Need some new raw food lunch or dinner ideas, but prefer oil free recipes, like oil free salad dressings? Fear not! There’s always a new combinations to try, making the raw food lifestyle anything but boring.
I absolutely love salad, I’ve been eating different variations of salad combinations almost every day for years and it just never gets old! There’s just so many different flavors you can create – and of course, it’s all about the dressing!
This past year, I’ve virtually eliminated added oils from my diet – and I’m so thankful I did. Many health care professionals talk about the health benefits of ‘good’ oils. Yes, we do need essential fatty acids in our diet, but we can get all the oils we need from organic whole foods. Despite ‘good’ oils like hemp seed oil, or organic extra virgin olive oils being sold as ‘health’ foods, they are still 100% fat, and they are no longer a whole food. The oils have been extracted from the plant and have created a condensed form of refined fat.
I’ve been playing around in my raw food kitchen with a bunch of new oil-free salad dressings and I’ve been having lots of fun thinking outside of the ‘gourmet raw food’ box – with low-fat raw vegan in mind. Using water rich fruits and vegetables as a base for my salad dressings has now become my primary way of deliciously topping my salads. I’ve always loved the orange/cilantro combination, so I created this simple oil-free salad dressing featuring those whole-food ingredients.
Orange Cilantro – Oil Free Salad Dressing Recipe
- For this raw vegan salad dressing the only thing you will need is a high-powered blender.
Coconut Water: Coconut water makes a great base to salad dressings, lending a little bit of sweetness to the dressing. No worries if you don’t have access to coconut water, you can add purified water and simply sweeten with dates to desired taste. You can adjust the amount of coconut water, until you get the desired consistency. Adding orange to the dressings makes it quite juicy as well, so start with 1/4 c and top it up with more at the end if you want it to be more liquid.
Oranges: In the photo, I only used 1 orange, but since then have been making it with 2 oranges and loving it. You can adjust the ratios in any way you prefer.
Cilantro: I used a pretty big bunch of cilantro for this recipe because I absolutely love cilantro. Add as much cilantro as you like. If you don’t like cilantro, then try it with your herb of choice, like fresh basil or parsley or even mint.
Tahini: Tahini is simply ground down sesame seeds. We make fresh tahini in our stone grinder, but you can find raw, organic tahini at your local health food store. Sesame seeds are about 70% fat, as are most nuts and seeds. So a little tahini goes a long way in terms of keeping your fat target under 10% of total calories – an optimal target for a healthy lifestyle. I add only 1-2 tablespoons, sometimes less depending on how I feel.
Dates: This is a nice way to add a little sweetness to your salad dressing. Start with one date and taste it before adding more as they are very sweet and again, a little goes a long way.
Play around with the ratios and create a combination that suits your dietary needs.
I don’t add any salt to my dressings anymore, another dietary change that I’ve immensely benefited from and now recommend to my clients.
Top this dressing on a big leafy green salad mixed with fresh vegetables – raw vegan lunch or dinner meal the whole family can enjoy!
Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii
Laura Dawn, Registered Holistic Nutritionist