How to Make Healthier Salad Dressings and Salsas

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A salad might seem like a great choice for getting healthier, but not if it’s covered with fatty dressing. To avoid going overboard on the calories in your salsas and vinaigrettes, make your own healthier version at home. Here are some tips:

Start with a light oil base.

Many dressings are made with heavy creams, mayonnaise and fatty oils. These are high in fat and take a long time for your body to process. Keep things lighter by using olive oil, canola or vegetable oil.

Use fresh ingredients.

Salsas are perfect for showing off the bright colors of seasonal produce. Consider using fresh fruits and vegetables to maximize flavors without added sugars or salts. Use produce like mango to give your salsa a surprising sweetness or try a mix of fresh peppers for that extra-spicy punch.

Season it up.

Use fresh or dried seasonings to give your dressing or salsa some flavor with very few calories. A pinch of fresh cilantro or basil can go a long way. Be sure to experiment with different spices to create a unique blend that your family and friends will love!

Add a splash of juice.

Orange juice is not just for breakfast anymore! Mix it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes for a savory salad dressing with a kick. And try adding fresh-squeezed lemons and limes to any salsa or dressing to perk up the flavor.

Find more healthy tips and recipes on heart.org.

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