During the holiday season, I always think of mashed potatoes and gravy. Growing up in my house, this was one of the meal’s highlights and something we didn’t eat often. 

It is one of my favorite hobbies to take traditionally unhealthy foods and make them functional and delicious. When you look at store-bought gravies, they tend to have undesirable ingredients like modified corn starch, natural flavors, milk fat, and animal fat. This easy mushroom gravy is delicious and contains functional foods, especially if you use a variety of mushrooms. 

One of my favorite reads from 2018 was Healing Mushrooms by Tero Isokauppila. I learned about the benefits of a few fungi in that book that would be a great addition to this recipe.

Maitake is relatively easy to find, can help with stabilizing blood sugar and improve digestion. Due to its SX-fraction, a compound named due to its ability to counteract the effects of syndrome X, Maitake has the potential to reduce blood glucose levels, reduce blood pressure, and acts as an adaptogen. 

Chaga may not be on your grocery store’s shelf, but you can find it in lots of other places. This mushroom powerhouse can help lower inflammation, promote healthy hair and skin, and help protect your immunity. Chaga contains more superoxide dismutase (SOD), zinc, and melatonin than any other single natural source. 

If you aren’t feeling adventurous or don’t have access to unique mushrooms, whatever you find at the store will make a great gravy. 

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped mixed mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1 Tablespoon kudzu or arrowroot mixed in 4 Tablespoons cool water

Directions

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion and mushrooms until softened, about 10 minutes.  
  2. Add in herbs and coconut aminos sauté for another 3-5 minutes.  
  3. Add in vegetable broth and stir. 
  4. Place the mixture in a high-speed blender and process until you have a creamy texture. If you prefer to have larger pieces of mushrooms and onions, set aside a portion of the mixture and stir it in after the base is smooth. 
  5. Return the gravy to the pan, add in the kudzu mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. If you want to change the consistency, you can always add in more vegetable broth. 

Pro tip: I find that the broth is better the next day, so I always like to make it ahead of time. 

If you aren’t familiar, kudzu is a plant that can be turned into root starch that is great at a thickening agent. This plant is a great way to make gluten-free recipes and improve digestion. Kudzu is a common ingredient in macrobiotics and has been used medicinally for over 2000 years in Eastern medicine. Some of the conditions it has been used to address include fevers, acute dysentery, diarrhea, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hangovers, and more. 

It supports digestion by toning the intestinal wall (1) and has anti-inflammatory benefits due to its high flavonoid content.

What are your favorite kinds of mushrooms? Comment below.