When it comes to oils in salad dressing, the options are numerous. The safest way to go is to choose an oil that doesn’t have much taste to it. But what if you want to up your salad dressing game?
So what is the best oil for salad dressing? Flaxseed oil, with its mild nutty texture, is one of the best choices for salad dressing. It is also one of the healthiest, which is of great importance when you need something clean to go with light and tasty salads. If flaxseed isn’t your thing, you can also choose olive oil or grapeseed oil.
Continue reading to learn why flaxseed oil is a perfect choice for salad dressings as well as other options that work just as well in vinaigrettes. We’ll also teach you the best vinaigrette ratio to follow, no matter what type of oil you use!
Flaxseed Oil – The Best Oil for Salad Dressing
No salad is ever complete with a good dressing on top. While you can make a simple vinaigrette with oil and vinegar and be happy with it, the variety of healthy oils makes you want to explore new options.
Any vegetable or salad oil may work well for making a salad dressing, but there are oils that not only work well but also taste good, and more importantly, pack your salad with nutrients.
Flaxseed oil, otherwise known as linseed oil, is one of the best choices for making a salad dressing. It is derived from flax seeds and has a faint yellow color.
Flaxseed oil, like all other oils, tends to go rancid. However, it has the ultimate versatility of uses. Thus, you can get good use out of a bottle of flaxseed oil.
Our favorite flaxseed oil is Barlean’s Flax Oil. It’s cold-pressed, organic, and oh-so-tasty!
You can use this nutritious ingredient not only in salad dressings but also in sauces. Additionally, you can drizzle potatoes and other cooked vegetables with flaxseed oil.
Flaxseed oil is arguably the best for salad dressings. Here’s why.
The Taste of Flaxseed Oil
The taste of flaxseed oil is quite mild. It is delicate enough to not overpower in salads but is also nutty enough to add an extra flavor to the dish.
The taste of flaxseed oil is often described as clean which makes it evident that it goes well with a variety of ingredients.
If your flaxseed oil tastes bitter, it is time to get rid of it. Bitter-tasting flaxseed oil is generally rancid. Flaxseed oil tends to go rancid quickly if you don’t keep it in the right conditions.
The bottle of flaxseed oil should be well-closed to not expose the oil to air. You should keep the oil in the pantry where it is dry and cold.
Alternatively, you can keep flaxseed oil in the fridge even prior to opening the bottle.
Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil
Flax seeds have long been known for their positive impact on health. Thus, it comes as no surprise that flaxseed oil has a bunch of benefits.
If you can add this extremely healthy ingredient to your salads and make them taste even better, why not?
Flaxseed oil is high in Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are an important contributor to the overall health of the body. This nutrient alone makes flaxseed oil exceptionally healthy and one of the best oils to incorporate in your daily diet.
Consuming an adequate amount of these acids decreases inflammation and contributes to the overall health of the heart and brain.
One tablespoon of flaxseed oil contains around 7,200 mg of these essential nutrients.
Here are other benefits of flaxseed oil that might make you want to use it next time you make yourself a salad dressing:
- Reduced risks of cancer
- Improved digestion
- Healthy skin
Flaxseed Oil Vinaigrette Ratio
If you are new to using flaxseed oil to make salad dressings, you can use the basic vinaigrette ratio of 3:1.
To make the vinaigrette: combine 3 parts of oil with 1 part of vinegar.
However, if you need your vinaigrettes to give more flavor and add depth to your salad, you should certainly try to branch out.
Here are two easy yet delicious flaxseed oil salad dressing recipes that will spice up any combination of greens and vegetables.
Honey-Mustard Flaxseed Oil Dressing
This flaxseed salad dressing is simple but it goes well with not only fresh salads but also the ones with cooked vegetables.
Here’s what you need:
- 5 tbsp. flaxseed oil
- ½ tsp. mustard
- ½ tsp. honey
- 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic
Mix all the ingredients together making sure mustard and honey mix well with the oil. You can also add finely chopped herbs to the mixture.
