Monday, September 28, 2009

Southern Style White Gravy - Cashew Based

(pictured: pinto bean burger, steamed green beans, microwaved potato and white gravy)

I wasn’t certain if I should post this or not since I think all vegans have their own version of a white sauce made with raw cashews. However, I remember being new to vegan cooking and finding a sauce like this and it being a revelation.

My version of cashew gravy is closest to the white gravy you find in the southern US. This is very much like what they would serve with biscuits for breakfast. I made this knowing the bean burgers needed a condiment. This sauce is a very thick white gravy. If you prefer a thinner sauce you can reduce the oatmeal by half and the sauce will still thicken but will be more like a béchamel.

It is important to cook the onions and garlic completely so the harshness they have when under cooked doesn’t ruin your sauce.

Southern Style White Gravy – Cashew Based
Makes about 22 ounces - makes 6 servings


½ yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
½ cup water to sauté vegetables
½ cup raw cashews
¼ cup old fashioned oatmeal, dry (uncooked)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 cups water
½ teaspoon kosher salt


Cook the onion and garlic in water until the onion is tender. Add more water if it evaporates before the vegetables are soft. If you want to add addition flavor to the sauce you can sauté the vegetables in a dry white wine instead.

Place the cashews and oatmeal in the your blender and process until everything is finely ground. This took about 45 seconds in the Vitamix on high. Add the water, kosher salt and softened onions and garlic to the blender and process until smooth.

Pour the sauce into a pan and heat, whisking regularly cook until the sauce thickens.

Store the excess sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will last at least 4 days. I reheat it on defrost in my microwave or on top the stove.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 65.19
Calories From Fat (46%) - 29.89

Total Fat - 3.57g
Saturated Fat - 0.64g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 268.67mg
Potassium - 163.63mg
Total Carbohydrates - 6.47g
Fiber - 0.95g
Sugar - 0.93g
Protein - 2.83g


This sauce is good on veggie burgers, potatoes, and vegetables. It also works on biscuits or over grits. The sauce has a slight background flavor of cashew. The onion, garlic and nutritional yeast add a savory umami to the sauce. If you are a big fan of nutritional yeast you can increase the amount in this sauce but then the flavor will be more like a cheese sauce. You can also use this sauce with pasta or in a gratin.

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