This is a dressing I eat almost every single day to make my raw lunchtime salads delicious.  Vary the herb and spice flavours according to your mood.  It lasts in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.  If you use balsamic vinegar, the dressing will look a rich dark brown in the jar.   Pure balsamic from wholefood outlets tends to be free from caramel and other toxic colourings or E numbers often found in discount supermarket brands.

For the basic dressing:
A screw top jar, about 450ml (a standard honey jar is this size)
Extra virgin olive oil
Pure no-added-sugar balsamic or apple cider vinegar (ideally organic)
Heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard (helps dressing mix well and is anti-inflammatory)
1 clove of garlic, crushed (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
A pinch of Himalayan or Atlantic sea salt
Heaped tsp ground sumac or paprika

Optional extras for a health/flavour boost (choose one or two):
1 tsp sun dried tomato paste or black olive tapenade
Heaped tsp dried oregano,  tarragon, basil or herbes de Provence
Teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

  1. Fill the jar 1/4 full with the vinegar, add the mustard and garlic, about 10 grinds of black pepper, and one of the optional extras.
  2. Fill to near the top with the extra virgin olive oil, put the lid on and shake well.

Why this recipe is good for you:
Herbs and spices are powerhouses for health.  Weight for weight they contain many hundreds of times more antioxidants than fruit and vegetables.  They are powerful modulators of gut bacteria, inflammation and enhance your immune system.  Allergies, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and arthritis are all inflammatory conditions where your immune system loses control of itself.  Even bone loss is affected by your antioxidant levels and your gut bacteria.  Always keep dried herbs and spices in an airtight glass jar somewhere dark and ideally not right next to heat.  Heat, oxygen and light degrade the powerful health benefits of herbs and spices.  Eating a wide range of herbs and spices every week is a fantastic hack for getting and staying well.

Raw, cold-pressed (ie extra virgin) olive oil has high vitamin E to reduce inflammation.  Vitamin E helps recycle (prolong) the effects of vitamin C in your body to lower inflammation, enhance immunity and optimise normal healing and repair.