Meatless Monday: Thanksgiving Mushroom Gravy
As the Thanksgiving season approaches, our minds naturally turn to the bountiful feast that awaits us. While traditional dishes like turkey and stuffing take center stage for many people, there's a hidden gem that can add depth and nutritional value to your holiday spread: mushroom gravy. This delicious recipe is perfect for vegetarian guests, but everyone will enjoy it regardless of dietary preferences.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms:
Nutrient-rich powerhouse: Mushrooms are a nutrient-packed addition to your Thanksgiving table. They are a good source of essential vitamins, including B-vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, as well as minerals like selenium, copper, and potassium.
Immune system support: As we head into the colder months, supporting our immune systems becomes crucial. Mushrooms contain beta-glucans, compounds known for their immune-boosting properties. Including mushrooms in your Thanksgiving meal can contribute to a stronger defense against seasonal illnesses.
Antioxidant allies: The antioxidants found in mushrooms, such as selenium and ergothioneine, play a vital role in protecting cells from oxidative stress. This can help combat inflammation and support overall well-being.
Heart-healthy goodness: Mushrooms are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium, contributing to a heart-healthy diet. The fiber content in mushrooms also aids in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
Vitamin D boost: Some varieties of mushrooms, when exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light, can produce vitamin D. With shorter days and less sunlight during the fall and winter, incorporating vitamin D-rich foods like mushrooms is beneficial for bone health and mood regulation.
Thanksgiving Mushroom Gravy
- 1 cup mushrooms, cremini, shiitake, or porcini (use your favorite or mix it up)
- 3 1/2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or equivalent amount of vegetable bouillon and water)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Wash mushrooms, and chop super-finely (or larger pieces, if you prefer).
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until onion is translucent and tender. Remove bay leaves.
Add flour and mix to form a thick paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until sauce is golden.
Add vegetable broth, stir, and bring to a simmer. Season with oregano and pepper.
Use a whisk to gently mix gravy occasionally, until it thickens to your desired consistency, about 20 minutes. If you prefer a thinner gravy, mix in 1 to 2 Tbsp water.
Ladle the mushroom gravy over your Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes, or other favorite dishes.
This Thanksgiving, go beyond tradition and embrace the healthful and delicious benefits of mushroom gravy. By incorporating a variety of mushrooms into your holiday spread, you not only enhance the flavors of your meal but also provide your loved ones with a dish that nourishes both body and soul. From immune-boosting properties to heart-healthy advantages, mushrooms are the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table.
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