AIP Poppy Seed Dressing: for real?
Yes, it can be done! I hear you saying: But poppy seeds are not AIP-compliant! That’s right, poppy seeds are to be avoided during the elimination stage of the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). So how did I do it? By using figs! Lovely, succulent, and juicy figs! That is the joy of experimentation.
I love experimenting and creating new recipes in the kitchen. Sometimes recipes turn out disastrous, sometimes they’re unbelievably good. Most of the time my family finishes it up willingly (you guys are such good sports)!
Today’s recipe was a pleasantly successful one. I first made it the previous time figs were in season… last summer. Or was it the year before that?! Figs are not that easy to come by here in Quebec, but whenever they are on sale I make it a point to get a nice crate worth of fresh figs.
It’s all about the crunch
The pleasantly crunchy seeds of the fresh figs mimic the crunch in classic creamy poppy seed dressing. I was intrigued the first time I heard of this dressing and how it was practically a ‘cult favourite’. I even hunted down a certain famous brand just to do a taste comparison (oh dear) and I must say that my version is much fresher-tasting! For sure, my AIP poppy seed dressing is not a copycat dressing, but it stands out on its own with its delicately crunchy fig seeds. Sweet, thick, and creamy too, with AIP-friendly oils.
Everyone’s tastes are different
Feel free to adjust the seasonings according to your taste preference. Don’t like onion? Omit the onion powder. Like it sweeter or less sweet? Play around with the sweetener amount. Bit more tang? Add more vinegar or lemon juice. It’s really up to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment! However, I would recommend sticking to a neutral-tasting AIP-friendly oil, such as this avocado oil. Olive oil may be a bit too overwhelming and coconut oil wouldn’t match the flavour profile.
Feeling better through experimentation (contains affiliate links)
Another person I know who is adept at experimenting is my friend Petra over at Biohack U. In her case, her expertise is at experimenting with steps to improve her overall health and wellbeing. She started out by using n=1 experimentation on herself and also helped her husband Matthew (who has an autoimmune disease) by experimenting with a systematic step-by-step process to help him feel better. Encouraged by their positive progress, they decided to create the Autoimmune Healing n=1 Workbook Kit.
In a nutshell, n=1 refers to experiment with one participant, and the method involves six steps (and the seventh for troubleshooting):
The n=1 Method
The workbook kit consists of 4 self-paced modules, and includes 40 e-resources, including 10 sample n=1 experiments and worksheets. What impressed me was the elegant simplicity of the program. It’s a really helpful resource, and worth taking a closer look!
As for the dressing, these links will show you where to buy certain ingredients online (affiliate links):
- 6 - 8 fresh, ripe figs (2 packed cups worth)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from ½ a large lemon)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or raw honey
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon onion powder (optional, season to taste)
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- Trim and peel the figs, then slice into half and chop into large chunks
- Combine all the ingredients together and blend until emulsified and thick (be careful not to crush the fig seeds too much).
- Taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference, if necessary.
- Serve over your favourite salad!
I have tried making the dressing in a stainless steel canister with a hand-held immersion blender, as well as with a food processor. The results are pretty much identical, except that the immersion blender yields a slightly smoother dressing. I don't own a Vitamix or similar sort of blender so I cannot say if it works with such a machine. Do comment if you try the recipe with a blender!