I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Recipe of the Week: Ranch Dressing or Dip

Here's one delectable and totally addictive recipe! I've even served it to non-rawfoodies and they agreed it was THE best dressing they had ever tasted!

I also love how versatile it is. Drizzle it on salads or zucchini pasta, use it as a spread on your favorite bread or simply as a dip. Delish, any way you have it!

Ranch Dressing/Dip
Posted by Snowdrop on Raw Freedom Community

For those missing that hidden valley feeling.

Soak time: 1-2 hrs
Preparation time: 5 Minutes
Number of Servings: 24 (or 3 cups)

1 1/2 cups nuts (cashew or mac or combo) soak them for a creamier dressing (1-2 hrs is fine, then drain)
3/4 - 1 cup filtered water for blending
3 tablespoons lemon juice (translates into approx 1/2 lemon)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons agave (or 3 soaked dates)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon garlic pwd
3 teaspoons onion pwd
1 teaspoon dill
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon basil

And to add after it's done:
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
another 1/2 t dill, minced

Vitamix blend all ingredients till creamy and smooth except the last 2, then once blended, stir in the last 2 ingredients.

Thickens in fridge.

Thin to desired consistency if using as a dressing- or toss into wet lettuce leaves as is.

Carmella's Notes:
~ This yields quite a bit of dressing, so you might want to consider halving the recipe.
~ Last time I made this, I completely forgot to put the dates in and it was still outstanding.


  1. what is the amount of the dates? i do not see it on the list.

    looks yummy. will definitely make it.

  2. Hey Jessica,
    You can put either 3 tbs agave or 3 soaked dates.

    Enjoy! ;-)

  3. I love this dressing too! Highly recomment it!

  4. I would like to try this recipe. I'm a newbie, so bear with me. It says to soak the nuts. In what? Also, do things like this go bad quickly in the fridge? Any help is appreciated!

  5. Hi Tommy,
    Just soak them in some water. I find that this dressing keeps really well for, say, 5 to 6 days. You might want to make only half though as it does yield quite a lot.


  6. Thanks Carmella! I really am in the research phase, my whole being is craving a change... and this sounds very interesting to me. Sorry, off topic of this thread, can you point me in the right direction? A place that will give me the basics of a raw food diet. By the way, does raw ever pertain to raw type of meat that can be eaten...? or only veggies? Thanks for your help!

  7. Tommy,
    You're welcome. Awesome that you're open to changing your diet. For me it was a catalyst for all sorts of other changes.

    I would recommend you check out our forum, Raw Freedom Community . There's tons of info in the archives. You can also ask questions and the folks there are always very helpful and supportive.

    It is my understanding that some do eat raw meat, although I'd say that most people are 'raw vegans', meaning, they eat fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.

    Blessings on your new journey.


  8. Wow--you are my hero for the day!
    I'm new to raw food, and die hard Hidden Valley fan, put it on the good stuff--potatoes (all varieties) and burgers, salads, whatever--I love it. And I just made this dressing and am having it on my lunch "dump" salad (you dump all the veggies in a bowl)and I AM IN HEAVEN!!!!!
    Thanks again!

  9. I have just enjoyed your dressing with my husband over a raw food dinner and it was absolutely DELICIOUS!

    Had I not known what the ingredients were, I would have been convinced that it had mayonnaise and all the other big no-no's in it because it was so rich. We love it and even after making only half, there is still plenty left over for tomorrow (can't wait!).

    Your creation is simply inspired - well done! A really big thank you from the two of us here in Australia.

  10. I think I did something wrong. I'm new to the whole raw food thing, so I'm not sure. The dressing definitely looked like ranch and tasted like ranch, but it was gritty. Could it be that I didn't soak the nuts long enough? Thanks.

  11. Glad so many of you are enjoying this fabulous recipe! It remains a staple in our house as well.

    I'm thinking that this might be due to under soaking the cashews or not processing the dressing long enough. An alternative would be to skip the soaking entirely (not that critical since most cashews aren't raw and therefore won't sprout anyways) and grind the cashews first in a coffee grinder or food processor. That should do the trick!

  12. I just made this to go on a quick salad for dinner and it is amazing! It's way better than any other vegan ranch I've ever had--raw or otherwise.

  13. By itself it's a bit acidic...if dipping with veggies i say decrease the apple cider vinegar. But on a salad it's SO BOMB!!!!

  14. Carmella, I'll try this - it's similar to one I make however your stuff is ALWAYS AWESOME so I have to check it out. BTW this would be great for kale and/or daikon chips (maybe with lime juice instead of vinegar though)- put veg in zip-lock bag, pour some dressing on (maybe a bit diluted), close bag and massage dressing in, spread on teflex sheets and dehydrate until crips (I usually do this overnight to make sure they are really crisp:) Thanks for all of your great recipes and your awesome blog. Love your eBooks - keep up the great work!

  15. So glad you're enjoying my ebooks and site, Sarah! ;-) And thanks for the chips ideas. Sounds mighty yummy!

  16. Carmella THANK YOU!THANK YOU!
    I have been looking for a raw ranch dressing,as ranch is my eldest (9yrs) DD's favorite.I am making this tomorrow!Between your's and Raw Godess Heathy's blogs/recipes,I am set on paving the way to my family being as RAW as we can!(My daughter's and I are mainly raw vegan,but my hubby is a "meatatarian".He'll try anything I make though!).HUGS TO YOU!
    BTW,I live in Okotoks,Alberta.So wish we lived closer to each other!

