Rarin’ for Ranch!

Published 2:19 pm Wednesday, May 26, 2010

If you have a child under the age of 21 living at home, chances are you have Ranch-style dressing in your home.

Using Ranch dressing as a dip is one sure way I can get my son to eat carrots, broccoli or even the crust of the pizza. Apparently, everything tastes better with Ranch dressing — at least for younger folks.

I have been trying to cut down on the amount of fat my family’s diet (stop laughing) and have been looking for ways to cut back without losing flavor. That’s a tough job.

In my search for low-fat, healthier recipes, I came across some recipes to make Ranch-style dressing at home. Some of them are actually pretty good and the ones that aren’t, well, you won’t find them here.

Most of the recipes call for mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk – you know, the high-fat stuff. I did find a recipe that didn’t call for any mayonnaise and actually uses low-fat ingredients. I reluctantly tried it. It wasn’t too bad. I probably won’t keep a jar in my refrigerator filled with this particular recipe, but it is an alternative when I feel the need to use it.

Here are a couple of recipes for Ranch-style dressing that you may want to give a try. The ingredients are pretty common and you may even have everything you need in your refrigerator and cabinets right now. I’m even throwing in a recipe for a dry version of the dressing that you can keep on hand for fresh dressing anytime.

Try one or all of them and let me know what you think.

Ranch Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon dried chives

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Low-Fat Ranch Dressing

1 cup low-fat sour cream

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried chives

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Place sour cream and buttermilk into a mixing bowl. Season with parsley, chives, garlic powder, dill, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Ranch Dressing Mix

8 tbsp. dried, minced onion

1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes

2 ½ tsp. paprika

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pepper

1 ½ tsp. garlic powder

Combine ingredients well and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

To make dressing: combine 1 tbsp. mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk. Stir until smooth. Cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.

To make dip: combine 1 tbsp. mix with 1 cup sour cream. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. Makes 1 cup.