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All sauces and marinades should be used in moderation. Dressings should be used sparingly.

Food for Thought...

  1. Do you check ingredients in your dressings, sauces and marinades before buying them?
  2. When choosing a dressing, sauce or marinade, do you consider the amount of sugar or fat it contains?
  3. Do you choose your salad dressings wisely and limit the quantity rather than dousing your salad with them?
  4. Do you typically make your dressings, sauces and marinades from scratch? Have you ever considered it before?

The “No-No’s”: What should you steer clear of when it comes to dressings, sauces and marinades?

  • Avoid items with moderate to high amounts of sugar.
  • Avoid items containing artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
  • Avoid items that are highly processed.
  • Avoid items made with vegetable oils: soy, corn, safflower, canola or cottonseed.
  • Avoid items containing hydrogenated oils or trans fats.
  • Avoid items containing artificial ingredients, coloring and dyes.
  • Avoid items with a list of unfamiliar ingredients.
  • Avoid/limit items with high amounts of fat (healthy fats are okay but should be eaten in limited amounts).

So, what’s okay to eat when it comes to dressings, sauces and marinades?

  • Dressings, sauces and marinades made with basic FfL-friendly ingredients

Some things to look for when checking dressing, sauce and marinade labels and ingredients

  • FfL-friendly ingredients
  • Limited amounts of sugars

Some of our favorite FULLfood dressings, sauces and marinades for you to try:


  • Tomato sauce with no added sugars, made with basic ingredients such as tomato puree, tomato paste, tomatoes, vegetables, spices, herbs, salt and limited amounts of EVOO
  • Pesto made with basic ingredients such as fresh basil, EVOO, pine nuts, salt, garlic and parmigiana reggiano (milk, salt and rennet)


We typically keep our dressings simple by combining these basic ingredients in different ways:

  • 100% balsamic vinegar or 100% balsamic vinegar infused with fruits or herbs
  • 100% EVOO or 100% EVOO infused with fruits or herbs
  • Cold-pressed or fresh-squeezed citrus (orange, lemon or lime juice)
  • Apple cider vinegar (we use Braggs)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Herbs and spices
  • Honey


  • We use an array of marinades and make them from scratch whenever possible. It’s easier than you think!

Where to find your dressings, sauces and marinades

  • Most of these can be made from scratch. Whenever possible, create your own! Make a large batch and consider canning or freezing it for convenience.
    • We grow basil in the summer and make one large batch of pesto. We freeze it and use it throughout the year.
    • We prepare and can tomato sauce when local tomatoes are in season. There’s nothing like grabbing a jar of our own homemade sauce throughout the year!
    • Whenever making marinades, such as teriyaki sauce, we make a double batch and freeze the excess for future recipes.
  • We purchase all our balsamic and EVOO’s from a local olive oil and vinegar taproom. Check to see if there are any olive oil and vinegar taprooms close by!
  • When you cannot make your own or buy local, consider organic products.

FULLfood facts and fun

  • If you don’t want to grow tomatoes but you want to can tomato sauce, consider going to a local market or farm when tomatoes are in season. Buy a large quantity of tomatoes to make your sauce with. Consider purchasing “seconds.” This can really cut down on cost!
  • Keep your salad dressing as basic as possible, made with simple ingredients. There are hundreds of healthy, delicious, simple recipes out there to make your own dressing rather than purchasing store-bought.
  • Be aware! You can drastically increase your fat, sugar and calorie intake if you don’t choose toppings and condiments wisely and watch your portions.

Substitutions that are considered FULLfoods

  • Rather than using mayonnaise as the base in dressings and sauces, use Greek yogurt. If you prefer not to substitute mayo entirely, use half the amount of mayonnaise and substitute the other half with Greek yogurt.
  • Honey can be used in dressings, sauces and marinades in place of sugar. Because honey is much sweeter, you must adjust the ratios. Generally, 1 cup of sugar should be substituted with ¾ cup of honey.

Tips and preparation

  • Whenever possible, make homemade dressings, sauces and marinades rather than purchasing store-bought.

Tips when eating out

  • Always ask for salad dressings on the side so you can control how much is used.
  • Ask if the dressings are made in house. If possible, choose a salad dressing that is made in house with basic ingredients.
  • Avoid ordering heavy dressings or food prepared in heavy sauces.
    • This includes certain curry dishes made with heavy cream.
  • Instead, order meals that are prepared in light sauces. Check the menu or ask the server if you are unsure.

Action Steps

  1. Take inventory of your kitchen and check the ingredients listed in your dressings, sauces and marinades. Eliminate any “no-no” dressings, sauces and marinades.
  2. This week, try making a homemade salad dressing. Here are three great options:
    1. Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
    2. Dijon Maple Dressing
    3. Honey Mustard Dressing