Thursday, March 29, 2012

A little something for your time

****UPDATED JUNE 2012 JULY 2013 SEE BELOW****

I made some homemade salad dressings today, so I thought I would share with you. Through a medical journey my husband is on, one of the many demands being made of him is to lose weight and eat better. I'm a BIG proponent of not only salads and snacking on veggies, but also making it tasty and painless in the process. For my husband, that requires RANCH dressing. Obviously ranch dressing is not healthy, especially considering it's only a condiment of sorts. So in the meantime, I have been searching for an alternative. I, ladies and gentlemen, have found our salvation in Greek yogurt.  So below I share with you my humble recipe.

1 cup Dannon Oikos plain nonfat greek yogurt
1 packet hidden valley ranch (dressing, not dip)
1/2 cup 1% milk

Whisk together in bowl and chill for 1 hour before serving.  As you can see below this filled my canning jar.  There is a lot of talk about HOW much milk to use, to get the right consistency and I found this dead on for 'regular' ranch or any other creamy dressing.

The best part....this ENTIRE jar of dressing, is only 255 calories, 1.75 grams of fat, 42 carbs and 34 protein. That calculates to 8pts on the new points plus system. For an entire jar of dressing. I would hazard a guess that this would yield about 20-24 servings. 

The best part for ME, is my husband LOVES it! Go me!

****UPDATE****
Some of you are accidentally buying the DIP mix instead of the DRESSING mix with pretty horrid results, so I wanted to post the below for you. They are both in little packets, and looks fairly alike, especially if like me, you walk past and grab it as you go. But there is a difference and I'll post the photos below. It usually looks like there are a lot of those little cardboard holders, but really they are all different. I'll post the two below so you know what to look for.
*******ANOTHER UPDATE*******
I've seen it mentioned the concern for MSG in the HVR packets and I wanted to share a new blog post with you all. This is a new ranch recipe that I found on another website (go give her a holler!)
It can be made full fat as per the recipe or you can make it low fat/low cal with buttermilk and Greek yogurt in a similar fashion to this recipe. Because you make the ranch mix yourself, it cuts down on MSG and preservatives added to the ranch packet.  Enjoy!

This is what you want. The dressing
mix. Can also be used for ranch chicken
and in hamburgers.
This is what you do NOT want.
This is JUST to make the dip
that you use for veggies, like they
sell pre-made in the dairy section.

I hope that helps!!


126 comments:

  1. I had to use a little more greek yogurt and I used skim milk...fat free. It might make it a bit more runny but its my first time lol.

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    1. Yes it seems like the less fat in the milk, the runnier it is. I would just decrease the milk *slightly* and that should help with the consistency :)

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    2. Messy is good when you're tossing a salad.

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    3. Messy is good when you are tossing that salad!

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  2. So only a couple grams of carbs? That's what I'm seriously watching these days and it's finally working.

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    1. Are you doing Atkins?

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  3. My husband got 20 servings out of this before (GASP) I tossed it out to make a new batch. It was in our fridge a ridiculously long time, so for the safety of my hubby's tummy I made a new batch.

    The key (I have found) is the milk radio. Too much milk and it's runny. Just the right amount and you keep the 'dressing consistency.' With the first batch, we thickened it up by mixing it with fat free or low fat cottage cheese, which we eat on our salad anyways. Was AMAZEBALLS!

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    1. How many calories per tablespoon would you say this recipe is. I am actually on the way to buy the ingredients, and I just want to make sure I continue to count my calories correctly!

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    2. I would say about 12-25 calories/tbsp but please keep in mind that is based on the NV of MY ingredients a year ago. It may very brand to brand and depending on what you consider a serving size.

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  4. I'm excited to try this. I always want a good lowfat Ranch dressing but its always higher in points than I like. Anyway, I typed this into the recipe builder and I got 4 PPV for the total batch, but you said you got 8 PPV. Do you know why this might be?

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    1. I've got no explanation. As a WW veteran I find their tools to be horribly inconsistent, which is why I am no longer using WW.

