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Helpful hint: Make your own salad dressing to cut down on sugar, calories

Hot citrus dressing on salad. Tracy Frank / The Forum

FARGO – While salads are usually healthy (if they’re made with veggies and not fruit covered in marshmallows and sprinkled with crushed up cookies), the dressings often are not.

Salad dressings can be high in calories, loaded in sugars and low on nutritional value.

But it’s also pretty easy to make your own healthy dressing.

I took an Italian cooking class with my husband once through Moorhead Community Education and we learned to make salad dressing by combining olive oil, vinegar, honey and salt. It’s very simple, easy, and you can use very little honey and salt or eliminate them altogether and just dress your salad with oil and vinegar.

It’s a tasty alternative to bottled dressings, but I recently adapted a recipe for salad dressing from Southern Living at Home that I like even better.

The original recipe is for spinach salad with hot citrus dressing, but I changed it up a bit to create a healthier version with less sugar.

Hot citrus dressing

1 12-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

2 teaspoons onion powder

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons grated orange rind

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1½ cups peanut oil

Process all ingredients except oil in a food processor until smooth. Add oil in a slow, steady stream. Process until smooth.

Bring dressing to a boil in a medium-size nonaluminum saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Serve warm.

Nutrition information: ¼ cup serving contains 154 calories, 7.2 grams of sugar, 14 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 5 grams of polyunsaturated fat and 6 grams of monounsaturated fat, 236 mg of sodium, and 8.2 grams of carbs.

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Tracy Frank
Tracy Frank is a SheSays, Variety, and Farmer's Forum reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to
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