This Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing is a light, healthy and dairy-free way to enjoy your favorite salad.
Ready in 35 minutes
I’ve been officially off diary for about five months now, and, I have to say, it’s been a lot easier than I thought it would be. Sure, I miss a really good cheesy pizza, but other than that (and, okay, mac and cheese), I’m really not missing many dairy foods. Which is a total shocker, because I’d say before my daughter was diagnosed with a MSPI intolerance, a very large portion of my diet came from dairy foods.
The biggest reason why it hasn’t been a huge change? My beloved friend, the coconut. Between coconut milk and coconut oil, I’ve pretty much been able to substitute for almost every single dairy food I’d normally eat. I’ve even got my family cooking with coconut milk! I loved coconut before I had to give up dairy, but now, I’m absolutely obsessed with it! I doubt I’ll be dairy-free forever (I <3 feta), but I do think even after Juniper outgrows her intolerance, I’ll still stick to many of my favorite coconut substitutes—like this super healthy, super tasty coconut milk ranch dressing.
This dressing is, obviously, delicious on salads, but I’ve also found a bunch of other tasty uses for it in my kitchen. I’ve been using it as a sauce on a chicken, bacon, and ranch pizza. The creamy, flavorful sauce almost makes up for the fact that there isn’t any cheese on the pizza. I’ve used it as a marinade for chicken. I’ve used it as a dip for cut veggies (because, as much as I love bean dip, I need a little variety in my life).
To give this dressing the most flavor, you’ll want to use fresh herbs wherever you can. But since it is January, chances are, you’ll probably be using mostly dried. That’s cool, too. I’ve listed the amounts for both fresh and dried. If you do use mostly dried, just make sure to let the dressing rest in the fridge for a good hour or two before using to help bring out the flavors. And if you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful, booming windowsill herb garden, use the heck out of those fresh herbs! It’ll add some much-needed bright, fresh flavor to this gray and dreary month.
If you’ve made the commitment to a healthy lifestyle in 2015, easy swaps like this ranch dressing are a great place to start. Store-bought ranch dressings are notoriously unhealthy. At the very least, most are huge calorie bombs, and at the worst, many pack artificial flavors and nasty chemicals. Seems kinda counterproductive to drizzle that stuff on your veggie-packed salad, eh? This coconut milk ranch dressing is full of 100% real and healthy ingredients, and it’s a much lighter option—it clocks in at about 80 calories per serving, which is about half the regular store-bought ranch dressing.