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  5. I used the free points plus calculator on the weight watchers website. Plugged in the 1.75 grams of fat, 42 carbs and 34 protein and 0 for fiber (can't remember if there wasn't any or if I didn't write it down) and it gave me 8.

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    1. That's for the whole container!

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  6. Yeah if I do it based on those numbers, I get 8 PPV, but if I use the recipe builder, I get 4 PPV.

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  7. Ok, you guys keep saying servings...but what *size*?? Tablespoons? Teaspoons? Cups? (Just kidding!) What are you using as a measurement for the servings?

    Thanks! ~Teena

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  8. Yeah that's why I was hesitant to list any 'per serving' stats. I don't know exactly how much people like to use or how many tbsp were in the jar. I think Mekius uses like 3-4 tbsp on a big salad. I know it varies for everyone, plus since it's homemade, not everyone will be using the same size container as well.

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  9. :) I can live that - thanks Sara!!

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  10. JUST made this! AMAZING! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this recipe! I hate most dressing out there but this is fantastic! So happy :)

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    1. I'm so glad you found a dressing you like :)

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  11. Just made this and can't wait to try it . :)

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  12. How long does the dressing last in the fridge?

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    1. I would imagine it would only last as long as the milk or the yogurt (the earliest expiration date).

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  13. Oops - bought the dip and made it. Not so good! Will use a bit as not to be wasteful , but def going to try the other way.

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  14. Thank you for this recipe...Absolutely fabulous!!!! :)

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  15. I made it today....tasted yummy!!! Thanks for a great recipe!

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    1. I just joined WW and the total of 8 ppts for the entire recipe would come out to zero for a couple of Tbs. Is that correct?

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  16. There are a lot of things I can give up in my quest to eat healthier, but ranch dressing is not one of them. Salads are not happening for me without it. Thank you SOOOOOOO MUUUCCHHH for this delicious recipe!!!

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    1. Amen. Ranch is less a food than an experience. I will put it on almost anything!

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  17. Darn....I got the dip too. Taste so bad, so do t waste your other ingredients :) what does the dressing look like? A packet as well?

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  18. I can't wait to make this! Definantely geeting the ingrediants on my next grocery visit!

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  19. I'm just starting WW (again..sigh..) and can't wait to try this. I can only eat so many plain carrots, celery, etc..Thanks for posting

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    1. Awesome, I like it with broccoli too!

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  20. Eating it right now on my salad. Pretty tasty! Thanks for sharing.

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  21. try it with buttermilk instead of skim milk. It's fantastic! I've been doing this for years and the extra zip makes it even better.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, I might have to try it with buttermilk!

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  22. Could you use unsweetened almond milk instead?

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  23. I second the anonymous person's question above me...is unsweetend almond milk an option for this? I don't drink actual milk ever.

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    1. i made this last night with unsweetened almond milk, as i do not drink milk either. it tasted great but was runny. i will definitely make this again, but i might reduce the amount of almond milk next time, or add a little more greek yogurt in an attempt to thicken it up some.

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    2. i made this last night with unsweetened almond milk (i am not a milk drinker either). it tasted great but was quite thin. next time, i might increase the amount of greek yogurt or slightly reduce the amount of almond milk.

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  24. This is amazing and my husband loves it as well, which is HUGE!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much!!

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    1. You're welcome, glad to have another hubby fan!

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  25. To the people who asked about almond milk...we used rice milk and it worked fine. Needed more yogurt, less milk but worked fine. It wasn't really good for saving in the fridge though, so possibly try and make a half batch. I would assume almond milk would work just fine!

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  26. Awesome recipe! I made it tonight and it was so good! Thank you so much!

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  27. I make a Ranch dressing version pretty similar to this! Love it! :)

    Check out my latest recipe @ bakingblissful.blogspot.com

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  28. Thank you so much for sharing this! I've been looking for a delicious, low-fat Ranch for a long time, and this is it!

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  29. I just made it using the 6oz Chobani Greek yogurt, the salad dressing mix, and about 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk. I am trying for a little more of a 'dip' consistency rather than a dressing- somewhere in the middle- and right now it is a little runny, but I'm hoping for perfection once it has a chance to 'sit up'.

