2013 – Gluten Free Living
Blueberry Vinaigrette is a delightful dressing consisting of sunflower seed oil and blueberry balsamic vinegar with chia seeds, fresh blueberries, lemon zest, green onion and honey that makes this dressing sing! The blueberries and honey sweeten and thicken this dressing so that when it’s processed in your blender or Vitamix it has a lot of body, rather than being thin and watery. Besides all that, it’s a very healthy salad dressing that’s gluten free, vegan, and fairly easy to make, too. Blueberry Vinaigrette is also super quick–like it takes about 5 minutes to make! I call that quick.
I’m always looking for healthy salad dressings without sugar, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, soy products (which are 95% GMO in this country), and other fillers that are toxic for the body. Because it’s really hard to find any salad dressing product that doesn’t have some kind of preservative I’ve switched to making my own salad dressings most of the time–or I use plain oil and vinegar.
I’ve started adding chia seeds to Greek yogurt every morning for breakfast and thought it would be helpful to throw some in this dressing too. Chia seeds have Omega 3 fatty acids and are supposed to be helpful in lowering high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. Chia seeds look like poppy seeds and I find them in the same section of health food stores with gluten free flours and grains.
Bob’s Red Mill,which carries so much of that kind of product, also carries chia seeds. I buy them by the bag and then store them in old wheat germ jars in the refrigerator and sprinkle them on oatmeal or in yogurt. If you don’t keep chia seeds on hand and don’t want to invest in them, then substitute poppy seeds for the chia seeds in the dressing.
If you are looking for healthy, fresh, low calorie salad dressings with good oils than Blueberry Vinaigrette fits the bill. I found the blueberry balsamic vinaigrette on close out at a local H-E-B grocery store, but any wine or fruit vinegar would probably work. This thick dressing goes especially well with salads where you would normally use a sweeter poppy seed dressing–especially tossed salads with fruit.
When I first posted this recipe in May of 2013, I thought later that I might be able to improve on my original dressing. I used olive oil the first go around and a lot of seasonings that are better suited to a Greek dressing. The blueberry balsamic vinegar was very strong and can easily overpower a sensitive palate, so I decided to have another go at this dressing.
This time (February 2015), I substituted a gentler Sunflower Seed oil for the olive oil. (Avocado oil will also work). I backed off on the vinegar and increased the honey substantially to off-set any overwhelming sense of balsamic vinegar. I removed all the seasonings from the original salad dressing and this time I used fresh lemon zest for flavoring and fresh blueberries to sweeten and thicken the dressing. I kept the chia seeds and green onion and decided to give it a go.
I loved the dressing this time. It’s very thick because of all the blueberries. The flavors are more subtle and the oil and vinegar don’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. Blueberry Vinaigrette has a delightful fruity taste that makes this dressing wonderful over tossed salads that have fruit, nuts and cheese in the ingredients.
I served Blueberry Vinaigrette with my Spinach and Fruit Salad and Poppy Seed Dressing–minus the poppy seed dressing! We also had Quick Sourdough Bread and Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes when we had company over a couple of weeks ago. I also reshot the pictures since the consistency of this salad dressing has changed completely. Enjoy.
Blueberry Vinaigrette goes well with any kind of salad. I served it the first time with Spring Mix with Berries, Glazed Pecans, and Feta Cheese. I also served it with one of my favorite breadmaker recipes, Oatmeal Nut Bread. The second time I made this dressing I served it with Spinach and Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Quick Sourdough Bread.
Here’s a close up look at Blueberry Vinaigrette.
Blueberry Vinaigrette is very thick due to using fresh blueberries.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients.
Measure out all of your ingredients and place in blender.
I didn’t want my Vitamix to pulverize the ingredients (especially the blueberries), so I pulsed the mix off and on for about 15-20 seconds. I tasted it, added a little more honey and pulsed it again for about 5-10 seconds.
Blueberry Vinaigrette is truly healthy, gluten free, and vegan. You can substitute wine vinegars or fruit vinegars if you are unable to find the blueberry balsamic vinegar.
Pour Blueberry Vinaigrette over top of your favorite salad. I love eating salad with homebaked bread.
Here’s the recipe.
(my own concoction)
- 1 cup [url href=”http://amgourmetfoods.com/authentic-menu/sunflower-oil” target=”_blank” title=”a&m sunflower seed oil”]A&M[/url] sunflower seed oil
- ¼ cup [url href=”http://hongarfarms.com/category.php?l=BEN&c=VIN” target=”_blank” title=”bennissimo blueberry vinegar”]Benissimo[/url] blueberry balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. chia seeds or substitute poppy seeds
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup honey
- 6-oz. fresh blueberries
- ½ tsp. fresh lemon zest
- 1 green onion, sliced
- Put all the ingredients in a blender.
- Blend or pulse about 15 seconds to emulsify.
- Drizzle over salad. Makes about 3 cups salad dressing.
If you’re looking for a tasty, healthy, wholesome vinaigrette, than consider making up a batch of my Blueberry Vinaigrette. If you want a sweeter dressing, add more honey or substitute sugar. However, I found that the addition of fresh blueberries in this dressing made it plenty sweet enough.
One last look……