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Why You Should Add Vanilla Extract to Your Salad Dressing

Glass bowl with vanilla extract on white wooden table.
Aquarius Studio/Shutterstock.com

Salad dressing is one of the most effective ways to bring flavor to salads and make them taste more appetizing. But not everyone is a fan. Some people find salad dressing too sharp, tart, or vinegary for their liking, and forego them (and salads altogether) as a result.

If someone who finds most salad dressings too acidic, it turns out the solution is likely already sitting in your cupboard or pantry– vanilla extract.

Despite what you might think, vanilla extract isn’t just for whipping up a batch of your favorite cookies or cupcakes. It can be used to make salad dressings taste less acidic, whether they’re homemade or store bought.

Chef'n Emulstir Salad Dressing Mixer

If you like making your own salad dressings, a salad dressing mixer like this one is an absolute must-have.

Basically the sweetness of the vanilla helps to balance out and soften the acidity found in many salad dressings. If the salad dressing contains any vinegar, lemon juice, or any other citrus juices, it can benefit from a dash or two of vanilla extract.

As long as you properly proportion the vanilla extract to salad dressing ratio, you shouldn’t taste any vanilla at all; rather, it’ll mellow any acidity or tartness while enhancing the flavors of other ingredients like olive oil.

You’ll want to add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract for every 1 cup of dressing to start. If you still find it too acidic or sharp, feel free to add another 1/4 teaspoon.

The exact amount of vanilla extract to add will vary by the type of salad dressing and personal taste so it may take a little experimentation to get it right. But once you do, you may find yourself adding it to all of your salad dressings.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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