Last week, I shared a few of my favorite salad recipes to help you take advantage of the variety of summer produce that’s currently season. Salads are a great way to boost your vegetable and nutrient intake, but it’s important to point out that how you dress your salad is just as important as what you put in it. Store-bought salad dressings can be a convenient option, but they often can turn a healthy choice into a calorie-dense, preservative-laden health bomb.  

Here are just a few reasons why you should consider skipping the store-bought stuff:

Added sugar. Ever sprinkle a couple teaspoons of sugar over that bowl of leafy greens before digging in? If you’re using a store-bought dressing, you likely are. Sugar is a common ingredient in store-bought dressings, often hiding under the name of high fructose corn syrup or dextrose. Added sugar causes blood sugar spikes (which fuel cravings later on), depletes nutrients in the body and encourages weight gain. 

Poor quality oils. It’s nearly impossible to find a store dressing made with high-quality, 100 percent extra-virgin olive oil. Rather, to keep production costs down, manufacturers often use canola, corn, sunflower or soybean oil. These cheap oils easily become rancid (which causes inflammation in the body) and have been shown to increase cholesterol. 

Additives. The ingredient list of most salad dressings includes a litany of gums, thickeners, colors, flavors and preservatives. Even in small amounts, these chemical additives are toxic to the body. It’s always a good idea to avoid unnecessary additives — especially if you have food sensitivities.

Fortunately, making your own salad dressing couldn’t be easier. A homemade salad dressing not only tastes better, it can be whipped up in a matter of minutes — many times with ingredients you already have on hand. Here are a few recipes to get you started:


Basic Greek Dressing

3/4 cup olive oil 

1 cup red wine vinegar 

2 tsp garlic powder 

2 tsp dried oregano 

2 tsp dried basil

1.5 tsp pepper 

1.5 tsp salt 

1.5 tsp onion powder 

1.5 tsp Dijon mustard

Mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, onion powder, and Dijon-style mustard. Pour in the vinegar and mix vigorously until well blended. Store tightly covered at room temperature.


Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing

Courtesy of

½ cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt

2 Tbs apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs avocado or olive oil

2 Tbs maple syrup

2 tsp. poppyseeds

1 tsp. salt

Make dressing by whisking together all ingredients in a small bowl. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. If separation occurs during storage, simply whisk or blend for a few seconds before serving.


Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

Courtesy of

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 clove finely minced garlic OR 1 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake until well combined. Refrigerate and let flavors blend for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours, before serving.


Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting. Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

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