    A little note on the Salad dressing mix, you can also get it in an 8oz canister!! My husband and I use it on just about everything and (its been a while since I've compared) but I'd assume it is cheaper than buying the individual packets. I believe I have even seen a MUCH larger jug of it at Sam's Club if you have a real obsession with it!

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    1. I might have to check out the canister, I use it in several recipes myself, thanks!

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  30. What is the WW pts if you use buttermilk?

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    1. You would have to calculate that our yourself as we don't know how much or what brand/type of buttermilk you are using.

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  31. Can I ask where the 42 grams of carbs and 34 grams of protein came from? I only calculated 16.5 carbs and 26 protein? What am I doing wrong?

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    1. Any number of things can change your nutritional values. Based on brand, fat content, how much you make, etc. You will have to calculate your own and work out your servings from there :)

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  32. Oh I just realized I have the dip! Maybe that makes the difference from the dressing mix...the total amount I ended up with was 2 cups and broken down into serving sizes of 2 T (16 servings total) the points value was 0...too good to be true unless of course you don't like the dip mix or I am doing something wrong!

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  33. I'm a dude, and I made this today. It was incredibly easy, but tasted a little bland for my taste. So I added 1/4 teaspoon of paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, and ground black pepper! Hey, if I don't have to use mayo or buttermilk we're doing it healthy.

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    1. That sounds delicious, I am going to try it this way for my hubby and see what he thanks. Thanks for sharing!

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  34. Loved it...thanks so much for the recipe!!

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  35. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  36. Bummed to find out there's MSG in the packet mix. That kinda blows the healthy part out of the water (or dressing in this case) for me.

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    1. Yep sorry, not for someone hoping to avoid MSG!

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  37. If I use skim milk, do I just use a little less?

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    1. Using skim milk might make it a smidge runnier, but don't use less, just add a couple tablespoons more of the yogurt and it should end up fine.

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  38. So basically sub mayo for yogurt & reduce milk a bit? Would this work with the buttermilk recipe?

    -Kristen

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  39. Added avocado, mixed with the hand mixer. ..yummy. thanks for the recipe

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    1. I'm not an avocado fan, but blended together that sounds heavenly.

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  40. How did you calculate 42 carbs? With the milk and yogurt I used I was at 12 carbs total. Just curious! Yummy!

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  41. This is AMAZING! Seriously the best Ranch I have ever had. I used Trader Joe's plain greek yogurt, Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing packet, and skim milk. I seriously just ate a whole cucumber with this dressing. Thank you!!

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  42. I have been looking for a cheese ranch recipe and was wondering if you would know how to do that with this ranch recipe??

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    1. I would just add about 1/2 cup each of cottage cheese and parmesan. That would add quite a bit to the calorie count, however.

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  43. Does it matter what yogurt you use? I used an off brand and it had a bitter aftertaste.

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    1. I personally think it does yes. I don't like generic Greek yogurt for the same reason.

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  44. To the person looking for more of a dip than a dressing, then definitely purchase the DIP mix, and simply mix it with 2 cups of ff Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It's excellent, and thick like dip should be.

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  46. Mine didn't taste very good either, and I bought the same yogurt & salad dressing mix. I thought it tasted okay at first, but then tried it again the next day and it had a weird aftertaste.

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  47. Do you happen to know how much sodium this recipe has?

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    1. I don't and YMMV based on how much you make, the brands you use and what you consider a serving size. I would recommend gathering the items next time you shop and doing some quick math on your phone. I will tell you though, this is not a low sodium recipe, obvs because those mix packets never are.

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  48. Awesome!!! Going to give this a try asap.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! :-)

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  49. I have homemade ranch dressing seasoning (to mix with mayo, sour cream and buttermilk)...does anyone know how much would equal a packet of ranch seasoning? Thanks.

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  50. I used 1 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup fat-free organic milk and 3 tablespoons of the ranch dressing seasoning. We buy the canister of the seasoning and I didn't know exactly how much was in a packet either so I went to the Hidden Valley website and was actually able to find out! It's amazing since I am not very good on a computer. Three tablespoons makes a strong ranch flavor.

    Hope that helps.