  17. Wonderful and delisch. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. love it! a little too sweet so we added some cracked pepper and extra olive oil. Great!

    Ben and Eyana

  19. I made this and it's good. I think it would've been even better if I used cashews. I used macadamia nuts and boy you sure can taste them. I'll be making this often. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Carmella,

    I made your Raw Ranch Dressing the other night and was BLOWN AWAY! It really was the best dressing I've ever tasted. I wrote about it on my latest blog post. Check it out!

  21. Just made this, no worries about it being a big batch and going to waste. Poured some over a wrap made with Napa cabbage and stuffed with vegs. It was Messy and DELICIOUS.
    Thanks so much, it's a keeper.

  22. I have been searching for a ranch dressing recipe and I am looking forward to trying this one. But...shouldn't there be any buttermilk or sour cream type of thing also?

    Help will be greatly appreciated:-)

  23. Dagny,

    This is a healthier version of the traditional ranch dressing. Cashews give it a nice and creamy consistency without needing to use dairy products. Just make sure to use raw cashews and not the roasted variety.


  24. Just made the recipe and love it! Thank you for sharing. I am going to decrease the apple cider vinegar next time just because I can really taste it and don't love the flavor. I just finished eating it and already I want more!!! THANK YOU =)

  25. Are the dill and basil fresh or dried?

  26. There's actually both. The herbs blended with the rest of the ingredients are dried, those added at the end are fresh and finely minced.

  27. I made this yesterday and followed the recipe exactly but it was SO SWEET. Yikes! Not sure what to do now because I made the full amount but no one here will eat it. I think I needed to blend it longer too (I don't have a Vitamix) because it was gritty.

    If I try to make it again I'll probably leave out any agave and see how it tastes.

  28. Sorry the recipe didn't work for you, AM! I, too, prefer it without the sweetener.

  29. The 'sweet' version grew on me over time and it was really tasty with radishes!

    I just re-made the recipe without the agave and blended it longer and it is just right for me! Absolutely delicious. So glad I have this recipe!!!

  30. Yuuuum! This is so good! Thank you! Ever since getting totally grossed out from a vegan Caesar dressing the called for a large amount of Vegannaise as the base, I've been wanting a ranch dressing recipe that used something else. Not easy to find! Sooo glad I found this recipe. It's a keeper, and I appreciate your sharing it. :)

  31. Has anyone tried freezing? It yields way too much for me, but I'd like to make it all at once and save it. I'm wondering if thawing would change the texture.

  32. I'm sure this is totally against the "raw vegan" theme but we used this as "ranch" on our hot wings last night and my husband loved it! Thanks! I needed something gluten and dairy free and quick. Meets the bill :)

  33. I'll be trying this recipe this afternoon for a pool party.

    Thank you for the recipe.

  34. This recipe has literally almost defined my raw eating entirely. I'm obsessed with it!! I have a huge salad every day and can't wait to eat it with this amazing dressing! Plus, everyone who tries it loves it just as much as I do and is surprised at how much it tastes like ranch - thank you!

  35. I would love to try this but I don't have a vitamix. I'm wondering if almond milk would be an acceptable substitute for the nuts and water?

    1. Hum, not sure about the almond milk substitution. Any kind of blender would do, though, especially if you soak the nuts before hand.

  36. This is one of my favorite recipes. I love that we can have something that tastes this good. One question. I made this yesterday and for the first time, it ended up really runny. Even after 24 hours in the fridge it's quite runny. Any advice for a vegan/raw thickener? Thanks!

    1. Hum, let's see... Chia seeds are great for thickening although you don't want to use too much (say, 1 tbs or so) as the texture would become gelatinous. You could also grind up some cashews and add those by hand.

  37. I would recommend not using the agave/dates the first time and see how you like it. I usually use a recipe that's almost identical to this one and it is SO good! I eat a spinach salad with it every day but I just couldn't stomach it when I used dates! It's PERFECT without them! They make it sweet and give it kind of a funny taste! It's good to dip carrots in and I'm sure for other things, but not as salad dressing... in my opinion! That said, I LOVE this website!! It makes my life SO much easier! Thank you!! :)

    1. Thanks for your kind words! I totally agree about the dates; I always omit sweetener and to me it tastes much better.

  38. I did not get any dates/agave-syrup at the grocery and I can't tell if I miss them. What I can tell is that this dressing is delicious. I cleaned the food-processor-bowl with my fingers and a slice of bread. :-D
    Why haven't I thought of making this by myself before? It is so easy and such a treat.

    I am not eating 100% raw foods, I just said farewell to meat and diary products a few weeks ago. Recipes like yours turn my vegan-journey into a great experience I never want to miss.

    Thank you Carmella for posting the recipe.
    Paula from Vienna, Austria

  39. It is delicious but sweet-ish, even cutting the agave to 1 tablespoon. Next time I will use no sweetener - but having said that, it's still VERY good!

  40. Before I head to the store, should I use unsalted cashews? I'm new to this stuff but this sounds great!