Everybody like ranch dressing, right? I’ve always been a Hidden Valley snob, and it had to be made from the mix packet. I don’t care for their bottled dressing nearly as much (or any other brand’s bottled ranch at all). All of that was before I realized that Hidden Valley products contain MSG. I know this from reading the labels, but (oddly) when I went to their website, I could not find any ingredient list. However, you can view the nutritional labels at Amazon; the buttermilk ranch packet’s first ingredient is salt, the second is MSG. It’s a little farther down on the original ranch and the bottled dressing, but it’s still there.
I’m not going to get into the possible evils of MSG, other than to say that it is a neurotoxin, and I avoid it if at all possible. And so the hunt began for an acceptable Hidden Valley ranch substitute. I tried several recipes before I finally found one that fit the bill. Some were downright bad, some were just okay, but this one, IMO, is pretty darn close to Hidden Valley.
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (I use low fat)
- 1/2 tsp dried chives
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Whisk all together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Made as written, it is the consistency of a dip, and the kids love it with carrots and celery sticks. Sometimes when I have the dip in the fridge but want dressing, I whisk in some milk to thin it out. If you want dressing to begin with, use buttermilk in place of the sour cream (use this tip to make “buttermilk”).
It tastes just as good as Hidden Valley, and I know what’s in it…no questionable ingredients. If I really wanted to be a stickler I’d make my own mayo, as I’m sure that the commercially prepared stuff is hardly health food. I’ve yet to try that though; perhaps for another Tips post.
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