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  51. OMG this is just delicious. I have shied away from Ranch dressing for far too long, Thank you for posting!!

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  52. Going to try this with the spicy ranch packet and see how that works as well. Thanks

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  53. Just made this and it is yummy. How long will it be good for??

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  54. A co-worker just shared this with me, OMG, so tasty & so much better for you than ranch! Using it on my sandwiches now instead of mayo and maybe I'll be able to stomach snacking on fresh veggies with this yummy dip!
    Pam - I would think it would stay fresh as long as the exp date on the yogurt or milk container. My co-worker said she goes through a batch a week at her house, every one loves it so much!

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    1. Thank you and to your co-worker for sharing, awesome!

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  55. I made this recipe this afternoon. Delicious!

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  56. I used almond milk which only has 15 cal for half a cup. It came out awesome!

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  57. My girls eat ranch on everything, so to make it last long enough could I whip up a double batch at a time?
    I am so excited to try it. I like the idea of making it myself, and knowing just what is in it. My husband and I have to watch our sugar and sodium intake:)

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  58. Love this!! Thank you so much! I was able to buy a large "can" of the seasoning mix which makes it that much less inexpensive in the end too! ....I am able to make as little or as much as I want!

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    1. I'm hearing so much about the large canister I think it's going on my grocery list next week :)

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  59. About how long would you say it is good for?

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  60. How long would you say this would be good for?

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    1. Only as long as the soonest ingredient expires. So look at your milk and your yogurt and find which one expires first. I wouldn't go more than two weeks after the container is opened.

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  61. Found you via Pinterest.

    My yogurt calories were 150. Milk was 40 and ranch packet was 80. I couldn't find dannon oikos and used cabot greek. Total of 270.

    Either way, a half cup of my dressing is 90 cals. And by the bottle, usually 2 TBS is 80-90 cals. So I'm stoked. I will look for Dannon Oikos thought to see calorie differences.

    Also....it tastes amazing!! I'm psyched!! Thanks!

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  62. I made this with an organic Ranch packet from Sprouts - YUM!! It is a little runny so next time but the packet says to use 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/2 cup milk, so next time I may just use 1/2 cup greek yogurt and 1/2 cup milk. Either way it was so amazing that I wanted to drink it! :)

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  63. For those wanting serving size, this recipe makes just over 1 1/2 cups of ranch (if you use exactly 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup yogurt and all same ingredients). Based on that, you get roughly 24 tablespoons of dressing. Every tablespoon is 10.6 calories; 2 tbs is 21; 3 tbs is 32; 4 tbs is 42.5

    This still makes this recipe seriously lower in calories than regular or fat free ranch and tastes good too.

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    1. Thanks you for sharing your serving size stats!

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  64. I use fat free butter milk instead of regular milk and it has great texture and flavor. Also, instead of the packet I buy the jar and make small batches as needed so it's fresh.

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  65. I just made this because I can not eat salad without dressing but I hate the calories, fats and carbs associated with ranch dressing. I think this recipe would have worked if I hadn't added the entire ranch packet. It's so overpowering. I used 1 cup Dannon Greek Yogurt, the full packet of ranch and I've added about 3/4 cup of 1% milk trying to dull the ranch flavor. I'm going to say next time I will not add the whole packet of flavor.

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    1. I've heard this described by users who got the dip packet instead of the ranch packet?

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  66. made it today!! fanfreakingtasti!! Greek yogurt and milk just like you called for. the packet calls for milk too and says it stays good for 3-4 weeks. I really don't think my family will let it last that long! thank you for this recipe.

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    1. I'm so glad you like it! Keep in mind when making your own homemade concoctions that the finished product is only good until the first item 'expires' in that case it would be the yogurt and I wouldn't keep it more than 1-2 weeks max. Watch the consistency and smell and always err on the side of caution.

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  67. I get different calculations for the calories? Nonfat Oikos yogurt 120, 1 packet hidden valley ranch (dressing, not dip) 230, And I used skimmed milk at 43 cals per cup; which = a total of 393. Where did I go wrong?

