One thing I truly enjoy is a really fresh, organic, multi-plant, salad. But once I started seriously reading labels, I realized that most of my commercially prepared favorite salad dressing had ingredients that were not in the best interest of my health. As Michael Pollan says in his iconic book Food Rules – An Eater’s Manual “Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry.”*

So why not dress UP your salad with calcium rich dressings you can whip up fresh? One of my favorites salad dressings from my childhood was Ranch dressing. But in looking at the ingredients, I found ones that I did not like or did not know, so I started working on a version that had the taste profile, but not the ingredients I did not want. What I did want was a nice boost of calcium and probiotics to support healthy digestion. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Sassy Ranch Salad Dress UP


  • ½ cup plain kefir (great buttermilk replacement with 185 mg calcium, protein, vitamin D and a host of active probiotics!)
  • ¼ cup avocado mayonnaise (high in “good” monosaturated fat)
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (protein, calcium, vitamin D)
  • 1 t dried parsley flakes
  • ½ t dried dill
  • ½ t dried chives
  • ½ t onion powder
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • Pinch of salt, to your taste


Whisk all ingredients together. Place in a glass container in your refrigerator and allow it to “rest” for a half hour to rehydrate your herbs and allow the flavors to blend. Stir or shake before using.

*If you haven’t read it, Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules, published by the Penguin Group, is a #1 New York Times bestseller, and a quick, fun read packed with practical advice on making better choices for your health and the health of your family!