Who doesn’t love dipping a sweet orange carrot into some creamy, garlic-y, herby ranch dressing? Ranch is the ultimate way to enjoy your fresh cut veggies. Ranch and raw veggies go together like peanut butter and jelly, like strawberries and chocolate.
As a kid I wouldn’t touch raw veggies without dipping them into some ranch dressing. I used to drown my salads in the stuff.
My poor mom, she wasn’t a fan of the stuff. She knew ranch was packed full of preservatives, a ton of sodium, and unhealthy fats. She always tried to get me to eat my veggies with some other type of homemade dip, but I wouldn’t budge. It had to be ranch. She usually gave in and gave me ranch; at least I was eating veggies rather than potato chips.
As my taste buds matured I discovered I enjoyed eating my veggies with other dips such as homemade dill dip, and hummus.
Currently, you won’t find any store-bought bottled dressing in our refrigerator. Even the organic bottled dressings are packed with too many preservatives, salt, sodium, and unnecessary ingredients.
To be honest, I don’t miss bottled dressings one bit. Homemade vinaigrettes and creamy dressings and hummus can be whipped up in no time.
However, there is one type of dressing that I do miss.
That’s right, ranch. How did you guess?
When I thought of making homemade ranch I considered making it with powdered buttermilk and sour cream, which would also be delicious. But, I wanted to create a version that would be healthy and help to fill you up. It’s a bonus that it is vegan and gluten-free so almost anyone can enjoy it (unless you have a cashew allergy, sorry).
Cashews are high in protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and are loaded with healthy fats. Technically you could load up on a bunch of veggies and cashew ranch dip for a complete meal. Sounds like dinner to me!
Does it actually taste like ranch?
I’m so glad you asked. Although I did not buy a bottle of commercial ranch to taste-test them side-by-side I think the cashew ranch dip does, in fact, taste a lot like store-bought ranch. I bet if you served it to some unsuspecting guests they may never guess that it is not the commercial store-bought ranch.
I double dog dare ya, see if anyone notices.
This ranch is:
Thick & creamy
Perfect with any and all veggies
Easy to make
Way healthier than the bottled stuff
The best part about making your own ranch is that it is totally customizable. If you like it to be more onion-y add in more dried onion. Or if you like it to be tangier add in more apple cider vinegar. The possibilities are endless.
The next time you are craving a little carrot and ranch dip action try making this recipe. It only takes you 10 minutes of active time to make; you’ve got nothing to lose!
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews soaked in water overnight (if short on time soak the cashews in very hot water for at least 1 hour)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (or more if you like your ranch to be tangier)
- 3 to 7 tablespoons filtered water, or more if you desire a thinner dip consistency
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh dill leaves, chopped (for dried use 1 and ¼ teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon dried onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons dried chives, minced
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, or more if desired
- Fine sea salt to taste
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and add them to the bowl of your food processor. Add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and 3 tablespoons of the filtered water. Process until the cashews are mostly broken up. Scrape down the sides. If the cashew mixture gets to be a little thick add in a tablespoon of water at a time and process. Process until the cashew mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides and adding in water as needed. The mixture should be mostly smooth. It can be slightly grainy but there shouldn’t be any big cashew chunks.
- Add the garlic powder, dill, dried onion, parsley flakes, dried chives, and black pepper. Process until well combined. Taste and add the salt to taste. Add in more pepper if you like a hint of spice. Process until mixed thoroughly.
- If you want to thin out the consistency of the ranch a little you can add in some more water, but it will dilute the flavor of the spices. I like mine to be pretty thick so that it clings to the veggies.
- Refrigerate the ranch for at least 2 hours so the flavors can fully meld together and the dip can chill. It tastes most like ranch after it has been chilled.
- Serve with your favorite veggies.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If the dip thickens up or becomes a little dry just stir in a little water.
Spices adapted from: Gimme Some Oven