Fat Free Vegan Gravy

Yup, you read that right.

Ever since I jumped on the fat-free (or low fat) vegan train, I’ve been feeling great and have been chowing down on wonderfully satisfactory foods, but that extra “oomph” has been occasionally missing – where’s the cheese I can smother over everything?  How about a creamy dressing I can use with abandon on my salad?  Thankfully I found and have already introduced you to the nacho cheese and creamy tomatillo dressing recipes that have saved this part of my gustatory needs.

photo (1)Vegan whole wheat biscuits and gravy with homemade sausages

Let me introduce you to another additive I’ve missed: gravy.  How do you make it vegan and fat free?

Beans.

My gravy starch of choice as a thickener could be something else, like corn starch, but we all need to eat more beans anyway so there I’ve left it.  I’ve made a bean gravy before from Isa’s book, Vegan With A Vengeance.  It was very good, fantastic on homemade vegan biscuits, too.  But last thanksgiving, a family friend made an excellent and drool-worthy vegan gravy from scratch by just winging it, so I figured that I could do the same!

bean gravyFat free vegan bean gravy on herbed fluffy vegan mashed potatoes

This post will be rather straight to the point: the lack of quality and quantity of photos had a direct relationship to the nom factor and hunger at the time.  I apologize.  Hence I’m putting it up on there because what goes on the internet is pretty much the truth and is never forgotten, right?

Fat Free Vegan Gravy

Makes approximately 2 – 2.5 cups

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • Dairy-free milk & water (I cannot even begin to tell you how much, start with the liquid level being the same with the beans and then add more as needed after blending all the ingredients together)
  • Scant 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 – 1.5 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice (I’ve only ever used bottled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mushroom seasoning (or vegetable broth powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Crushed black pepper (a few turns of the mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage or thyme (if using fresh minced, then 1/4 teaspoon), optional

DIRECTIONS:

Blend all ingredients.  (If you’re looking to use minimal bowls, blend all ingredients directly in a pot with a stick blender.)  Pour mixture into a pot and place on high heat while stirring constantly.  When the mixture reaches boiling, bring to low for less than a minute then turn off heat.

If the gravy is extremely thin, you’re better off doubling the batch by adding another can of beans and attempting to add more seasonings.  If only slightly thin, start by adding 1 teaspoon of ground flax seed and add more as needed.  If slightly thick, add water or dairy-free milk as needed.

Recipe Notes:

  • I made this recipe again this morning for biscuits (7/27/14) as can be seen in the photo above.  When it comes to adding milk and water, I’m roughly aiming for a 1:1 ratio.  Also, I usually add just enough of these liquids so there’s enough for it to blend with my stick blender right in the pot.
  • As for the Liquid Aminos or soy sauce, I only added a couple of quick swirls this morning and it was plenty I finally measured the amount I put in and have updated the recipe accordingly; if it’s not savory enough for your tastebuds, you can always add more at the end.  The gravy also gets a lot of its color from this.
  • You can season the gravy with Liquid Aminos/soy sauce alone but it does have a distinct taste so that’s why I like to also add something else to give it it’s savory flavor, like mushroom seasoning or vegetable broth powder.  If you only have the Liquid Aminos/soy sauce, start with the amount listed and add 1 teaspoon at a time until it reaches the flavor you like.
  • My favorite vegan chef, Isa Chanda Moskowitz, has this thing for thyme.  I’ve grown to love it so that I find myself adding it to most dishes.  Hence, the sage or thyme is a definite personal preference so only add it if you want.
  • I don’t really let the gravy boil much but I imagine if you don’t let it reach that point, it will still be tasty but I imagine that the starches won’t have heated up enough to turn the mixture as smooth as it could be.

Like I mentioned in the notes above, I made this breakfast this morning, mixed in some chopped up homemade bean sausages, and had it over biscuits.  Although I tend to make the gravy a tad on the salty side (without really meaning to), it works well because it’s usually slathered over something with minimal to no salt so it balances out.  I didn’t grow up with biscuits and gravy but, I don’t know why, I’ve always had an affinity for them at a breakfast bar and I’m so happy to know I can have it as both vegan and low/no fat!

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