Q & A: Salad Dressings and Baking Powder

I mentioned the other day that I was working on making more foods from scratch and I received this question:

Q: How did you learn to make your own baking powder? I’d love to know that – avoid the aluminum additives… And have you shared your dressing recipes on your blog yet? I’m new here and plan to look a little – but would love to see how you make yours!

A: Well, making baking powder is very easy. You can either mix up a big batch or simply add this to your recipes when baking powder is called for.

Baking Powder from Scratch

Per teaspoon of baking powder:

1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Now, cream of tartar can be expensive, so it is best purchased in bulk if you want to make your own baking powder. Unless you are purchasing an aluminum free baking powder such as Rumsford, it is much healthier to make your own. Self- Rising flour often contains aluminum from the baking powder used. When we do purchase self-rising flour I like to use King Arthur brand which is aluminum free and excellent for baking. I have been making my own self-rising flour lately.

Self Rising Flour Mix Recipe

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Mix together for 1 cup of self-rising flour.

As for dressings, I have found that homemade tastes much better! Not surprising… And they literally only take a couple of minutes from start to finish! Oh, and they are much more cost effective!

I like to store my dressings in canning jars with the plastic lids that you can buy in the canning section of your market. The plastic lids are better for the fridge because they won’t rust.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
2 Tbs. milk

Mix together. If you want to use it as a thick dip, I would omit the milk.

Mexican Ranch variation add to the above recipe:

1/4 tsp. chile powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

Thousand Island Dressing

1 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 boiled eggs, mashed
1/4 tsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. pickle relish
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together.

Honey Mustard Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Mix ingredients together well with a wisk.

I am certain that once you have made your own, you won’t want to purchase them from the store ever again! As my daughter Sarah said upon tasting the ranch dressing – “Mom, this is the best dressing I’ve ever had!!”

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