When it comes to holiday dinners, gravy is a must!
Whether you're vegetarian, plant-based or gluten-free, I feel your pain on missing out on one of the best parts of holiday dinners. It's never fun to watch everyone else enjoy their gravy-soaked meals while you sit there picking at your dry mashed potatoes.
That's why I set out to find a simple vegan, gluten-free gravy made with real food ingredients. After a few failed attempts using starches as a thickener, I decided to go a different route and try out a mushroom gravy. After a little more tweaking and perfecting, this delicious recipe was born!
This Plant-Based Mushroom Gravy is just the right amount of creamy, has a subtle mushroom flavour and is the perfect match for any holiday dinner, poutine and of course, mashed potatoes.
Fun Fact - The Portobello Mushroom is really an overgrown (or full-grown) Cremini Mushroom
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CREMINI & PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS
Both cremini and portobello mushrooms are an excellent source of B vitamins, which is wonderful for those who eat a plant-based or plant-heavy diet. Incorporating these mushrooms (both large and small) into your diet is a great way to increase vitamin B levels through food as they contain six of the B vitamins, including B12. The B vitamins play crucial roles in many metabolic and neurological functions in the body, and are also great for the skin!
-Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is needed to metabolize glucose as well as alcohol, it helps convert carbohydrates to fat for hormone production and storage, along with supporting proper muscle tone of the digestive tract.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) plays a crucial role in cellular energy production along with the production of overall energy, as well as contributing to many important metabolic reactions. B2 also supports good vision and the maintenance of healthy skin, hair and nails.
-Vitamin B3 (niacin) is needed to break down and utilize protein, fats and carbohydrates, as well as for the synthesis of sex hormones. B3 also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, increase energy, improve skin health and support the nervous system.
-Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is known is as the "anti-stress" vitamin, playing an important role in adrenal support. B5 is also known to prevent wrinkles and signs of aging. A lack of B5 can cause an array of issues including, depression, fatigue, digestive disorders, skin problems, reduced immunity, and the list goes on.
-Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) plays an important role in heart, nerve and musculoskeletal function as it helps to maintain the balance of sodium and potassium. It is also needed to metabolize amino acids, acting as the catalyst for the synthesis of many important neurotransmitters including, serotonin, dopamine and GABA.
-Vitamin b12 (cobalamin) is needed for the healthy function of our whole nervous system. It is required for DNA and RNA formation along with the health of nerve tissue. B12 is also needed for the formation of red blood cells and is an essential nutrient for mental health.
*The B vitamins are water-soluble, which means they are more easily destroyed, especially by heat. To get the most value nutritionally, use fresh mushrooms and avoid over-heating.
THIS RECIPE IS...
BEST WAYS TO SELECT & STORE CREMINI & PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS
Choose mushrooms that are firm, plump and clean. They should not be slimy or wrinkled.
These mushrooms get darker as they age so it's best to pick out those that are lightest in colour.
The best way to store mushrooms is in a paper bag in the refrigerator, if they are packed they should last up to seven days in the fridge.
To preserve the freshness longer, you can place the mushrooms in a glass container and cover it with a damp cloth or directly wrap the mushrooms in a clean, damp cloth.
PLANT-BASED MUSHROOM GRAVY
- 1 cup Onion (chopped)
- 2 tbsp Fresh Garlic (minced)
- 2 heaping cups Cremini Mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 2 tbsp Tamari / Coconut Aminos
- 3 cup Vegetable Broth
- 1 - 2 tbsp Avocado / Olive Oil
- ½ tsp Himalayan / Sea Salt
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and garlic, cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add in mushroom and thyme, cook until onions are transparent and mushrooms are soft.
- Pour in the vegetable broth and water.
- Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring intermittently.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Once cool, pour into a blender, add the salt and blend until smooth.
- *If you want mushroom chunks, remove half of the mushrooms before blending