Healthy Real Foods for Lunch, Part 2: Healthy Homemade Ranch Dressing in a Jar!

Today’s tip for feeding a healthy lunch for your kids is to give them some raw veggies that are crisp and colorful with plenty of dip to make those veggies zip with flavor. Think bite-sized: cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, baby carrots, cucumber chunks. Put the veggies and dip each in a small separate compartment for easy portability if you pack the lunch. For the bento box effect, maybe put the veggies in a colorful cupcake liner and cut them out in fun shapes with mini-cookie cutters. Or you can learn to cut them with a knife like the carrot flowers in the second video on this other blog post I did here.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t worry about making the dip low-fat. Whole fat is what we all need, as it keeps moods stable and makes the vitamins and minerals in the veggies more assimilated by the body. Leaving fat off of veggies, or overcooking veggies is what gives veggies a bad name. We have all been sold a lie that low-fat or zero fat is best, when in fact, it makes us sicker and lines the pocketbooks of the low-fat and zero fat food manufacturers. I encourage you to experiment with this. One day, give your kids a lunch with veggies and no fat to go with it, another day give them veggies with lots of whole fat. See which day they eat more of the veggies. I think you will also find that the fat also makes them happy, less prone to meltdowns and anger.

Here is my favorite WHOLE FAT dip for veggies, homemade ranch dressing. I got this recipe from my beautiful friend Tara, who actually got it from her beautiful daughter, who made it up. And why would you want to do homemade ranch dressing? Because the store-bought stuff is laced with highly processed oils like soybean and canola oil that is not fit for human consumption. Your body can not digest it. You can also find hard-to-pronounce ingredients on the label of a typical ranch dressing in the store. That’s a big flag that the ingredient was made in a factory, not in nature. To quote a wise mom, “If it takes a laboratory to make it, it takes a laboratory to digest it.” It’s my personal belief that our bodies don’t know what to do with the laboratory/factory made stuff, so it just stores the stuff away and that stored, undigested stuff can eventually turn to cancer.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 pint jar
1 cup Daisy sour cream
1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
1/2 tsp Real Salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried dill
a bit less than 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/16 tsp ground celery seed (just fill your 1/8 spoon half way)

Mix all the ingredients in the pint jar and enjoy! Keep refrigerated. Tara says, “I have no idea how long this lasts in the fridge as we eat it up too fast to tell!”

For a nice thick dip, omit the buttermilk and use 1 and 1/2 cups of sour cream.

If you do decide to make it thicker so it’s a dip instead of a dressing, here is a fun trick you can do. Did you know you can use a Mason jar instead of your blender jar on your blender base? That way you can mix the dip right in the Mason jar and then store it in your fridge without scraping it out into a storage container. Because the container is glass, it’s easy to see what’s in the container so you don’t have to label it.

If you pack the dip for your child for lunch, be sure to pack an ice pack with it to keep the dip cold.

Just screw the blender base right onto the top of the Mason jar. Make sure you have the rubber gasket and turn it real tight.  Then turn it upside down and put it on your blender jar. Blend it up, and then you can take off the blender base and put on a regular Mason jar lid. I learned this tip from Cara at  the Health Home Happy blog.

It’s a great web site/blog for learning about tasty GAPS-based recipes.

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