Pureed vegetables add key nutrients to your salad dressing.
Salad is a healthy food, but the dressing can add large amounts of calories, fat and sugar to a dish. Pureed vegetables, on the other hand, don't add much in the way of fat and calories, but they do boost the vitamin and mineral content of your salad dressing. The veggies are easy to add, too.
Preparing Your Puree
Soft vegetables are far easier to puree than raw veggies, so most varieties must be cooked ahead of time. Roast bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, carrots or beets until they're tender, then stick them in the blender with a bit of water or stock and blend them into a smooth puree. Leafy greens, such as spinach, mustard greens or kale, can be pureed in raw form, but you'll probably need to add water or stock to create a puree.
Making Your Salad Dressing
Whisk a small amount of your vegetable puree with oil, such as heart-healthy olive oil and vinegar, such as white or cider. To make a creamy veggie salad dressing, swap the olive oil for low-fat yogurt or sour cream, Karen E. Drummond and Lisa M. Brefere recommend in their book "Nutrition for Foodservice and Culinary Professionals." Fresh herbs, such as dill, basil or rosemary, will enhance the flavor and add trace amounts of certain nutrients such as vitamin A and iron.
Vegetables are low in fat and calories, but they infuse the salad dressing with small doses of certain nutrients. For example, most veggies are rich in fiber, which helps promote digestion. Eating plenty of vegetables can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes, according to ChooseMyPlate.gov. A diet filled with vegetables can also reduce your risk of eye disorders, digestive problems and high blood pressure, as well, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
A Few Final Tips
Experiment with different vegetable purees to achieve the results you desire, or try different veggies with different salads. For example, a salad dressing that includes avocado puree pairs well with a taco salad, while a dressing that's made with pureed spinach will complement the taste of a pasta salad. Keep your salad dressing even healthier by eliminating the sugar or by adding a squirt of fresh citrus juice.