My mother always had two flavors of Hidden Valley dressing mixes in her cupboard.. Italian and Ranch. Yum! As a teenager, I would break out the sour cream, grab a bag of pretzels, and sneak some of the ranch dressing spices to mix in. Happy snacking for me!!
I don’t know how I thought my mom wouldn’t know?? The packet would be put back in the cupboard all ripped up, and half full. She was probably exasperated when she went to make our weekly ranch dressing. I don’t recall getting in trouble for it.. but I’m sorry Mom!
That afternoon snack of creamy, ranch-y pretzels must have been worth the potential stern talking to. We didn’t have junk food in the house at all, so this was the closest my rebellious, junk food craving, teenage heart could get. And, for the record, I would still enjoy ranch dip and pretzels any day of the week. Too bad they haven’t come out with a grain free pretzel, huh.
For real though… Have you ever actually looked at the ingredients listed in a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix? Before we knew how awful MSG and fake sodium was, these things weren’t on the do not buy list. As a new mom, I faithfully picked up my Italian and Ranch packets at the grocery store when we could afford it. When I used to buy it, it was $2.00 a packet. For someone on a massively tight budget, that is an enormous amount of extra cash just for the spices.
Thankfully, in this world, we have the ability to type in a quick search and we are bombarded with loads of info. With enough research, (yay for Google), a person can figure out quite a few things.
Things like the extreme dangers of consuming MSG and other excitotoxins.
How fake processed salt is harmful to our bodies.
And, how easy it is to prepare your own ranch dressing mix, with good-for-you ingredients.
Here is my recipe for the easiest ranch dressing mix. 5 ingredients. All easy to understand. No added chemicals or artificial flavorings. Just spices. My family has been eating this for years, and they love it.
Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix
4 Tablespoons of Dried Parsley
2 Tablespoons of Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Dried Dill
1 Tablespoon Himilayan Pink Salt (I keep this amount lower, as it gets saltier after it sits in the fridge. Add more to taste if you need to)
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked Black Pepper (Optional for those with sensitive mouths)
Mix together and place in an airtight container. When ready to use, take one heaping Tablespoon of the spice mix and mix it to 1 cup of your preferred creamy base. Our favorite way is in straight in organic sour cream. We use this as a dip for fresh cut veggies, slathered on grass fed burgers, or thinned down with a few teaspoons of water for easy ranch dressing. Equal parts buttermilk and mayo would make it taste more like the bottled dressings. And thick Greek yogurt would also work well here. My hubs can always tell when I use yogurt instead of sour cream…so to keep him eating those dark leafy greens, I make it the way he likes it. 🙂
You can use this spice mix anywhere you would use a store bought packet. Ranch Chex Mix, Creamy Ranch Chicken, DIY Ranch Oyster Crackers. I have also used this recipe to make big batches to giveaway as Christmas gifts. This amount lasts us a couple of weeks with ranch dip being a staple around here. If you have picky eaters that don’t like herbs, take this recipe and grind it in your coffee grinder. It will turn into a powder, much like the packets.. that you are never going to buy again, right??
The best part? All these spices cost me less than $1 (for the amounts used) and I will be getting the equivalent of 4-5 Hidden Valley dressing packets. Holla for a Dolla!!!
Happy Money Saving!!
P.S – For those that asked.. I purchased my spice jars at IKEA. They come in a pack of 4 for $3.99.
P.S.S – Of course my Mom no longer purchases the packets. She uses dried or fresh herbs for all of her dressings. 🙂
P.S.S.S – I will make another post about how I make the Italian version. Give me a minute! 🙂Pin It