When I started to eat a ketogenic diet, gravy wasn’t something that I had thought too much about as I just assumed it was fairly ketogenic approved, after all it is purely fat isn’t it? How many carbohydrates could be in it?
Technically yes I assumed correct, it is mostly fat but it’s those grain thickeners that make it perfect to hold onto your meat, vegetables and potatoes that are the issue. Yes I just said it, I put gravy on my vegetables. And it isn’t so much about the number of carbohydrates in it, it’s the grains that are causing inflammation in your body that you need to avoid.
I have always loved gravy but only ate it 3-4 times a year at our standard holidays. I’m talking about Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. It has never been something that I would just whip up as it always came following roasting a turkey, chicken or beef for those juicy drippings and I only did that for big holiday events. I don’t think I’m alone here.
Times have changed since moving to a ketogenic diet and I find myself often cooking roasts and chickens so that I have the bones to make bone broth. But even though I have the juicy meat drippings, I still didn’t have a thickener that I could add to my gravy.
Until one day I learned that konjac root flour was the best gravy thickener you could use on the ketogenic diet; Konjac what? I know, I had the same thought when I read it the first time too. It contains mostly fiber and most importantly, it didn’t make your gravy like gel, or as sadly, my husband described the gravy I made at Easter 2017, as Snotty – yuk! I’m sorry, that might have been too much information. For more information on substitutes, check out my post on what I’m using for what.
Keep reading for my ketogenic cashew gravy that is easy to whip up, delicious and as a bonus is good for your gut health! And you don’t have to search to find a konjac root flour, most ingredients you will have in your pantry already or a quick trip to the local grocer.
Gravy should be for everyday!
Since going ketogenic and needing to eat high fat, I saw the need for gravy in my life every day, no exaggeration as sauces in general have become a staple in my meals to get my fat macros. I needed to create a recipe that was fat fueled but you didn’t need a carcass of meat and bones to create it. I need simplicity in my life not complication. That is where this recipe stemmed from. I know cashews made things creamy and were an excellent base for vegan cheesecake, so why not a gravy? If cashews didn’t work I was headed for tahini next, but the recipe turned out beautifully and does so every time I make it.
Cashews are a higher carbohydrate nut, in fact they are the last recommended nut to consume on the ketogenic diet, but with the gravy you are splitting one whole cup of nuts into 10 servings, that’s about 3 carbs per serving. You could try substituting this recipe for macadamia nuts but you might not get the desired consistency of a smooth creamy gravy.
So what are the star ingredients in this recipe? I owe it to miso, a hearty broth and cashews.
Miso? Thought we weren’t allowed soy?
Yes, Miso is a soy product. Miso actually means ‘fermented beans’ in Japanese. So you are likely still not convinced reading that and thinking miso is good on a ketogenic diet, however it is and here is why.
A traditional food in Asian diets, miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and is full of beneficial bacteria. When I say full, I am referring to millions of active bacteria per serving. This is equivalent to your expensive probiotics that you are paying for to help your gut health.
I put miso in the same category as I do sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented pickles and hot peppers. Anything fermented is good in my books as it makes my gut very happy and my overall health benefit.
I like to get my prebiotics and probiotics from eating whole foods, and these are essential on a ketogenic diet. In addition to keeping your gut healthy & happy, fermented soy is a good source of protein, copper, zinc, manganese and vitamin K.
A recipe for gut health
I’ve already covered the health benefits of the miso paste but that isn’t the only ingredient in this recipe that is beneficial for your gut and overall health. I have been testing out Organika Bone Broth protein powder and decided that I would swap out my normal mushroom broth with the bone broth to see how the recipe would do. And I was pleasantly surprised.
Bone Broth is a super food for so many reasons and is a key staple to many on the ketogenic diet. I first learned about the healing properties of bone broth when I was healing my body of adrenal fatigue and my leaky gut syndrome. My naturopathic doctor informed me of the healing properties that it can do for your gut.
I started drinking it immediately and learned that making my own is quite simple and I much preferred it over store bought. However, when you are drinking bone broth daily, it starts to take over your kitchen counter, fridge and freezer space as you constantly have batches on the go. When I first started making bone broth, my husband and I were in our starter home, an 850 square foot condo, you can image the kitchen size. For this reason, I was happy to learn that bone broth came in a powder form, like anything I was skeptical at first but have been happy with the results of how it dissolves in water and have enjoyed the taste.
Powder form has just made my life easier and it is a versatile product. I have been adding it to my coconut cream fat-fueled keto shakes in the morning and baking with it. It is an excellent way to get in a healthy dose of minerals that support your immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen and glutamine.
This recipe can be made vegan by using a vegan fat, and substituting the bone broth for mushroom broth and lastly the bouillon cube for a mushroom or vegetable cube. Easy peasy!
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled & crushed
- 4 Tbsp fat (butter, ghee, duck fat, oil, coconut oil)
- 1 small onion (3 oz) chopped
- 1 cup raw cashew nuts, unsalted
- 3 cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp Organika Bone Broth (just use mushroom broth if vegan)
- 1 Tbsp organic Miso Paste (I use Red) – you can omit and substitute for salt
- 1 Bouillon Cube (I used beef but can substitute any, mushroom is a good choice)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Soak cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes, drain & set aside
- Mix bone broth powder with the warm water, set aside
- Heat oil in a medium size pan on medium heat; add in the onions and garlic to the heated oil and sauté until onions are translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes
- Add in cashews & bouillon cube to the pan and cook for 3 minutes
- Add 2/3 of bone broth & miso paste to the pan, cover the pan and cook for additional 10 minutes
- Pour into a high-power blender or food processor, on high speed blend until creamy, add additional bone broth as you are blending until desired consistency is reached
- Taste & add salt as needed; pepper recommended to top when serving (adding it to gravy can make it a gray color)
Substitution for everything
If this is the first time you have seen any of my recipes, you might have noticed that I provide substitutes and if you have seen my recipes before, you know that I commonly provide alternatives to my recipes. That is because I have been altering recipes my entire life having been dairy free since the beginning of time and gluten free for over 13 years now.
I don’t want to rule any dietary needs out because the reality is, you can make majority of my recipes vegan just with a few small tweaks. I often get asked if you can do ketogenic if you are vegan or vegetarian and the answer is yes but the truth is, it isn’t as easy as it is when you are not restricted and I’d say vegetarian or pescatarian is definitely easier than being vegan. I actually wrote a review on a cookbook “Keto the Kind Way” check it out by clicking here.
Any questions about my recipes, I always welcome comments and let me know if there are any alterations you want to make to meet your dietary needs, I will do my best to provide a solution to adjust the recipe.