This 10-minute alkaline salad dressing is a great way to use some of that holy basil you decided to grow (along with my holy basil tea!). It’s also a fantastic way to add some antihistamine power to your lunch or dinner, without needing to bow to a bunch of bitter herbs just for flavor.
About this recipe
Super quick. This herb-infused low histamine salad dressing whips up in less than 10 minutes, including prep time.
Add holy basil to your diet. Like your parents used to hide vegetables in the lasagna, this dressing hides holy basil in the salad you’re having for lunch. Add in all your favorite salad toppings and you won’t even notice the antihistamine foods until they offer relief!
Multi-use. If you’re worried you can’t use all this dressing in one go, fear not. The remainder can be used on roast potatoes, to finish sauteed yams, or for dipping tolerated low histamine breads.
Tulsi (Holy Basil): this type of basil more resembles mint leaves than the Italian Sweet Basil we’re used to using in pestos and other sauces, but it also has much more antihistamine power than other varieties. I find that it tastes like a lightly grassy, citrusy version of mint, veering a bit peppery when it’s eaten uncooked.
Sage: this is one of the more bold herbs on the market, though it tends to be relegated to the background of dishes. This is because the camphor-like aroma can be off-putting to novice cooks, but rest assured that it pairs nicely with the tulsi.
Sumac: this red-hued spice is actually a ground-up dried berry with strongly antihistamine and acidic properties. It complements or can even take the place of lemon juice, which is actually needed to emulsify a salad dressing.
So if you omit or swap the lemon juice, this alkaline salad dressing will taste right but won’t be very smooth. This is an optional but recommended ingredient; a good alternative is amchur.
Lemon Juice: the kick of acid from the lemon juice actually becomes alkaline in your gut, making this herb-rich sauce a highly alkaline dressing for greens & whatever else you want to put it on. Additionally, lemon contains loads of vitamin C, a known mast cell stabilizer, though some people are sensitive to citrus-derived forms of it.
How to make alkaline salad dressing: step-by-step instructions
Step 1. Wash and measure the sage & holy basil, plucking only the leaves of both herbs and discarding the stems. Then measure out the oil and sumac; set all those ingredients aside. If your blender or food processor is very weak, you may want to pre-chop both herbs as shown below.
Step 2. If you know you can’t tolerate citrus juices or vinegar, you may or may not be able to tolerate ascorbic acid. But if you can, mix 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid into 1 Tablespoon water, and then add it to your food processor. Alternatively, juice a fresh lemon and measure out 1 tablespoon.
Step 3. Next add the ground sumac and oil, and blend well. These 3 won’t emulsify like a traditional salad dressing unless you use lemon juice, but they will add sour and creamy notes; I do recommend using lemon juice or white vinegar if possible. You may need to tilt the machine to the side for the blades to whip at all— it took my little processor about a minute.
Step 4. Now add your herbs to the mixture, and blend on high for 30 seconds-2 minutes, until the liquid is mostly uniform (unless you like the bit of herbs). You’ll probably need to scrape down the sides of the machine a few times during the blending, to fully incorporate the herbs, and you may want to tilt your blender to aid in the process.
Once done blending, your low histamine salad dressing is ready to be used! You can store the second portion in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
Recipe notes & tips
Use a high-powered blender. This will at least save you the effort of pre-chopping the herbs, and at most it will also save you several minutes of tilting and scraping to get everything broken down.
The smaller the better. If you have a one-cup food processor or a Vitamix, those are two of the few options which may actually be able to cut the whole herbs small enough for a dressing.
What greens to dress? Thanks to the inherent pepperiness of holy basil, I wouldn’t recommend putting it on an arugula salad, but any fresh spring mix, red lettuce, or even plain baby kale would do.
Homemade Alkaline Salad Dressing Recipe Card
As always, if you like the recipe, I really appreciate a review or comment!
Alkaline Salad Dressing (Holy Basil & Sage)
Earthy, herbal alkaline salad dressing with an acidic twang and mountains of flavor. Perfect for making a low histamine, alkaline salad at home!
- 20 leaves fresh tulsi/holy basil (~2 sprigs)
- 4 large sage leaves
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil (or other tolerated oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac (or 2 teaspoons lemon juice, if tolerated)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (alt. ascorbic acid vinegar or distilled vinegar)
- Measure and wash the sage & holy basil. Then measure the oil and sumac, and set everything aside. If your blender or food processor is very weak, you may want to pre-chop both herbs.
- If you know you can’t tolerate citrus juices or vinegar, you may or may not be able to tolerate ascorbic acid. But if you can, mix 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid into 1 Tablespoon water, and then add it to your food processor. Alternatively, juice a fresh lemon and measure out 1 tablespoon.
- Add the ground sumac and oil. These 3 won’t emulsify like a traditional salad dressing unless you use lemon juice, but they will add sour and creamy notes; I do recommend using lemon juice or white vinegar if possible. You may need to tilt the machine to the side for the blades to whip at all— it took my little processor about a minute.
- Add herbs to mixture, and blend on high for 30 seconds-2 minutes, until the liquid is mostly uniform (unless you like the bit of herbs). Now it's done! You can store the second portion in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
BLENDER: Use a small, high-powered blender to save yourself the time and effort of having to tilt your machine with its content to get it to blend right.
GREENS: Thanks to the pepperiness of tulsi, I wouldn't recommend putting it on arugula, but any fresh lettuce mix or plain baby kale would do.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270.27kcalTotal Fat: 29.05ggSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 20.92mgmgCarbohydrates: 2.84ggFiber: 1gSugar: 0.2ggProtein: 1.06gg
Nutrition data is primarily accumulated from online calculators for convenience and courtesy only, and can vary depending on factors such as measurements, brands, and so on. We encourage you to double-check and make your own calculations.
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Tuesday 25th of October 2022
This sounds really good. If I were to use white vinegar in lieu of the ascorbic acid powder, about how would I use? White vinegar has the lowest histamine count of all vinegars.
Tuesday 25th of October 2022
I would replace it 1:1, using one tablespoon in the whole recipe. I hope you like it, Liz!