Finding something as simple as a low histamine salad dressing can feel like a struggle at first, especially when you’re vegan.
“WHAT CAN I EAT” is a phrase that I’m sure anyone who has started LH has
said screamed violently at one point, specifically at the very beginning. Honestly, it can feel very limiting when you glance at a list of foods that are both low-histamine AND vegan friendly. Throw gluten-free in the mix and you got yourself quite a conundrum.
In other words, your pillow is streaked with mascara from tears (men included).
Or maybe you’ve eaten your pillow by now out of desperation. Hey it could happen!
Regardless, I originally posted this salad recipe shortly after I opened up about my experience switching to low-histamine (on top of vegan), in the spring of 2016. After receiving a lot of feedback though, I realized that this recipe needed a reboot: many people were still struggling with my original recipe, because while it was OVERALL low-histamine friendly, there were still some ingredients that made readers uneasy.
And I sympathize with that, because I know what it feels like to dive into something delicious, only to find out shortly thereafter that it did NOT agree with your system. #gameover
A low histamine salad dressing that’s creamy and delicious
Hearing concerns made me go back to the drawing board to really brainstorm ideas for a salad that met all the low-histamine vegan criteria, while still being creamy and “ranch” flavored. After experimenting a bit, I found that using white beans made a really good base to deliver a creamy dressing that was also deliciously filling (originally I used a soy-free vegan mayo).
Through my own LHV journey, I was able to find that my system does not tolerate canned beans very well, so I usually make them from scratch OR open up a BOX of beans (when laziness strikes). Perhaps it’s the BPA lining in the can that irritates my stomach, because the box never fails me.
Either way, choose a bean option that you know works well for you and your system.
And so, I bring to you now the ULTIMATE UPDATE, which is 100% low-histamine, vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, and perfect to bring with you for lunch or a light snack at the office.
In truth, I love me a good salad. There’s nothing like a gigantic plate piled high with an assortment of raw veg and drizzled with special sauce. I’m drooling already just thinking about it. Other than being creamy and delicious, one of my favorite additions to this salad is the use of chia seeds- they add plenty of fiber, manganese, omega-3’s, protein, and phosphorous, plus help combat diabetes and improves your heart health.
I hope that this reboot salad gives you exactly what you need to enjoy a simple low-histamine vegan salad. Feel free to tweak this recipe any way you’d like, by adding in watercress, arugula, cucumbers, apples, cauliflower, or whatever else your little low-histamine heart desires.
Allergy-Info & Substitutions:
- This recipe is 100% vegan, meaning it is meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. It is also naturally gluten-free and low-histamine friendly, following as close as possible to a general low-histamine diet.
- Jazz it up by adding other low-histamine friendly vegetables, such as watercress, bok choy, arugula, sliced apples, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, cabbage, or anything else that suits your system.
- Make it nut-free by using another plant-based milk of your choice.
- If your system can handle it, add 2 Tbs of nutritional yeast to your dressing for extra flavor (plus some nutritional yeast brands are fortified with B12).
- Nettle is a wonderful anti-histamine and very nutritious, so if you can add it, please do! Don’t know where to get it? Just buy a box of nettle tea and cut open a tea bag. Click here to check out my favorite brand of nettle tea by Traditional Medicinals.
- Want another salad? Check out my 5 Minute Kale Salad by clicking here.
And if you want more LHV love, make sure to become a Low-Histamine VIP to get updates, recipes, and info from yours truly:
Low-Histamine Vegan Salad with Chia "Ranch" Dressing
For the salad:
- Romaine lettuce
- Broccoli "slaw" or shredded carrots/cabbage
- Pumpkin seeds
For the dressing:
- 1 C white beans (this can be boxed, like cannelini or northern beans, OR cooked from scratch- whatever works better for your system!)
- 6 tablespoon almond milk
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon dill weed
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried nettle*
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- Layer desired amounts of salad ingredients on plate.
- Puree dressing ingredients in a high-powdered blender or mini food processor.
- Drizzle on top of salad. Munch.
Thank you for taking the time for your health and happiness!
I have someone who can’t tolerate beans, is there something I can sub?
Hi Nancy! Hmmm, the only thing I can think of subbing is cashews, but not sure if that’s something you can have!
Tania Surrow Larsen
I’m working on a post about low histamine salad dressings, and I came across this awesome post. 😀 And I hope it is okay if I link to it in my post, as I want to provide my readers with as much salad dressing inspiration as possible 😀
Hope to hear from you,
Tania Surrow Larsen
The Histamine Friendly Kitchen
Hi Tania, of course you may!! Thanks so much for asking!
1 cup of dried beans is = to 3 cups cooked beans. Is this recipe really supposed to use 3 cups of cooked beans? Because my dressing turned out as thick as humus. I had to add way more almond milk and seasoning to get it to be remotely salad dressing-like.
Hi Rachele, I’m so sorry about the error! The recipe calls for 1 cup of cooked beans, but I can see where that could have been read wrong for the dried instructions. I will be fixing it right away; again, so sorry it messed up your experience! I hope you give it another go and it turns out great this time!
Thank you for this updated ranch salad dressing. I will give it a try for sure and since I do tolerate a small amount of lemon juice I might add that as well. I’m curious about trying a spice called Sumac for an acidic bite to salad dressings and soups. I appreciate what you are doing. I’m having to go plant based as my symptoms get out of control when eating meat and dairy. Your blog is a life-line. Looking forward to your new posts.
Thank you Jessica! So happy to be able to help! Yes, certainly if your system tolerates lemon juice, I would add that OR a splash of vinegar if you can. I like to use a pinch of nutritional yeast too, although some who follow low-histamine are skeptical about it. I’m hoping that the recipes I post help in some way. Wishing you all the best!!
The vegan mayo has apple cider vinegar in it. I read that apple cider vinegar is a high Histamine levels be. Why would you recommend vegan mayo? I am wondering. Thank you!
Hi Carol, the “Hampton Creek Just Mayo” does not contain ACV, so it may work better for your system than the “Follow your Heart” brand. When eating low-histamine, you really have to see what does and does not work for your body, because people experience different reactions. The idea of this salad was to be lower in histamines than other salads that contain high histamine foods, such as spinach and tomatoes. If the dressing does not work for you, perhaps it’s best to just serve with a little olive oil, pinks sea salt, and pepper. Hope that helps:)
I do not understand what you mean by saying the yeast should’nt rise histamine level. It is not the yeast activity in the salat or in the belly that rises the histamine level, the histamine is already there! Your link says that nutrional yeast was grown on sugar: when yeast grows it produces histamine. That is not any more active only means it won’t make any *more* of it now. I strongly advise any person with histamine intolerance not to eat it!
Also I never found any form of yeast, that did not provoque chaos in my body.
Thanks for sharing your perspective on histamine intolerance! From what I’ve read, nutritional yeast is an inactive form of yeast- depending on what histamine list you read, some will say *active* yeasts can affect histamine levels. And yes, I realize that histamine is pretty much in all foods, but some will trigger reactions and some are “anti-histamines.” I have a very mild case of histamine intolerance, so for me I’ve never had a bad reaction to nutritional yeast. As I stated in this article and my last about histamine intolerance, you really have to find what works for you. For me, having a salad that is primarily “low-histamine” yields better results than a salad loaded with spinach, tomatoes, and vinegar. For you, it may mean leaving out the nutritional yeast. Thanks again for sharing your opinion- I’m just beginning and I know there’s always more to learn. Sending blessings and love:)