balsamic vinaigrette a “full-fat” dressing. If you’re counting calories to lose weight, know that using our full-fat dressing is actually a good thing, as it helps your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins and certain antioxidants housed in your vegetable and fruit ingredients.
A Hint of Honey
To bring a little sweetness to the blend, our recipe calls for a hint of honey. That hint of honey can actually help suppress hunger and control appetite in ways that help you eat less. Honey also contains a unique combination of phytonutrients that function as powerful disease-fighting antioxidants (check out our Nutrition Glossary to learn more).
We suggest using 100% pure honey, as most of the phytonutrients are lost when honey is overly processed. A honey that’s raw and unfiltered is also ideal and will definitely enhance the flavor of your finished dressing.
Balsamic vinaigrette just isn’t balsamic vinaigrette without some garlicky goodness. Garlic itself is an allium vegetable that contains a cocktail of phytonutrients with known antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Due to these powerful effects, regularly eating garlic helps lower the risk of heart disease, chronic inflammation and various cancers.
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 definitely be detectable in your finished dressing.
The Flavor Punch
A flavorful duo of dried parsley and oregano rounds out the ingredients list for our sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Though fresh herbs work as well, we suggest using dried versions, as their flavors won’t dominate those of other ingredients. While drying may reduce the presence of some nutrients, many of the phytonutrients and antioxidants they contain are more readily available when they’re dried.
Once you’ve minced your garlic and gathered all the other ingredients for the dressing the hard work is practically done. At this point, you’ll simply blend or mix the ingredients to your desired consistency. Start by 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!
If you don’t have a blender or a food processor, no sweat! Simply add all the ingredients to a jar with a twist off lid and just shake it up until everything’s well-mixed. You can also combine and whisk all your ingredients together in a bowl.
The Versatility of Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette
Our “Simply Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing” recipe makes 6-8 servings (2-3 tablespoons per serving) at about 140-185 calories each. In addition to elevating the taste and nutritional profile of practically any salad bowl, it also makes a great marinade for seafood and pasta preparations. Try it on That Salad Lady’s “Mediterranean Chopped Salad” bowl!
We recommend transferring any leftover dressing to an airtight sealed container and then storing it in the fridge. It’ll last for up to 10 days.
SHOW US YOUR WORK
That Salad Lady wants to see all your great work. If you enjoy our sweet balsamic vinaigrette 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.
Simply Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette DressingCourse: DressingCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
In just 5 minutes this tangy, rich and pleasantly sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing can turn a simple salad bowl into a deliciously crave-worthy meal!
- Basic Salad Blend
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 white balsamic vinegar*
2 tablespoons pure, raw and unfiltered honey**
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced***
1/2 teaspoon dried or 1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried or 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Mince the garlic with a garlic press or a high-quality chef’s knife.
- Measure all the other ingredients and add 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.
- If you don’t have a blender or a food processor, simply add all the ingredients to a jar with a twist off lid or even a bowl and just shake or whisk until everything’s well-mixed.
- Use the dressing on a salad or as a marinade for other dishes. Transfer any leftover dressing to an airtight sealed container and store it in the fridge for up to 10 days.
- *You can find white balsamic vinegar at your local supermarket, generally wherever you’d find other types of vinegar and cooking oils. You can also use regular balsamic vinegar if that’s all you have.
- **Raw, unfiltered honey varieties come at a relatively higher price point so if those don’t fit in your budget, at the very least, ensure that the honey you choose is 100% pure.
- ***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.
- The noted calorie count applies to 8 servings of around 2 tablespoons each.