Hate eating plain vegetables? Vegetables may be a vital part of a healthy diet, but let’s face it – they don’t usually taste that great. To make them a little more palatable, most of us prefer our vegetables with a little dressing or sauce.
The problem of course, is that many salad dressings and dips contain high amounts of sugar, fat, and calories, which can lead to weight gain. If you’re eating a nice, leafy green salad, but emptying half a bottle of ranch or Thousand Island dressing on it, you might as well be eating a McDonald’s Big Mac. But is there a way you can enjoy sauces on vegetables and still enjoy a healthy diet?
Creating Your Own Dressing
It’s definitely possible to enjoy delicious vegetables with a little sauce and still stick to a healthy diet, but not with most store-bought dressings. Most store bought dressings are created for taste, not health. You’ll also definitely want to avoid creamy sauces like hollandaise or béarnaise sauces. As delicious as they may be, they’re largely egg yolks and butter.
For a delicious dressing that’s low in calories and high in healthy nutrients, try a sprinkling of extra virgin olive oil (high in healthy, monounsaturated fats) and balsamic vinegar (low on calories and sugar – but high on flavor) for an authentic Italian dressing. You can also try an Asian style dressing with a little bit of sesame oil and rice vinegar, though Asian style salads are usually a stir-fried medley of vegetables, unlike the traditional western green salad.
You can also use the olive oil/basalmic vinegar to roast vegetables. Broccoli tossed with a little olive oil, a dash of lime, and a little bit of pepper can taste delicious. A little olive oil and pepper on a roasted squash medley can also be divine. In general, look to make your own simple sauces with a base of extra virgin olive oil, tomato, plain Greek yogurt, and low calorie – but savory – ingredients such as garlic, ginger, pepper, lemon, lime, rosemary, basil, balsamic vinegar etc.
Choosing Healthy Dips
Many of the tasty store bought dips are high in unhealthy saturated fats. Try a natural hummus or plain greek yogurt (you can also make your own natural tzatziki sauce if you’re so inclined) as a delicious alternatives to traditional store bought dips.
A Little Tip About Vegetables
We’ll leave you with a little tip that can help you enjoy life without creamy ranch dressing and thick, salty dips. Vegetables taste a lot more delicious if they’re fresh.
Instead of picking up the usual sorry lot of greens at the local supermarket, try visiting a farmer’s market and buying high quality, fresh vegetables. You won’t find a need to coat your veggies in heavy sauces in the first place if they’re fresh and delicious.