That’s raw

A take on a new line of vegan, organic, salad dressings

RawFoodz’s salad dressings are a bit of a surprise. When I heard they were vegan, I got excited. When I heard they were raw, my excitement multiplied. Add the fact that they’re organic, and somebody better catch me when I fall. Never having really looked before, I think I may have discovered my dream salad dressing. I was lucky enough to sample three different varieties of their dressings, and will happily admit to being shocked by how varied the tastes and textures could be, given the fact that each bottle lists so many similar ingredients. RawFoodz boasts military-style adherence to keeping short cuts, fillers, preservatives, and regrets out of their products, and a quick gander at their ingredient lists supports those impressive claims. The dressings are made in Canada, and packaged in glass bottles (which I will definitely hold onto after I’ve emptied them… Makeshift vases, anyone?). Most importantly, they are absolutely delicious.

The first I tried was “Purely Poppy,” slightly sweetened with coconut sugar and kept true to its roots with unhulled sesame seeds. I believe this dressing is as close to a classic creamy Cesar dressing as a raw, vegan product can get. It’s the most viscous of three I tried, and would be great over a simple salad – the dressing stands on its own.

Next, I dabbled in “Glorious Greek,” only to discover that it tastes exactly how it sounds: like Greek salad dressing. It only lacks the tangy aftertaste that preservatives and artificial sweeteners can sometimes leave in more typical household brands. My only reservation about “Glorious Greek” was the amount that it had settled and fermented in the few short days it was sitting in my fridge. A minute or two of stirring and shaking quickly solved the problem, and I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a fair compromise for the pure ingredients and fresh, feta-like flavour that it offers.

Finally, I tested their “Japanese Joy” flavour, and discovered my favourite of the three. I was thrilled to see three superfoods on the ingredient list: apple cider vinegar, sprouted brown rice, and chia seeds – which are all nutrient-packed and delicious. This dressing would be great alongside homemade sushi or tempura, or mixed into the marinade for a tofu and vegetable stir-fry. The flavour is bright and creamy, and the dressing stays true to its original orangey-brown colour.

RawFoodz is a relatively new company, run by Michelle Cass and Sher Kopman in Toronto. Their website claims that their mantra includes Hippocrates’ oath: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, and – from what I have sampled – they certainly fulfill that mandate.