Lemon-Flaxseed Oil Salad Dressing
If you are looking for a flaxseed dressing recipe that will add freshness to your salad, then this lemony goodness is for you.
Here’s what you need:
- 4 tbsp. flaxseed oil
- 4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (white)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp. mustard
Mix all the ingredients together. Don’t forget to shake well before every use as oil and other liquids tend to separate.
Next Best Oils: Olive Oil and Grapeseed Oil
While flaxseed oil is one of the best oils to use in salad dressings, there are other healthy options to choose from.
For those who don’t like experimenting with new oils, going for the classic olive oil is a good choice. And for those who want to make dressings with an oil that will not be overwhelming in salads, grapeseed oil it is.
Both oils have numerous health benefits and are worth giving a try.
Olive Oil: The Classic Salad Oil
When you go to the supermarket to grab a bottle of oil to make salad dressing, you only look around to see a plethora of options.
Then you just grab the good olive oil and head home. And there is nothing wrong with that as olive oil is a trusty ingredient for salad dressings.
Extra virgin olive oil works best for salad dressings. Our favorite is the organic, cold-pressed version from Pompeian.
In comparison to grapeseed oil, it is quite flavorful. The taste of high-quality olive oil is somewhat fruity and spicy.
Extra virgin olive oil is especially good drizzled over fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. It also works well with green salads. Olive oil has the power to enhance all flavors in a salad.
Olive oil salad dressings also pair well pasta salads.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
If you choose to use olive oil in your salad dressing, buy extra virgin olive oil to get the most benefits.
Here are the health benefits of good quality olive oil:
- Monounsaturated fats in olive oil are anti-inflammatory. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids contribute to heart health, reduce blood pressure, and carry out a number of important functions in the body.
- Being packed with high amounts of antioxidants, olive oil is a crucial ingredient in reducing the risks of chronic diseases.
- Olive oil reduces the risks of diabetes.
- Due to its antioxidant content, olive oil reduces the risks of cancer.
A Basic Olive Oil Vinaigrette
Who doesn’t like a good olive oil salad dressing to put over fresh green salads?
Here’s what you will need to make one:
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. vinegar
- Salt and black pepper to taste
You can substitute vinegar with lemon juice and add other ingredients, such as garlic, mustard, herbs, and honey.
Feel free to play around with the proportions to achieve your perfect balance.
Grapeseed Oil: A Neutral Option
Grapeseed oil is made by crushing grape seeds and extracting the oil.
It is great to use raw in recipes which makes it just right to use in salad dressings.
Grapeseed oil is not overpowering. While ‘grapeseed oil’ may sound intimidating for those who have not tried it, this oil has a quite mild taste.
Thus, it does not overpower in salads and goes well with any ingredient you use in your salads.
Like many other oils, including the flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil does not have a nutty taste.
Our favorite is La Tourangelle’s expeller-pressed grapeseed oil.
So, if you are looking for a healthy oil to use in salad dressings, grapeseed oil is a neutral yet very healthy pick.
Health Benefits of Grapeseed Oil
For the healthiest variety of grapeseed oil, try to pick the cold-pressed options.
Drizzle your salads with grapeseed oil or use it in a vinaigrette to give your salads an extra flavor.
Here’s how you will benefit.
- Grapeseed oil contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. The latter is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Grapeseed oil contains more vitamin E than olive oil. This vitamin boosts the immune system and is a fat-soluble antioxidant.
- This oil assists in lowering cholesterol levels.
- Being high in polyunsaturated fats, grapeseed oil is good for the heart.
Easy Grapeseed Oil Salad Dressing
This easy grapeseed oil salad dressing will work well on everything from warm salads to green ones.
To make this easy salad dressing you will need:
- 3 tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic
- Black pepper
- Salt (to taste)
Add chopped herbs and other spices if they go well with the salad you are making.
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