Summer is the time for delicious fresh greens perfect for making salads. Leafy greens like lettuces, chard, arugula and kale deliver energy straight from the sun in the form of rich nutrients our bodies love and need. If you bring home fresh greens from the farmers’ market – what ever you do – don’t reverse the positive benefits of those delicate greens by coating them with a salad dressing you threw in your cart in the grocery store – it’s full of questionable ingredients, especially ones you cannot pronounce!

The oils used in most store-bought salad dressings tend to be chemically treated or partially-hydrogenated to ensure that they won’t go rancid. Making them shelf-stable is good for supermarket stock, but it’s not good for your body. Partially-hydrogenated oils are otherwise known as trans fats, the kind of fat that the FDA targeted last November with a proposal to consider revoking it’s GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status.

Under current law, food labels are allowed to say “zero trans fat,” if the amount of trans fat they contain is below 0.5 grams per serving. Under the FDA proposal, even this small quantity would have to be removed for these products to be sold anywhere in the US. The final decision has not yet been made so in the mean time, you can avoid trans fats, and other nasty ingredients by making your own salad dressing.

Learn more this Saturday at 12pm at the Route 1 Farmer’s Market where I will be doing a cooking demonstration.