Rich, smooth and delicious, this ranch dressing is one to “dip and dress” the summers best fresh produce. Doesn’t everyone love Ranch Dressing? We certainly do! But only when we make it ourselves because the “store-bought” brands typically have lots of unhealthy ingredients we don’t want to eat. This is a fun and easy recipe using cashews instead of mayo or oil, which of course will make it a little better-for-us, adding protein and fiber to the dip!

When you whip it up, it will stay in the fridge for 4 or 5 days, making it a great snack for a crunchy celery stick on a warm afternoon.

We use dried tarragon in the recipe, but if you don’t have tarragon, parsley is a super alternative. We are using dried spices here because we already have a creamy dressing, and don’t want to add more moisture. Just make sure you use dried garlic and onion POWDER here and not the salts. Onion and garlic are simply dried, then ground to make the powder – the salts are salt first and then added garlic or onion. The dried spices rehydrate in the dressing and add lots of flavor.

Speaking of flavor, the tarragon adds just the touch of “sweet green” flavor to the dressing. One of the interesting studies done recently is that tarragon may have potential as an anti-nausea treatment after surgery. Another clinical trial demonstrated that people treated with it were less likely to experience nausea and vomiting after surgery. Researchers are also conducting studies to see if tarragon may help in the management of diabetes. Preliminary studies are also investigating the role that tarragon may have on exercise performance.  A Tsp of dried tarragon provides only about 5 calories which makes it a light spice with LOTS of goodness.

Cashew BBQ Ranch Dressing

You’ll need to plan ahead to let the dressing sit for at least 30 minutes. Makes about 1 cup of dressing – keep in fridge for 4-5 days

  • ½ Cup Raw Cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes and drained
  • ½ Cup Non-Dairy Milk
  • 2 TB *BBQ Sauce
  • 1-2 TB Lemon Juice
  • ½ Tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ Tsp Garlic Powder
  • Dash of Smoked Paprika
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
  • 1 TB Chopped Chives OR Green Onions
  • ½ Tsp Dried Tarragon or Parsley

Place the cashews, milk, bbq sauce, 1 TB lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a blender, (OR you can make this in your Nutribullet or Ninja). Puree and add the green onions and tarragon. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. If desired, add more milk when you remove it from the fridge.

*Be a label detective when you buy your bbq sauce. Buy the one with the fewest and best ingredients, less sugar, salt and oil. A good local brand that is widely distributed is Williamson Brothers Original BBQ Sauce.

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