Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tessemae Salad Dressings

Tessemae Salad Dressings
I know that finding good tasting low sodium salad dressings can be quite difficult. Not impossible, but difficult nonetheless. The safest course of action is to make your own. But sometimes it’s really nice to have a bottle of commercially prepared dressing on hand.

The beauty of store bought salad dressings is their keepabiity. I don’t eat salads every day, so I like having a dressing in the fridge that won't go bad in a few days. Homemade dressing made with yogurt, buttermilk, fresh herbs, and fresh aromatics like onions and garlic need to be consumed within a few days. Even vinaigrette dressings. (That’s why when I make homemade dressings and I want to keep them for a couple of weeks, I use dried herbs and garlic.)

With that in mind, I’ve looked for low sodium commercially bottled salad dressings. I’ve tried several only to be repeatedly disappointed. My biggest complaint, with both regular or lower sodium dressings, is the consistency and texture. Way too many emulsifiers and thickeners (lowfat dressings are the worst). And each stabilizer adds a strange taste that must be masked by either sugar or salt. YUCK!
That’s why I was so happy to discover Tessemae salad dressings. This brand has several lower sodium options. As an added bonus, they’re all organic. Several also are dairy free, sugar free, vegan, gluten free and non GMO. My favorites so far are the Balsamic Vinaigrette (65 mg sodium/tbsp), Lemon Garlic (55 mg sodium/tbsp), and Honey Poppyseed (65 mg sodium/tbsp). I’ve found for a side salad, that 1 tablespoon works just fine. For a larger salad, I might use closer to 2 tablespoons. But even doubled, the sodium level is acceptable to me.

The balsamic is a basic vinaigrette featuring balsamic vinegar and can be used in salads or just drizzled on top of vegetables. The lemon garlic dressing is good all by itself and is also a perfect canvas for just about any seasoning additions you’d want. It doesn’t have any overpowering flavor notes, so it could be adjusted to all sorts of cuisines – Mexican, Asian, Italian, and more. I’ve added a spoonful of  salsa and a sprinkle of cilantro for a plain grilled chicken salad. A quick drizzle of soy sauce and sesame oil along with thinly sliced green onions creates an Asian-inspired salad. And, because of the lemon, it's great with a salad featuring any sort of fish, like tuna of salmon.

The honey poppyseed has the sweetness of typical coleslaw dressing. It’s great with cabbage or any salad that would be enhanced by a sweeter, creamier dressing. I also purchased some Creamy Caesar. At 170 mg sodium/2 tbsp, it’s a lot lower in sodium than other store-bought Caesar dressings. It’s got a nice peppery bite too.

Check out the website: Zesty Ranch & Cracked Pepper are both 65 mg sodium/tbsp, while Classic Italian is 70 mg sodium/tbsp. So Far, I've found Tessemae dressings locally at Safeway, Whole Foods, and Raley's. If you check out the website, it actually lists the stores for each separate salad dressing. Just click on the dressing you're interested in, and you'll get a page with the specific nutritional info and a listing of stores that carry that particular dressing.

Tessemae offers quality products with much lower sodium than most store bought salad dressings. They can be found in the refrigerated case of most grocery store produce sections.

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