There’s nothing better than perfect creamy ranch drizzled over buffalo chicken or for dunking veggies in! Add this easy recipe to your sauce arsenal & find out why you should never buy that crappy packaged mix from the store again!
Growing up, my grandpa used to take me and my siblings to yard sales on the weekends. He would always buy us some fun toy to play with together, and usually surprised us with a couple of unique TY Beanie Babies, too.
At the end of our adventures, we were treated to a little snack of saltines and ranch.
I have no idea why, but that combination was so satisfying. As an adult, I can see that it was part of my journey towards sauce obsession. And it definitely influenced my tendency to use food as a vehicle for whatever sauce I’m in the mood for.
Some solid sauce obsession proof:
And my personal favorite, Chipotle Mayo – which can be used as an awesome dipping sauce or slathered on just about any sandwich you can imagine!
Anyway, you get the point. I love me some sauce.
But my love for ranch fell away for quite a few years when I started reading the ingredients on bottled dressings and even the little packets of mix you can get at the grocery store. Let’s take a look, shall we?
HIDDEN VALLEY BUTTERMILK RANCH MIX INGREDIENTS:
“Salt, monosodium glutamate, dried garlic, modified food starch, dried onion, maltodextrin, spices, less than 2% of: guar gum, buttermilk, calcium stearate, natural flavor (soy).”
Seriously, what is wrong with all these big companies and their inability to make food out of FOOD, and not a bunch of crap?! I’m guessing they’re banking on us never reading their labels. Or, if we do, being so confused by the big words that we never figure out whats actually in it.
Well I’m here to make sure that isn’t the case. Because honestly, if we can’t take 5 minutes out of our day to avoid eating chemicals (and feeding them to our children), then we can’t expect to live long, healthy lives. So here we go!
Also known as MSG. Yes, people. These companies are still using MSG. The sole purpose of which is to make you addicted to their food so that you crave it and eat more than you should. Its also been linked to disease for YEARS.
MODIFIED FOOD STARCH
A generic term used by food companies to allow them to use many different forms of chemically altered foods. The most common food used to make this is corn. 90% of the corn grown in our country is genetically modified. I would rather not play the lottery on this one!
Again, this is typically made from GMO corn. Not always, but usually. Even if it wasn’t in this case though, would it really make up for all the other junk?!
This ingredient is used to prevent caking. When you use real ingredients, they tend to stick together and don’t always come out in that powdery form. Its linked to many health issues, the most common of which is stomach pain. Just one more thing for our guts to figure out how to process! Its not necessary and its not worth putting in your body.
NATURAL FLAVOR (SOY)
Again with the sketchiness! The only thing we know is that this particular flavor is made from soy. About 90% of soy grown in our country is also GMO. “Natural flavor” in general is so vague. Its extremely similar to MSG, and usually contains MSG as well. The excitotoxins it contains creates this reaction in our brain that leaves us wanting more of the food we are eating, instead of being satisfied. Because we are exposed to these ingredients constantly, we experience this at dangerously high levels. That leads to things as small as migraines, and as serious as Alzheimer’s.
‘Hidden Valley’ seems to be an appropriate name for a product with so much hidden crap!
So what does this mean for us? It doesn’t mean you need to be terrified every time you buy something at the store. But awareness is key, and its important to take time to research the foods you keep in your pantry and fridge. The more aware we all become, the more likely it is that big companies will stop using these ingredients. All we have to do is demand that better products are made available to us. Our money makes a huge impact. After all, if we stop buying these products, what other choice would they have but to make a change?
CREAMY HOMEMADE RANCH IS THE WAY TO GO
You know I wouldn’t leave you hanging with all this information without giving you an awesome, easy alternative, right?!
Look at that beautiful drizzle of ranch! I love that you can see the flecks of herbs and spices. And now, you can have the recipe for yourself. Check that out below – and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram & Facebook when you try it out!
Creamy Homemade Ranch Recipe
For the Ranch Mix:
- 3 TBSP parsley
- 2 TBSP fresh ground black pepper
- 1 TBSP sea salt
- 1 TBSP dill
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp thyme leaves (not ground)
For the Creamy Homemade Ranch:
- 1/2 cup Just Mayo
- 1/2 cup organic plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup organic milk
- 1 TBSP homemade ranch mix (or more to taste)
For the Ranch Mix: Mix all the herbs and spices together. Store in an air-tight glass jar to keep fresh. Use to mix up ranch whenever needed!
For Creamy Homemade Ranch: Whisk together the mayo, yogurt, and milk. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of Ranch Mix until well combined. You can always add more if you want! Add more milk for a thinner ranch. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. The ranch tends to thicken in the fridge. Just add a bit of milk to thin it out to your desired consistency!
TIP: Use your dry ranch mix on chicken, vegetables, or potatoes. It makes a yummy seasoning!
*The Ranch Mix recipe makes about 1/2 a cup of mix. If you use a tablespoon per batch, you'll get about 8 cups out of the batch of spices.
*Each Creamy Homemade Ranch batch is a little over a cup (approx 1 and 1/4 cups).