Sugar-Free French Dressing

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Most store bought dressings have one thing in common. They’re full of sugar. Plus a good handful of other unsavory ingredients.

My all-time favorite dressing used to be Wish Bone’s Western French Dressing. That is, until I perused their ingredient list: soybean oil, vinegar (cider, distilled), sugar, water, tomato paste, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), salt. Contains 2% or less of each of the following: onion powder, brown sugar, caramel color, natural flavor, spice, xanthan gum, paprika extractives, propylene glycol alginate, calcium disodium edta (used to protect quality).

Very few of these ingredients are on the top of my “this-would-be-healthy-to-eat” list.

soybean oil -

  • contains goitrogens which lead to depressed thyroid function
  • is loaded with phytoestrogens which sometimes block the hormone estrogen and have adverse effects on human tissues
  • is linked to:

-breast cancer
-brain damage
-infant abnormalities
-thyroid disorders
-kidney stones
-immune system impairment
-severe, potentially fatal food allergies
-impaired fertility
-danger during pregnancy and nursing

The health risks of eating any food containing soy is much longer than this small list. Read more about the dangers of soy in The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food By Kaayla T. Daniel


  • promotes an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs)
  • increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • is stripped of all nutrients, making the body “borrow” vitamins and minerals from its own tissues
  • depresses the immune system
  • raises insulin levels
  • consumption in America is one of the 3 major causes of degenerative disease (according to the American Dietetic Association and American Diabetic Association)
  • contributes to:

-food allergies
-toxemia during pregnancy
-weight gain
-free radical formation in the bloodstream
-kidney damage
-tooth decay
-damage to the pancreas
-premature aging
-hyperactivity in children
-weakening of eyesight
-the risk of heart disease and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m talking about processed white sugar mostly. However, there is still reason to be careful with any sugar product because of the very common health issue called candida. Read more about the dangers of sugar in Sugar Blues by William Duffy.

caramel coloring -

  • causes tumors in laboratory animals
  • diminishes immune function
  • forms free radicals
  • can contain gluten

natural flavor - sounds like it should be something derived from nature but is really a word that contains:

  • MSG
  • gluten
  • chemicals
  • and can cause allergic reactions

propylene glycol alginate – a chemical combination of propylene glycol with free alginic acid. Propylene glycol has been reported as a problem if you ahave liver or kidney problems. It can be dangerous to children in large oral dosage because it behaves like a general anesthetic causing seizures. FYI, propylene glycol is often one of the largest ingredients in cosmetics.

So What Do I Use For Dressing Now?

What happened after all this research is that I decided to make my own dressing. (Big surprise, huh.) Finding a recipe for French Dressing isn’t too hard – the problem is finding one without some type of sugar.

I finally came across one that I could modify without completely up-heaving the entire recipe. We’ve been using it for several months now and have really grown to love it.

French Salad Dressing (casein-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free, yeast-free, anti-candida, low-carb)

1/2 c. homemade ketchup
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. water
1 t. celtic sea salt
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
stevia to taste
3/4 c. olive oil – added last and VERY slowly

Directions: (This recipe is smaller then the one pictured in my blender. I tend to double anything I make.)

1. Pour the homemade ketchup in blender. Add apple cider vinegar, water, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Blend well.

2. Start the blender and open the cap just a little. You want to pour the olive oil in VERY, VERY slowly. If you pour it in less than 2 minutes, you’re going too fast. The slower you pour the more the ingredients can emulsify and your end product will not separate in the refrigerator.

3. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of stevia at a time and keep blending and tasting until it is sweetened to your liking. Your dressing should be a nice, bright orange color.

4. Now go make yourself a great big salad, pour on some dressing, and enjoy eating to your health!

Note: Because this dressing includes olive oil, it does thicken when refrigerated. To solve this, I simply let it set on the counter for a bit or run warm tap water over it to warm it up.  

Makes 1 1/2 c. or 24 T.  Each T. comes to 1.45g net carbs.

P.S. What’s your favorite homemade dressing?


Don’t know where to purchase some of these ingredients? Visit our Whole Food Sources page.

