Creamy dressings are my secret weapon when creating satisfying meals out of salads and fresh vegetables. Add a warm grain or roasted sweet potato, and you've got my go-to healthy meal whenever I'm at home (check out my Healthy Vegan Bowl!). Each week, I like to whip up a dressing to have throughout the week, and this luscious Easy Peanut Dressing is one of my absolute favorites. Peanuts make it creamy, fresh ginger and lime juice give it an exotic flair, and the date adds a perfect hint of sweetness. With the healthy fat from the nuts, there is no need for added oil—and I always prefer to use whole nuts versus jarred nut butters.

Growing up, my mom never allowed bottled salad dressings in the house. At the time, I thought she was crazy, as I saw nothing wrong with the jars of Ranch, Italian, and French dressings lined up in my friends' refrigerators. My mom always made a homemade vinaigrette with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs—and it wasn't until I went away to college that I finally got it. There is just no comparison between storebought and homemade, and, thankfully, dressings are a breeze to make.

Since I try to avoid using oil at home (I eat out a lot for my business, so I like to keep my home cooking super clean), my dressings are either very simple (ie, a good balsamic vinegar and sea salt) or more decadent (like this one). But taste is always paramount, as I want everything I eat to be delicious and memorable. I can't wait to share all of my dressing favorites with you in the coming months!

Makes 1 cup

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup raw peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 Medjool date
  • 3/4 cup water

What you do:

  1. In a blender, place all ingredients.
  2. Blend until a creamy consistency.

Healthy hints:

  • >> This Easy Peanut Dressing is very versatile, and can be used on salads, roasted potatoes, steamed vegetables, or warm grains. Keeping a jar in your fridge will make it easy to whip up a healthy meal in minutes.

  • >> If you're new to tamari, give it a try! A Japanese form of soy sauce, tamari is wheat-free and has a smooth, rich flavor. I use both products but typically make this dressing with soy sauce.

  • >> Lightly toasting the raw peanuts (10 minutes at 325 degrees) will make this dressing even more flavorful. You can also buy roasted, unsalted peanuts.