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  68. Did you use PLAIN Dannon Oikos nonfat yogurt? I only used a half cup of milk, and you have listed 43 cal per cup (so unless you made a double batch you need to halve it. Also keep in mind this recipe is one year old and nutritional value and servings sizes for each different ingredient may vary over time.

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  69. I just made this. It is amazing. I went by all the nutritional values that are on each of the items. My totals were a tad different. Higher carb count than normal ranch dressing but if low cal/low fat is what you are going for (like me) then it is perfect. Still low carb in general considering a 1 normal yogurt has like 24g of carbs....THANK YOU for the recipe!

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    1. Yes, there will never be steady nutritional values due to the variables in brands, servings, etc. I'm sure they also tweak their recipes overtime which will change the NV. Thanks so much for commenting, glad you like it :)

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  70. I use non sweetened almond milk makes it 150 cals zero fat per jar and my parents love it along with my own approval :)

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    1. That's awesome, thank you for sharing!

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  71. About how long would this keep in the refrigerator? Gonna have to make this as we are trying to start eating healthier and I just can't snack on veggies without something to dip them in...

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    1. Since it's yogurt based, I would probably say no more than a week from when you peeled the lid from the yogurt container.

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  72. I used this recipe for a dip, instead of a dressing. Instead of the salad dressing packet, I used the dip packet, but only about 1.5 teaspoons of it. The only WW points I had was the points in the yogurt, which came to 3.
    I will try the dressing next. Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your dip recipe, would you mind if I posted it above for those that might be interested?

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  73. What about the sodium content?

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    1. YMMV depending on the specific packet and brand of yogurt you use, as well as how many servings you'll get out of it. I did not calculate the sodium for our batch, I so can't give you a ballpark. Though I will say if it's something you're worried about, I would try to find an alternative as this is a powdered mix and those tend to have a heavier sodium content.

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  74. I've been using this dressing mix for years and love it! Try it sprinkled over top oven roasted potato chunks too and you'll be hooked. As for the calories, fat, sodium etc here's the breakdown of JUST the dressing mix. This will allow you to use and adjust according to your dietary needs!

    Nutritional Information
    One 1 oz. dry Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing mix makes 16 oz. of dressing. Just 1/3 tsp. of dry seasoning mix contains 5 calories, 0 g total fat,135 mg of sodium, 1 g carbs and 0 g protein.


    Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/371115-ingredients-in-hidden-valley-ranch-dressing-mix/#ixzz2PiI4d3jB

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  75. I made this yesterday while everyone was at work or school so I could surprise everyone with it. It was a little on the runny side, so I added a little more yogurt to thicken it up. I put it in the bottle for Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, and today I poured a little bit for veggies at lunchtime and offered some to my husband. He didn't even notice a difference until I asked him what he thought of it! He said that after I mentioned it to him, he could tell it was a little more sour than the real stuff, but not a big difference and he liked it. We're keeping it our secret and having the rest of the family try some on salads tonight with dinner. I think I'll add a little less milk next time to make sure it's thicker like we like it, but otherwise LOVE this simple recipe! I'll probably keep reusing the same Hidden Valley bottle too- I'm big on recycling and repurposing what I can, and the top of the bottle comes off nice and easy to refill the bottle, and just snap it back on for easy pouring again. I used the generic WalMart brand of Greek Yogurt (first time using it), and 2% milk, as that's what we drink in our house. Thanks for a great healthier alternative that I can feed my family!

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  76. way too runny and had a weird aftertaste. followed the recipe exactly as written. any suggestions?

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  77. using a packet of pre-mix isn't home-made.

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  78. The home-made ranch dressing recipe is incorrect. I made it twice and it is WAY TOO SALTY and I like salt! T = Tablespoon and t= teaspoon. Anyone see a problem with this?

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    1. All elements of this recipe are correct. This is a bulk dressing mix recipe. You are only meant to use 2 T of this mix with the wet ingredients (sometimes I even use 1.5 T). So either you've put too much of the dry mix in (or all of it) or you've not shaken your dry mix to make sure you're getting even amounts of ingredients in your usage of the dry mix.

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  79. Thank you for the recipe! Nice and easy, perfect for college kids like me trying to avoid packing on the pounds. So yummy!

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