I have a love-hate relationship with ranch dressing. I love it! But it hates me…
When I was nursing my last two kiddos, my dairy allergy flared pretty fierce. I also had to watch my dairy because my kiddos are allergic, too. It got so bad I had to eliminate all dairy AND soy from my diet while nursing. That meant NO ranch dressing on my salads. And that was not good.
So I went about finding an alternative. I was going to have to make my own dressing. It had to be dairy- and soy-free, but I still wanted it to taste like, well, ranch dressing! I went through a lot … a LOT … of iterations. The hard part isn’t the “ranch” – it’s the “dressing”. I got the combo of dry ingredients pretty close from the start. But the dressing part … It’s really hard to mimic creamy dairy without using creamy dairy.
I finally found, after many months, a soy- and dairy-free mayo substitute that actually made my dry ranch dressing mix taste like ranch dressing! And the world rejoiced, and I rejoiced, and it was beautiful!
Now that my kiddos are older and I’m done nursing, my body is no longer as sensitive to soy and dairy. But I have found that I really like the convenience of having my own dry ranch dressing mix around. I use it in a lot more recipes than I ever thought I would. Plus, I love that it doesn’t have any fillers, no chemicals – just plain real food ingredients. Because most of you are probably not sensitive or allergic to dairy or soy, I bring you the full-dairy version of a ranch dressing mix! (If you would like the dairy- and soy-free version, hollar in the comments!)
Now, this is all pretty normal stuff you find in your spice cabinet, except for that one thing in the middle. See that can? It is buttermilk powder. Don’t let that frighten you if you’ve never heard of this stuff before. I hadn’t either. But it’s actually surprisingly easy to find. You can find this brand in most grocery stores, in the baking aisle. [If you’re into food storage, you can also find buttermilk powder in #10 cans through most emergency prep & food storage companies.]
Measure out your ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. The order you put them in is up to you. Be spontaneous. Be creative. Just make sure you don’t skip any items. 😉
Mix gently with your mixing tool of choice. I like whisks. But a fork or spoon will work to.
Transfer to your choice of air-tight container. I keep mine in a pint-size mason jar in my pantry.
Now, when a recipe calls for a packet of dry ranch dressing mix, you’ve got some all ready to go. Use 3 tablespoons of your homemade mix to equal one commercially-prepared packet of mix. The first few times you use it you’ll want to play around with the strength. You might want to use more or less than the 3 tablespoons.
To make dressing: Add 3 tablespoons of mix to 1 cup of mayo plus 1 cup milk.
To make dip: Add 3 tablespoons of mix to 1 cup of sour cream. Thin with a tablespoon or two of milk (I like mine thick, so I don’t add any milk).
- 1/2 cup buttermilk powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2-3 teaspoons dried dill weed
- 2 teaspoons freeze-dried chives
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients together in medium-size bowl until well-combined.
Transfer to airtight container and store in cool, dry place. (Dry mix will keep for 1-2 months.)
3 tablespoons mix = 1 store-bought packet