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Shiitake Chia Seed Gravy Recipe

Chia seeds thicken gravy Photo -- Roban Kramer
Chia seeds thicken gravy
Photo — Roban Kramer

I love to make healthy shiitake mushroom gravy because it’s so versatile. You can serve it over mashed potatoes, of course. But I also like to make a big plate of steamed veggies (brussels sprouts are the best, but you can use broccoli or any veggie you want.) I put the veggie on top of a grain (like red quinoa or brown rice) and ladle a generous serving of gravy on top. It’s not at all fattening, so you can use a lot of this gravy.

I could cook anything, pour this healthy gravy on top, and my husband would say, “Mmmmm. This is delicious.”

Usually I thicken my gravy with cornstarch. But given that cornstarch isn’t the healthiest thing out there, and that chia seeds (kind of like flax seeds) make a good thickener, I decided to try using chia seeds as a thickener in my gravy. It turned out delicious, and very healthy! Here’s the recipe:

Healthy Shiitake Chia Seed Gravy

  • I.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 package shiitake mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • A few dashes soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 to 2 T ground chia seeds, depending on how thick you like your gravy*

Instructions: Heat the olive oil in a  small saucepan on the stovetop and add the minced garlic. Stir for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the vegetable broth and turn the heat up to medium high. Add the soy sauce or Bragg’s. As the broth begins to simmer, use a metal or heat-proof silicone whisk to whisk in the ground chia seed, a little at a time, until your gravy is as thick as you’d like. Serve on anything!

*You can grind your own chia seeds in a spice grinder. Any spice grinder works fine, and you can pick one up for about $10 at a discount store. Or, you can buy chia seeds already ground for convenience. I prefer grinding my own seeds.

Variations: You also can play around with this recipe. It’s fun to try different types of mushrooms. Plain white mushrooms work fine, and portobello mushrooms add a more substantial texture to the gravy. I also like to use an exotic mix that includes oyster mushrooms.

Serving suggestions: You can serve this gravy on shepherd’s pie, over biscuits for biscuits & gravy, on any whole grain, on any vegetable, and over tofu cutlets.  It’s yummy.