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Kefir and Homemade Ranch Dressing

Are you and your kids getting your probiotics this winter? For a quick and tasty snack, you need to check out this homemade ranch dressing made with kefir.

Kefir is a cultured dairy product that people have enjoyed for thousands of years. It’s kind of like a slightly thick milk, with a tangy, yogurt-like taste. Kefir is rich in probiotics, the “good” bacteria known to help digestion and prevent colds. It’s also rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein. It’s relatively easy to digest, even for people with lactose intolerance. If you can work it into your diet every day, it’s an easy and tasty way to get your body (and gut) in good health.

Our friends at the California-based Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics recently sent us some kefir, and of course we immediately gravitated toward the flavored kind to drink for breakfast and put in smoothies. (We tried Redwood Hill’s Pineapple Orange Mango and Green Valley’s Strawberry Pomegranate Acai.) But what we hadn’t realized was just how good the plain kind is, and how versatile and useful it is in cooking and baking.

One great example of this is homemade ranch dressing. How many kids use ranch dressing as their go-to dip and/or vehicle for eating vegetables? Of course you can dump it out of a bottle, or you can make it with buttermilk and mayonnaise or sour cream. But if you’re really clever you can make homemade ranch dressing with kefir and then let them enjoy all of those nutritional benefits without even noticing.

Homemade Ranch Dressing with Kefir

Homemade Ranch Dressing with Kefir

A homemade better-for-you version of ranch dressing that gets its special tanginess from kefir.

Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword kefir, ranch dressing, yogurt
Prep Time 5 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain kefir
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (add more if you want a thicker consistency)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig parsley leaves, very finely chopped

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the kefir, yogurt, and olive oil (add more yogurt if you want a thicker, dip-like consistency). Stir in the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parsley leaves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for two hours, or until the flavors are set. Serve over a salad, as a dip, or in a sandwich.

We love the tanginess that kefir lends to this dressing. We also love its versatility, especially the fact that you can make it as thick (or not) as you want. You can choose whether you want to serve it as more of a dip, or a dressing that you would pour over salad. And again, no one needs to know that it’s “healthy.” As far as they know, it’s just plain good.

Do you like the idea of cooking with kefir? You can find all sorts of great ideas here and here.

If you like makingĀ  your own salad dressing, you’ll love this updated Green Goddess dressing as well.

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8 Responses to Kefir and Homemade Ranch Dressing

  1. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious December 18, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Great idea!

  2. Erika em January 7, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    How long will this keep good for in the fridge? It looks great!

    • Jeanne January 7, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks, Erika! We kept our for about 5 days. It probably would last longer because kefir has a relatively long shelf life but we ate it quickly. If it starts to taste or smell different than it did in the beginning, it’s time to throw it out.

  3. Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought February 2, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    WOW that is my kind of ranch dressing. Thank you!

    • Jeanne February 2, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

      Thanks, Cathy!

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