Make your own Ranch mix with no MSG

January 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

Dave gets terrible migraine headaches, and his doctor is gradually working through potential triggers, asking him to eliminate certain food items from his diet.  This month, he’s not allowed to consume cheese, alcohol, or MSG.  It turns out MSG is in EVERYTHING, including his favorite Ranch dip mix.  So, I did some research, and invented a Ranch dip mix that contains no MSG (and also less salt, because I think he eats too much salt).  There are several versions of make-your-own Ranch mix on the internet, and most of them call for saltines.  Crackers bulk up the mix, and add a little thickness to the consistency of the final product.  However, if you are gluten-free, either substitute gluten-free crackers, or leave them out altogether.  They aren’t that critical to the taste or consistency of the dip or the salad dressing.

Although my Ranch mix substitute is a little less salty than the original, it is still delicious, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper, too (not to mention the fact that this recipe produces a year’s supply of the stuff, so definitely feel free to share it with a friend).  What Dave and I especially like about making foods in our own kitchen is the ability for us to control what goes into our diet.  Using less salt, making something gluten free, or eliminating migraine triggers are all possible when we make it ourselves, and homemade foods tend to be healthier and less expensive.

Ranch dip and salad dressing mix

17 saltine crackers, broken into pieces

2 cups dried parsley flakes

3/4 cup dried minced onion

2 tablespoons dried basil

4 tablespoons salt (use 6 tablespoons total if you like it saltier)

5 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons dry dill weed

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Combine in a food processor, and pulse a few times until the crackers are nicely ground.  Pour into a couple of Ball canning jars, or share some with a friend (this makes a LOT of dry mix, which is fine for us because we love the stuff).

To make salad dressing, whisk together 1 tablespoon dry mix, 1 cup mayonnaise, and 1 cup buttermilk.  Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, for the flavors to meld.  To make dip, stir together 1 tablespoon dry mix, 1-1/2 cups sour cream, and 1/2 cup mayonnaise.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes for the flavors to meld.

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