Ranch lover for life here. I was that girl who required a 1:1 ratio of pizza to ranch. I drenched my salads in the stuff. If chips or any other packaged snacks came in a "ranch" flavor option, I'd sign myself up. It's right up there with my mayo addiction.
Since going vegan, I've enjoyed the Follow Your Heart ranch-style dressing and the Hampton Creek Just Ranch. Both are strikingly convincing alternatives, but let's admit it: neither of them is particularly healthy. When you add as much ranch to your food as I like to, the oil and sugar really add up.
Enter this creamy cashew ranch. It's a simple recipe that is just as velvety and rich as the real thing, without added oil. Fresh dill and chives add beautiful color and flavor; you can add parsley, too, if you enjoy it. My favorite thing about this dressing is that since it's made of good ingredients, I can slather it all over my pizza, salads, sandwiches and crudités in good conscience.
I happened to have some lactic acid powder (derived from beets) in my pantry from the time I was experimenting with homemade vegan mozzarella. This lends a distinctive tartness which mimics that of cultured buttermilk. I'm aware this is an odd ingredient to have on-hand, so feel free to sub in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar if necessary.
This ranch keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. The water and cashews may separate (since there's no oil acting as an emulsifier), but a quick stir and it's refreshed and ready!