I have a confession. I have been in a toxic relationship with ranch dressing, Hidden Valley, to be specific. I'm not talking "light" or "fat-free" or the make-your-own-skinny-girl-version. I'm talking the full on flavor, the 14 grams of fat and 140 calories per 2 tablespoons. Not to mention a bunch of MSG and other yucky stuf that you can read more about here.
I had recently conceded that I would probably be buying and consuming Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing for the rest of my life and feeling guilty for it, or miserably eating naked vegetables and salads drowning in vinegar, leaving my soul empty and wanting more...
I had tried purchasing Hidden Valley "free" and "lite" and just about every other brand under the sun. I had tried to make my own. I had tried to wean myself off by switching brands, but Hidden Valley always got me back. I felt that I was doomed to be part of this love/hate relationship with my salad dressing forever.
Until today. Today I decided to test the waters again and look and see (just looking) what was out on the market. Perhaps there was someone I hadn't considered, or had looked over in the past due to the way they were packaged, priced, or product placed. I felt like crying out "Can I be the only one stuck in this dilemma!?" Just then, it caught my eye. Classic Ranch Yogurt....it was the only one left on the shelf. I gingerly lifted my hand toward it and pulled back, remembering how disappointed my previous escapades had proved to be, but I thought, "it won't hurt, just to read the label". The ingredients were all legible and contained WAY less yucky stuff (MSG etc.). See?
I imagined that this Ranch 'poser' probably wouldn't taste as good as my "real" ranch. I thought to myself that 'it probably had just as many calories and fat anyway' I continued my skeptical reading of the label to check out the nutrition facts. I gasped as I realized that this only had 3 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons. I could eat WAY more of this ranch than my other ranch. It may actually be considered healthy to eat carrots and dip now! Or Salad. Or pizza? Or a swig of ranch dressing...just kidding, I'm not that bad.
I must admit, at $3.99 for a 14 oz bottle I was hesitant and unsure. What if I took it home, and it was like all the rest of the washed up imposters I'd tried before? What if it left me feeling sad and regretful and missing my old flame? I contemplated sampling the merchandise right there in the store, but I am a lady and have too much respect for my local Piggly Wiggly to just go around opening and sampling products.
I felt someone approaching my area of the store, there was a woman looking in the same section as me, I was holding the only remaining bottle of Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch. I panicked and threw it in the cart (like she was going to wrestle it out of my hands or demand I hand it over?) and decided to bring it home with me for a full on test drive. When we arrived home, I was shy at first. I put away all of my other groceries, and then finally placed the dressing on the shelf where it belonged. It seemed to fit in there. I wasn't sure if I should wash and peel some carrots first to try it, or if I should just jump in and have a lick. I decided to go for it, I squeezed a bit off the top and tasted it. The flavors erupted on my tounge! Oh Glorious Day! I held on for a minute to see if I would discover a terrible aftertaste or strange odor. There was nothing. I checked the consistency of the dressing, looking for any reason to texturally divorce this new miracle product. I found nothing, nothing but a new love affair with a healthy alternative to something I've been trying to break up with for quite some time!
I am not a paid spokesperson. No money or product was given to me to write about my new love affair with this product.
Let me know if you try it and what you think.