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Healthy Substitutes for Ranch Dressing

Jun 25, 2010

Ranch dressing is a popular product that is not only used for salads--it is also commonly served with vegetables or even crackers and bread. While ranch dressing is a tasty treat, it is also loaded with fat, calories and sodium. The next time you are considering pouring out a dish of ranch dressing, consider the effect it may have on your health. The use of ranch dressing can contribute to obesity, heart disease and even some cancers. Below are two great alternatives to ranch dressing that are as healthy as they are delicious. Try these tasty recipes out today!

Hummus

Hummus is traditionally made with either garbanzo or pinto beans, both of which are healthy sources of protein. In addition, the beans found in hummus are composed of complex carbohydrates, which are slow digesting. Slow digesting protein stays in the stomach for a long period of time, preventing feelings of hunger and helping to stop you from overeating at future meals.

In addition, while hummus does contain some fat, it is typically monounsaturated fat, which has actually been found to be effective in the treatment of some chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even some cancers. Hummus has a mild taste and it works well with a variety of vegetables. In addition, it can even be used as a dip! When purchasing hummus, try to get it in its most natural form. This means the hummus should be free from added salt or preservatives, which can lead to hypertension and bloating. Finally, hummus is available in a variety of flavors, ranging from sun-dried tomato to garlic and herb. You are guaranteed to find a variety to suit your taste buds!

Soy with Ranch Seasoning

While soy is traditionally served as an alternative to meat or meat products, when prepared properly it can also replace ranch dressing. Soy is a great alternative to ranch dressing due to its health benefits--it's one of the richest forms of dietary protein, providing more protein than even some cuts of beef, chicken, and fish. In addition, unlike meat protein sources, soy contains only limited amounts of fat, making it a heart healthy food. Finally, remember that soy has little to no flavor, and therefore lends itself to being used in a variety of ways.

When looking for a ranch dressing replacement, choose one of the less firm types of soy--and be aware that you can find it in a variety of textures, ranging from medium-firm to extra-firm. Drain the soy, and place it in a large mixing bowl. Pour in a packet of ranch seasoning, which you can typically find in the condiment section of the grocery store. Choose a packet of ranch seasoning that is low in fat, calories, and added sodium for optimal results. Thoroughly combine the soy and ranch seasoning, and refrigerate until chilled. Serve the mixture with vegetables, bread, or crackers. Your guests won't be able to tell the difference! Make sure to place any uneaten soy in an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator. This dip will typically last for around one week.

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