Almost Ranch Dressing

Just as Mr Meatified doesn’t consider soup worth eating unless he can practically stand a spoon up in it, so he prefers a dressing that is so thick it is almost incapable of being poured. He also hasn’t eaten ranch dressing in years, much to his horror, and I had never found a way to recreate it. But when I came up with the coconut milk-based dipping sauce for these meatballs, I ended up with leftover sauce. Once it had been refrigerated, it thickened up considerably and I found Mr Meatified using it as a salad dressing. Which reminded me of the old ranch dressing conundrum and got me thinking. How could I recreate that thickness without having to refrigerate the dressing for hours before it was ready to pass Mr Meatified’s thick & creamy ranch dressing test? I needed to add SOMETHING to the coconut milk without adding too much flavor. And then I remembered: raw cashews! I’ve seen people use cashews to make a type of vegan “cheese” – could they work here as a thickener? The answer was a resounding “yes”!

Almost Ranch Dressing from http://meatified.com #paleo #glutenfree #dairyfree #whole30

I have yet to find the spare change or counter space to invest in a super duper blender, so I had to rely on my trusty (and cheap) mini food processor for this. Please let me know if you try this out in a blender or full sized food processor, as I suspect it is far quicker and easier that way and I would love to be able to add instructions for that method! I used raw cashews that I had soaked overnight and then drained (Mark’s Daily Apple explains the why and how of this better than I can!), so I am not sure if un-soaked cashews will produced the same results. Please feel free to play around and see what you like best – better yet, come back here and tell me!

Please note that – like all coconut milk / oil based products or recipes – the dressing WILL thicken considerably if you refrigerate it. If you have leftovers, you will need to let it come to room temperature (or heat it very gently) before it will be a pourable ranch dressing again.

Almost Ranch Dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 10 oz

Almost Ranch Dressing

This is a dairy free & vegan dressing, tangy with fresh herbs and lemon juice, which will satisfy all the Ranch dressing lovers in your house!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a mini food processor, use the "grind" setting to reduce the raw unsalted cashews to a fine / sand-like texture, then use the normal setting to get a paste-like, spreadable texture.
  2. Begin to add the coconut milk a tablespoon at a time, scraping the sides down when needed, and blend until you have a smooth paste. This will take several minutes. Once the mixture is smooth, add the rest of the coconut milk and the lemon juice, then blend to combine.
  3. Add the seasonings and fresh herbs and blend until combined / smooth.
http://meatified.com/almost-ranch-dressing/

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Almost Ranch Dressing from http://meatified.com #paleo #glutenfree #dairyfree #whole30

Squeaky Clean Paleo

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Comments

  1. Ellen says

    I loved this dressing! I made it with my Blendtec and had the usual trouble with the nuts. It just tosses everything to the sides of the container if there is only a small amount, but I scraped it down and added some of the coconut milk before the cashews were all the way to paste and that took care of it. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to another salad for dinner tomorrow now! :-)

    • meatified says

      I’ve never had a Blendtec and made it with my not so awesome mini food processor – I’m so glad it could work for you and thank you so much for letting me know! I’ve been working on a version of potato salad using this recipe as a base and I totally feel you on the constant-scrape-the-bowl part!

  2. sandi dittbrenner says

    When I want to thicken dressing without changing the taste I use Chia seeds. I use them instead of any oil in my vinegar and oil dressing.;

    • meatified says

      That’s a good idea! I never seem to keep chia seeds around, I will have to pick up some to play with :)

  3. Kris says

    On the potato salad; we use sautéed yellow squash in place of potatoes and make our own mayo with homemade pickles. De-lish!!

      • Kris says

        * just make sure to salt your squash for about 30 minutes or so, and rinse before you sautée it and if need be add a bit if water and steam covered till desired doneness.

  4. Donna says

    Hi – Is it absolutely necessary to soak the cashews? I’d love to try this recipe tonight (insta-gratification!!!) but will wait till tomorrow if I have to. :)

  5. Gus says

    I love the idea of this! Will this “keep” in the fridge for a while? I’d like to double the recipe and just pull it from the fridge when I need it, like a store-bought (preservative-laden) salad dressing. About how long should I expect for it to say good if kept in a fridge?

    • meatified says

      Hi there, like I said in the post, it won’t be pourable straight from the fridge because the fat in the coconut milk will solidify. You can either warm it slightly, leave it at room temperature ahead of time or reblend it to get the normal consistency. It will stay fresh as long as the herbs in the mixture – so if you used dry herbs, I’d say about a week or so.

  6. Tiffany says

    Thank you so much! I didn’t have the chives and I know it would have made it even better! LOVE it.

  7. shana says

    I just made it and it is AWESOME, I’m not a huge ranch dressing fan (probably because I’ve only ever had store bought). I didn’t soak the cashews (instant gratification problems, I have) and just threw them in my vitamix, it ground them fine and then I added the coconut milk and blended again and then the rest of the ingredients. I had no problems and it’s amazing. Thanks!

    • meatified says

      Ha! Yay for the Vitamix! Glad you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for stopping by to let me know :)

  8. Jessicah says

    Accidentally doubled some of the spices, but still amazing! I’ve missed my ranch! Thank you!

    • Jessicah says

      So I read that it lasts about a week in the fridge, right? What if you don’t’ store in fridge? This seems so odd to me because of the other dressings we’ve always used in the past.

      • meatified says

        Since this recipe doesn’t have any chemical stabilizers or preservatives, it wouldn’t last very long outside of the fridge: the coconut milk and the nuts would go rancid, I’m afraid.

Trackbacks

  1. […] 1. Almost Ranch Dressing You don’t have to give up the classic taste of Ranch dressing just because you’re following Paleo. It just requires a little bit of tinkering to make sure that there’s no diary or artificial ingredients being used. Traditional Ranch dressing has buttermilk, mayo, and sour cream, three ingredients that get the kibosh on Paleo. This version of Ranch is using a genius mix of cashews, coconut milk, and the required spices to replicate the taste while sidestepping all of the ingredients that can cause trouble to your digestion and health. You can use this as a salad dressing, or a dip for anything Ranch-worthy. […]

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