It's true that salads are sometimes no better than their perceived unhealthier counterparts, but who doesn't love a little Caesar salad every now and then? Dressings can quickly use up your daily fat and sodium allowance and make your otherwise healthy salad one of your highest calorie meals of the day.
A friend of mine made me lunch recently and introduced me to these amazing Bolthouse Farms yogurt-based salad dressings and they have been a game changer. After several failed attempts to locate them, I hit the motherlode at Sprouts where they carry all 9 of the yogurt dressings they make: Caramelized Sweet Onion, Cilantro Avocado, Caesar Parmigiano, Chunky Blue Cheese, Classic Ranch, Honey Mustard, Mango Chipotle and Salsa Ranch. I bought three. Yum...fo reals.
From a nutritional standpoint, the biggest differences between these and other creamy dressings are when it comes to calories and fat. None of them have more than 45 calories per serving (2 tbsp) and fat ranges 1.0-3.5 g/serving. Sugars are as low as 1g, but no more than 6 g/serving. (See my previous post on counting sugars here). The sodium at 115-280 mg/serving could be a bit lower in my book, but I think can definitely fit in with a healthy diet if you keep the portion in check. The only one with any saturated fat is the Caesar Parmigiano, due to the cheese and it's only 1 g at that.
Compare their Classic Ranch with Hidden Valley Classic Ranch and there is no contest. At 145 calories/serving and a whopping 14 g of fat, Hidden Valley pales in comparison with the Bolthouse Farm's version which carries only 45 cal/serving and 3 g of fat.
As with any food, it is important to measure out your portion size, but this is a great way to still have the creamy taste you love with a lot less guilt. Let me know if you give one of these a try. I'd love to know how you use it. And keep an eye out for their brand new Greek yogurt dressings in Bold Blue Cheese, Cucumber Dill, Peppercorn Ranch and Creamy Basil!