Ranch dressing is one of my all time favorites! It's good for dipping and delightful on salads. Unfortunately it is also one of the worst you can buy at the store with added sugar and a myriad of frankenfoods to give the product shelf life. Even the organic varieties have concerning ingredients.
For years I steered clear of my beloved ranch, opting for simpler oil and vinegar concoctions that I could easily whip up at home. Alas, you cannot make a chef salad with an italian dressing(in my book anyway!)
Luckily for me I stumbled upon an amazing seasoning blend at Costco that changed everything! I'm talking about the Kirkland brand Organic No-Salt Seasoning! This blend of spices works well in so many dishes and happens to make a kick butt ranch too!
Since we began our gut healing journey in August of 2018 I have looked at food much differently. I do my best to find ways to turn ordinary American foods into something nourishing that our ancestors would eat. Food was survival for them and they made very bite count.
How can ranch be nourishing?! Start with simple quality ingredients. I always choose organic, pasture based dairy when possible. Lucky for me Natural Grocers only carries pasture based dairy products so I don't have to scour labels. Choosing organic, full fat, pastured dairy ensures that I am getting the best nutritional value. Cows that are allowed to graze produce milk with higher levels of Omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) than conventional milk. Not to mention, the cows are happier too! You can read these studies to learn more.
My next step is making the ranch probiotic rich! I aim to get a fermented food into each meal, which is not always easy! The probiotics add a plethora of good bacteria to our guts which helps with everything from mood to immune support. Science is just beginning to understand the importance of our gut health and the research is both exciting and shocking. By adding the juice from my favorite sauerkraut jar I add a host of probiotics too!
Lastly, omitting sugar helps keep this dressing in line. Sugar has a long list of negative affects on the body and to be perfectly honest doesn't belong in ranch dressing. If I am going to "splurge" on sugar, I'm going to make it worth it! Give me a chocolate croissant, not a salad!
So here's the recipe for my healthy, gut healing, GAPS friendly homestead ranch!
1/2 Cup Organic, Full Fat Sour Cream (My favorite is Kalona Super Natural)
1/4 cup or less of juice from Raw Organic Sauerkraut (If I can't make my own Wildbrine is my go-to)
Redmond Real Salt to taste
Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning to taste
Add sauerkraut juice to sour cream to get a dressing consistency. This will depend on personal preference. I like mine "medium thin" if thats a real term. Then I add salt to taste and about a tablespoon of seasoning. You can use the dressing immediately but it gets better with age. Letting it sit overnight is ideal.