Applesauce Brings The Sweet Boost Your Salad Dressing Needs

With all the heavy, meaty dishes of the holiday season, sometimes, a salad hits the spot. Any salad is only as good as its dressing, and festive flavors offer plenty to jazz up a vinaigrette. Next time you're throwing together a bowl of greens, don't reach for a bottle of salad dressing. Instead, use applesauce to make a dressing that comes together quickly and with only a few ingredients.

An all-purpose vinaigrette recipe consists of one part oil and one part acid. Usually, olive oil and vinegar are the standard choice, but another oil or lemon can also work. Once you have that base, add flavor, sweetness, spice, or whatever you want. As far as sweeteners go, applesauce is not a typical choice. Usually, people reach for honey, agave, or jam to cut through the acidity of the vinegar.

When creating your vinaigrette, don't make the mistake of under-mixing. Especially when using applesauce as a sweetener, you will want to whisk vigorously or use a blender. Always taste to ensure it's appropriately seasoned and you have the proper oil-to-vinegar ratio so it doesn't break.

Applesauce adds sweetness and texture to salad dressing

Grocery stores typically dedicate an entire aisle to salad dressings, but there's something about a homemade version that gives a satisfying kiss of flavor to your plate. Next time you're whipping up a homemade salad dressing, swap out your usual sweetener for applesauce.

This lunchbox staple adds a delicate sweetness and subtle flavor to the classic combination of oil and vinegar. Also, since it's slightly thick, the applesauce provides texture that gives the dressing extra body. If you're going with a 1-to-1 ratio of oil and vinegar — balsamic works well, but you could also use apple cider vinegar — stick with a few tablespoons of applesauce. You can always add more if you're craving a sweeter flavor — but don't go overboard.

This vinaigrette will do more than jazz up your salad. Dress your pasta in it to give it a shake-up. Or, use applesauce to make a great marinade because it contains fat and acid to tenderize meats.