Shared with: Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, Flour Me With Love, Make Your Own Mondays, The Modest Mom, Homestead Revival, Chef in Training, Time-Warp Wife, Simply Sugar & Gluten Free, Vintage Wannabee, Delicious Obsessions, Celebrating Family, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, Rook No. 17, Women Living Well, Turning the Clock Back, Gluten Free Homemaker, Food Corner, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, Frugally Sustainable, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, This Chick Cooks, Everyday Tastes, Greenbacks Gal, Raising Mighty Arrows, Our Simple Country Life, GNOWFGLINS, Nourishing Gourmet, Food Renegade, Real Food Whole Health, Comfy in the Kitchen, Little Natural Cottage, Real Good Freaks, Our Simple Farm, Young Living Oil Lady,

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I’m Paula - like many of you I wear a lot of hats. Child of God, wife of 18 years, mother of five, reluctant cook, full-time teacher, chocolate-snatcher, and children's author. Various family health issues including Lyme disease and candida has turned me into a 'researcher'. I don't have initials after my name, a degree in anything but motherhood, or a framed certificate on my wall. What I do have is a passion for understanding how our God-created bodies thrive or deteriorate based on what we put in it. Oh, and I also might mention homesteading, homeschooling, fitness, herbs, faith, and anything else I'm thinking about. . . like wow, I need to refill my tea. . .
Mountain Rose Herbs


  1. The Better Baker says

    What an informative post and delicious recipe. So glad I found you at Mix it up Monday. I will be making this very soon.

  2. Charlotte Moore says

    Ranch is the only kind I will eat. I found a homemade recipe for the dry powder on Heavenly Homemakers.

  3. Paula says

    Patricia -

    Thank you so much for catching that! Guess it would be pretty hard to make without the olive oil!

    You use 3/4 c. olive oil for this recipe. (I've now updated it)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. suzyhomemaker says

    I am so glad that I clicked on your recipe. (from chef-in-training)Right now I am on a homemade salad dressing kick. I love making homemade dressing and I have posted four so far and I also include the bottled dressing ingredients list. My favorite is my Asian dressing.

    I also try to post things that use real food and real ingredients. So we are on the same page.

    I think it is so funny because right before I clicked on your link I clicked on a "2" ingredient cupcake. Now I knew there was no way it was 2 ingredients, but I just wanted to see. They used a box mix (probably 30 ingredients right there) and diet soda. And they think it is healthy because it is low fat. I tried not to roll my eyes.

  5. Paula says

    LOL! Two ingredients indeed! Personally I think low-fat food should be taken off the shelves and buried. . .

    Had to take a peek at your dressings and have bookmarked your Zesty Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing. Looks delicious!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Annaliese Lemmon says

    I've been looking for soy-free, dairy-free salad dressings that aren't vinaigrettes. I am definitely going to have to try this!

  7. Gluten Free and Loving It says

    Looks good. I've made my own dressings for years and wouldn't go back to "store bought" for anything.

  8. JOY @ says

    Found you @ "Comfy in the Kitchen" and just became a follower because I SO need some new sugar free recipes. I've been eating sugar free about 10 years now and I'm getting so bored. I esp want to try your ketchup. My finance always enJOYs half bottle of ketchup with his fries and I just cringe.

  9. peters_mom says

    Paula, this looks so good and I don't even like French Dressing. :-) I will pass this on to my friends though.

    My favorite dressing is my homemade Ranch

    It's made with mayonnaise (I make my own now…it's so fun) and plain yogurt (I'm allowed yogurt on my ACD) and a mix I make myself. It's so stinkin' easy to make and it is the best tasting stuff on the planet…it should be a crime to eat it really.

  10. Paula says

    LOL – I just bookmarked your dressing! We're slowly easing back into a few milk products here and there, and Ranch dressing is something I've been missing. I'd love to give it a shot!

  11. Paula says

    Hmm. Ketchup and fries. That's a weakness for my husband too. Let me know what you think – I'm always tweaking. . .

  12. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures says

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  13. Jacqueline @ says

    Paula, This is a wonderful post and very helpful to let people 'see' the downside of the bad ingredients :) I am so glad that you shared it on 'EOA' Wednesday, and hope you will continue to contribute! Blessings :)

  14. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures says

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  15. Julie@teachinggoodeaters says

    This is great! I haven't had French dressing a quite a while but I do love the taste- I can't wait to try this!! Pinning :)

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