Simple Citrus Mint Vinaigrette
THE OILY TRUTH
If you want the truth, nutrition is very simple, but we tend to make it more complicated than it needs to be. One of the first things I like to take into account is oils. What oils are you using to cook with? What oils are you using on your salads? What temperature are you heating oils to? No two oils are created equal, and due to differing chemical structures, some shouldn’t be heated or used to cook with. Olive oil, for example, only has a smoke point of 350 F. Any higher than that, and the monounsaturated fatty acids break down, and as a consequence the oil becomes rancid.
Rancid oils contain free radicals (molecules desperate for an electron - they will pull electrons from anywhere, including DNA, proteins and tissues, causing oxidative damage).
Good quality oils can make such a difference to your diet. Even if you only change this one thing, I believe you’ll feel different. This includes:
· Not using oils to cook with that shouldn’t be heated (flax, canola, modified vegetable oils, margarine)
· Respecting an oil’s smoke point - olive oil has a smoke point of 350 F, so it can be used for light sautéing or cooking under that temperature, whereas flax oil shouldn’t be heated due to its sensitive omega-3 fatty acids
· Keeping your omega 3:6 ratio at about 2:1 - the average diet in North America has a 16:1 ratio in favor of omega-6
· Consuming essential fatty acids (omegas 3 & 6) regularly - they can’t be synthesized by our body, but you can obtain these from Udo’s Oil, flax oil, evening primrose oil, sesame oil, fatty fish, raw nuts, seeds, and more.
Now for the sad news: most store-bought salad dressings use a canola or vegetable oil base. Next time you buy salad dressing, take a look at the label. It’s unfortunate, but these oils are cheaper and relatively tasteless. They increase our omega-6 intake and provide virtually no omega-3, which are protective of our brain, eyes, and joints. Some salad dressings also contain added sugars and preservatives. For this reason, I always make my own dressings, but oil and vinegar can get old fast. So let’s get creative!
This one is totally spring inspired, made with one of my favorite oils to use on salads—Udo’s Oil—oranges, a little bit of yogurt, and apple cider vinegar! Udo’s Oil is so beneficial because it contains high-quality oils in a ratio that is ideal for our diet: an omega 3:6:9 ratio of 2:1:1. It still contains naturally-occurring beneficial trace nutrients including phospholipids, phytosterols, chlorophyll, vitamin E and carotene.
SIMPLE CITRUS & MINT VINAIGRETTE
Makes: 1/3 cup salad dressing
Time: 2 minutes