With the holiday season fast approaching, now’s the right time to start scouring recipe books and cooking sites for healthy and delicious recipes to serve your guests. While there’s plenty of options available for main dishes, side dishes and desserts, very few are available for sidings like gravy.
The good news is that Rachel Saenz, a Mercola employee, has developed a ketogenic gravy recipe for you so you don’t have to skip this holiday staple. It’s made from wholesome ingredients and only takes a few minutes to prepare!
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 5 to 8 minutes
- 1/4 cup grass fed butter
- 2 cups turkey drippings, organic chicken or turkey stock
- 1/2 cups tablespoons Dr. Mercola’s coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Dr. Mercola’s Himalayan salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Serving Size: Makes 2 cups of gravy
- Add butter, garlic powder, salt and black pepper to a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter is melted..
- Lower heat and whisk in coconut flour, stirring constantly for three to four minutes. Slowly whisk in turkey stock and continue to whisk to prevent clumping. Continue until gravy thickens.
The History of Gravy: Where Did This Holiday Staple Come From?
The exact origin of gravy isn’t exactly crystal clear, with the terminology being attributed to someone in the middle ages misreading the old French word “grane” as “grave.” It eventually stuck, hence the modern use of the word “gravy.”1
Today, the word gravy is used around the world in a variety of ways. In Italy, it’s a sauce made by simmering tomatoes and meat. However, the use of this word in this instance is widely debated upon, with people claiming it’s more appropriately called “sauce.”2
Generally, gravy refers to the thick and tasty sauce made up of meat pan drippings, vegetables and cornstarch or flour. It’s also one of the mainstays of holiday banquets like Thanksgiving, and is served with the stuffed turkey.
However, gravy has also fallen victim to the dawn of easy-to-make or instant food products. Today, numerous powdered gravy mixtures can be found in your grocery stores. While these may give you the comfort of saving precious time, they not only expose you to numerous preservatives and other possible artificial flavorings, but their flavor and consistency is often lacking.3
When making gravy for your family, I believe it’s always best that you go the extra mile and make it from scratch. This will give you the full-bodied flavor that goes well with almost everything on your holiday menu, from your turkey to your vegetables.
Organic Chicken Broth for Your Gravy
Using organic homemade chicken broth for this recipe can give you impressive health benefits, but make sure you’re using pasture-raised chicken to get the most nutrients in your broth. If you’ve ever been sick, you’re probably familiar with the healing effects of chicken soup. This is mostly thanks to the numerous minerals and amino acids in the broth. Some of the health benefits you can get from chicken broth include:
- May improve digestion — Chicken broth contains high amounts of gelatin, which can attract fluids in the stomach, including digestive juices.
- Helps alleviate inflammation — The chondroitin, glucosamine and sulfates from the chicken cartilage may help keep inflammation at bay, which may be extremely beneficial for joint pain.
- Supports hair and nail growth — Collagen can be extracted from the gelatin content of chicken broth, which is a mineral essential for better hair and nail growth.
What Is Coconut Flour Good For?
One of the essential ingredients of gravy is flour, which is responsible for its thick consistency. If you’re on the ketogenic diet, however, this might be a problem as processed flour is not only possibly filled with gluten, but is also high in carbohydrate content.4,5 In fact, when adjusting to a ketogenic diet, flour may be one of the first things you eliminate from your meals.
This gravy recipe uses coconut flour, which is a low-carb substitute to your conventional flour products. Besides being low in carbs coconut flour is also gluten-free, which may protect you from the numerous health repercussions that gluten may pose if you are gluten-sensitive.6
Additionally, coconut flour has a low glycemic index, which may help regulate weight and blood sugar levels. This might be especially useful for diabetic patients as they need to regulate their glucose levels. The high dietary fiber content may also contribute to lowering tumor risk as it promotes the production of butyric acid in the stomach.7
Grass Fed Butter Versus Regular Butter
When it comes to grass fed meat versus meats from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), the debate continues with dairy products. Most of the discussion is rooted in the differences in the nutrient content of grass fed versus CAFO meats and dairy, but it doesn’t stop there. Just as concerning is the possible contamination of antibiotics and other drugs used with CAFO operations.8
In CAFOs, cows beef cattle are fed grain-based, often pesticide-contaminated feeds, which are not species-appropriate and are extremely damaging to both the animals and consumers.9 In other words, grains are NOT cows’ natural fodder — pasture greens or even hay are what they would eat in a natural, free-ranging scenario. But with CAFOs, grains — which also fatten up the cows more than natural forage — are brought in and this unnatural substance becomes their sustenance.
The good news is that your choice is not entirely limited to CAFO products. Dairy and beef from grass fed operations are now starting to take off and are available in many communities and local markets, giving you a choice for safer, high-quality, nutrient-dense options.
There is science behind this: For example, a 2006 scientific study in the Journal of Dairy Science reports that the nutrient content of butter is higher and directly proportionate to the amount of fresh grass in cows’ diets.10 This shows that you can feel confident that using grass fed butter for your recipes allows you to ensure the quality, safety and nutrient density of your meals.
You Don’t Have to Give Up Gravy to Stay in Ketosis
Strictly following a ketogenic diet can be one of the hardest challenges during the holidays. The good news is that there are always healthier alternatives you can turn to, and this keto gravy recipe is one example, letting you enjoy your meals with no guilt. So instead of skipping the gravy altogether, try this and reap the benefits its healthy ingredients can offer you.
Sources and References