By KRISTIN FARLEY 6 News Anchor/Reporter
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - If you pick fresh veggies from your backyard garden or scoop up local produce at farmers markets, have you given much thought to the salad dressing you use?
One Knoxville woman thinks about that a lot. In fact, Hazel Tippo has made salad dressings her business. She's the owner and creator of Haze and Company.
As we walked through the produce section of a local grocery store, Hazel pointed out ways she uses her Hazel's Salad Dressings. "I put ginger lime on cut-up vegetables like this," she said.
Hazel makes and sells nine all natural, low sodium, preservative-free flavors.
"I never really cared for salad dressings that were commercial because they were salty to me and had a funny aftertaste," she explained.
Since Hazel also loves to play in the kitchen, she started to bottle up what was once just a family tradition.
She says her daughter would take the dressing in her lunch to work. When people started asking for her Mom's creations, Hazel went commercial.
Her flavors are unique: herb garden, rosemary lemon and buttermilk dill, just to name a few.
Hazel says the recipes come to her at all hours. "A couple of times I remember jumping out of bed and running in the kitchen and writing things down."
But there's one thing you won't find in Hazel's Dressings, added water.
Because of that, she often reminds people that a little of her products will go a long way since they're not diluted.
"I put on there (the label) no water added because the first ingredient on a lot of these products is water. You are getting a lot of water for your money," Hazel said.
Over the years, Hazel and her family have found the dressing are also good as marinades and sauces for chicken, beef and even fish.
"I always make sure I have chicken breast or something at home that I can come in last minute for dinner, pick a dressing, throw it in foil and bake it," she said.
The dressings are so diverse, Hazel says if she had to do it all over again she might just change her products' name. "I wish we had started out saying dressing and cooking sauce."
Today, Hazel makes and bottles her dressings at two state certified kitchens in Middle Tennessee and distributes them in Knoxville.