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Making a dressing dip or spread out of carrots and almonds - potential mayonnaise substitute for vegans

Updated on September 1, 2015
Base salad dressing ingredients: carrots, almonds, and garlic.
Base salad dressing ingredients: carrots, almonds, and garlic.

About this dressing

This dressing was invented two winters ago when I was experimenting with carrots and almonds as a salad topping. It worked fairly well as a salad dressing, but was even more delicious spread on crackers. The flavor hints at mayonnaise, and I suspect that someone may enjoy it spread on their sandwich, though it may make your bread more soggy than mayo if left on for a long period of time.

I generally do not measure when cooking, and until today, I have not made this recipe more than once. When I recreated the dressing this afternoon, I noted how much of each ingredient I used. The ratio was acceptable, but it could use some tweaking which I will add with the ingredients below.

Here is a list of what goes in the dressing:

  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 1/4 cup of raw almonds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of tamari

The first batch I made used 4 tablespoons of vinegar (1/4 cup), 2 tablespoons of olive oil (1/8 cup), and 2 tablespoons of tamari (1/8 cup). The vinegar flavor was fine, but it was a little bit strong. The olive oil felt a little heavy, though the flavor wasn't much affected by this. The tamari could have been a little stronger, but this was an acceptable amount.

I have included ranges of volume to add on the liquid ingredients. If you are uncertain, and prefer to err on the side of caution, I suggest you start low, and add as needed.

Chopping sliced carrots prior to blending
Chopping sliced carrots prior to blending
Ingredients prior to blending without almonds
Ingredients prior to blending without almonds
Ingredients after blending
Ingredients after blending
Optional step of smoothing dressing with added water
Optional step of smoothing dressing with added water

Preparing the dressing:

Start by slicing the carrots longways into strips, and chopping the strips into small pieces. They will be blended in a blender, and smaller pieces are less likely to get stuck in the blades.

Once the carrots are chopped, add them to the blender with the peeled garlic clove. Add vinegar, oil, and tamari, and blend until pureed. Add the almonds and blend again until smooth. This may require stopping the blender and stirring the ingredients before the ingredients will be well mixed into the liquid.

At this point, you should taste the mix. Depending on what you are using it for, and how well the blender was able to puree the ingredients, you may want to do an optional step of adding water and continuing to blend the ingredients in the blender.

To do this, slowly add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water until desired smoothness and texture is achieved.

Final thoughts

After you have made a batch, experiment with the ingredients to best suit your tastes. Red wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar may be a smoother flavor, and balsamic vinegar may sweeten the dressing a bit.

Though this dressing was created to use on salads, I don't think it is the ideal use for it. It does work, and is good to use for variety, but the texture is changed when it is spread out over the salad, and it makes for a heavier and wetter salad.

Much of the dressing in this batch was used on a salad, and the rest was eaten with corn-flax chips purchased from a bulk food store nearby.

You may not want to do the optional step of adding water if you want to try this as a sandwich spread. I suspect a wetter ingredient may not work as well for bread, and the chunkier texture isn't bad for this purpose. Try it both ways to see how it turns out, and share your discoveries in the comment section below.

A salad made with the carrot almond dressing
A salad made with the carrot almond dressing


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