The Ultimate Gluten-free, Dairy-free Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
If you’ve already hopped off the gluten and dairy train, you may have thought that mashed potatoes with gravy were a thing of your past, but we’re about to change all that. These dairy-free mashed potatoes use a combination of stock and ‘clean’ mayo to create creamy mashers that look and taste just like the real deal. They even pass the kid test. I cook for a 10-year-old mashed potato connoisseur who has time and again given these a 10 out of 10 (my hubs too).
To top it off, we'll make a rich gravy using bone broth and a simple roux made with one of my favorite grain-free flours. It's so easy you can make it on a weeknight. Since my 10-yo mashed potato connoisseur requires gravy, I often do.
There are no pan drippings required for this gravy recipe but they do work beautifully here if you happen to have some available. This is the same mashed potatoes and gravy I serve with our Thanksgiving turkey and no one has ever noticed a difference from the traditional stuff.
Believe me. I've endured quite a few failed or lackluster experiments with GF/DF mashers and gravy, so I'm excited to share my bullet-proof method with you in this blog post and episode of Thyroid-healthy Bites.
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Are Mashed Potatoes Gluten-free?
Potatoes are a gluten-free food, and most mashed potato recipes are also gluten-free, but it never hurts to ask the cook to make sure nothing containing gluten was added to the mashed potatoes.
Gravy, on the other hand, is typically not gluten-free. Since gravy is traditionally served with mashed potatoes, those of us who are gluten-free have had to avoid gravy. But who doesn't love gravy?! This recipe includes a delicious and easy gravy recipe that is also gluten-free.
If you are gluten and/or dairy-free you can enjoy these mashed potatoes AND have gravy on top too!
Are Mashed Potatoes Dairy-free?
Traditional mashed potatoes are not dairy-free. There are many variations, but mashed potatoes are typically made by mashing boiled potatoes with either milk, half and half, heavy cream, sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, or a combination of the above.
Butter, which is a dairy product, is a traditional way of flavoring mashed potatoes and making them extra sumptuous. In the absence of gravy, a pat of butter is often served atop each fluffy mound of spuds.
This recipe for Gluten and Dairy-free Mashed Potatoes uses a combination of mayonnaise, broth, and grass-fed ghee (or olive oil if you don't tolerate ghee) to create delicious mashed potatoes that taste just like the traditional kind. For the gravy, this recipe uses a combination of either ghee or olive oil and cassava flour to thicken the broth and/or pan drippings. You and your guests won't be able to believe these aren't the "real thing."
Is Gravy Gluten-free and/or Dairy-free?
Traditional gravy almost always contains gluten, and sometimes, dairy too. To make gravy, broth, pan drippings, and maybe some wine are thickened with either a flour slurry (flour mixed with water, wine, or milk), or a roux, which is a flour paste made with butter or oil.
Since butter is a dairy product and contains milk solids, gravy made with butter is not dairy-free. Some cooks also like to add or finish their gravy with a splash of milk, half and half, or heavy cream.
Further Reading: Cooking with Wine the Thryoid-healthy Way
Are Potatoes a Thyroid-healthy Food?
The answer to that question, as always, depends on your current dietary needs, sensitivities, and requirements. Potatoes are naturally gluten-free, Whole30 compliant, and are considered Paleo-compliant by many (there is some disagreement there).
If you’re rocking the AIP diet, potatoes are a no-go until Reintroduction Phase 3. If you're in this camp, you may want to look at an alternative recipe like these Bacon and Chive Scalloped Sweet Potatoes.
Nutritionally speaking, potatoes are surprisingly nutrient-dense and have in many ways received an unfair bad rap. On the flip side, they are in the nightshade family and may be problematic for some due to naturally occurring toxins.
Further Reading: Are White Potatoes Thyroid-healthy?
I consider potatoes a gray-area food for Thyroid Thrivers. Personally, I do enjoy them in moderation and haven't identified any ill effects with occasional consumption. During times when I'm on a more rigid leaky gut healing protocol (like AIP), I avoid them.
In general, a scoop of these delightful and dairy-free mashed potatoes with your holiday turkey or Sunday roast will probably not blow your diet to smithereens unless you're on a strict elimination diet or are particularly sensitive to them.
It can be easy to overdo it on spuds and to fill your plate (and your belly) with them too often, at the expense of other colorful and less starchy veggies, so do be mindful.
How to Thicken Gravy without Gluten
Most gravy is thickened with either a slurry or a roux made with wheat flour. I've tried several gluten-free flours to make gravy, and many of them added a gritty or grainy texture to the gravy. But once I started using cassava flour, I knew I had found my ticket to smooth, rich, normal-tasting (LOL) gravy.
Cassava flour works perfectly for things like thickening gravies or stews, for dredging and frying, or even for making a roux. Cassava, sometimes called yuca, is a starchy root vegetable native to South America. It has a mild, slightly nutty flavor, and can be dried and ground into a very, very fine-textured flour.
Cassava also happens to be gluten-free, lectin-free, low-FODMAP, Paleo, and AIP-friendly! My paleo, autoimmune, and AIP recipe writing buddies LOVE cassava, but it does have one caveat: Cassava is goitrogenic.
I have to mention that for those of you who are avoiding goitrogens, but like so many other nutritious goitrogenic foods (like broccoli, kale, or sweet potatoes just to name a few) most experts feel cassava is not an issue unless you're consuming it in excessive amounts or as a dietary staple. Using it for the occasional recipe like this one doesn't fall into that category.
My 2 favorite brands of cassava flour:
Chef's Tip: I never make gravy without a splash of white wine for acidity, complexity, and brightness. When cooking with wine, rest assured that almost all the alcohol cooks off. To learn more, read my post on, "Cooking with Wine the Thyroid-healthy Way."
If you're anything like me, when I started down the path of thyroid-healthy eating I had questions-- lots of them. What I didn't have was a step-by-step system, to get me where I wanted to go. I wasted a lot of time piecing together bits of information about what to eat, what to avoid, and HOW to make thyroid-healthy dietary changes. That’s why I created the Thyroid-healthy Meal Plan Kickstart. Ready to take YOUR healing journey farther, FASTER? Let’s do it. Learn more HERE.
- Potatoes are high in many nutrients and antioxidants like Vitamins C, B6, and Potassium. They are also high in resistant starch, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut and can help maintain a healthy blood sugar balance.
- Bone broth is one of the most highly recommended foods for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease. The collagen and glycine can help repair cell damage in the intestinal tract. It also supports hair, skin, and nail health, as well as our body's detox pathways.
- Sea salt is a natural source of iodine as well as numerous other bioavailable trace minerals.
More Thyroid-healthy Holiday Sides:
- Pumpkin Sage Macaroni and Cheese
- Prosciutto-wrapped Asparagus
- Chex Mix Inspired Delicata Rings
- Hot Curried Pears with Pomegranate
- Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms & Bacon
- Bacon and Chive Scalloped Potatoes