Monday, November 23, 2015

Healthy (Yes!) Buttermilk Biscuits & Gravy

Wait a minute.
Did I seriously just write healthy biscuits and gravy? How is that even possible?

I'm a believer that just about any dish can carry nutritional value. The key, my friends, is using nourishing ingredients and to eat wisely. 

This is quite the hearty breakfast; perfect before a day packed with lots of physical activity and little time for lunch. I made this batch the morning we went to the woods to find our Christmas tree. I don't know about you, but altitude makes me hungry and we were headed up the mountain for a long day of trudging thru the snow, looking for the perfect tree. Truly, we were. My husband doesn't stop until he finds it, and usually it's twice as tall as we need it to be. It was wonderful to not hear an "I'm hungry" until hours later, after we were piling into the car where I had a basket of these cookies at the ready.

I'm so thankful our family can now eat gluten without it negatively affecting them, so long as we eat it sparingly.  For my GF friends, I'm sorry about this recipe.  More gluten-free recipes to come.

'Round these parts, we like our biscuits tall, like our Christmas trees.  If you do, too, be sure your dough is rolled out to at least an inch thick.

This means you'll be working with a smallish round that makes up it's diameter in thickness.

You can always use a drinking glass to cut your biscuits like I did, until this biscuit cutter set was found in my stocking several Christmases ago.  I use the second to the biggest choice.

See?  Tall, warm, flakey goodness.  Stop here if all you need are incredible biscuits.  Continue if you're ready for some protein-packed comfort.

I will probably be shunned from the south from here on out for using ground turkey instead of sausage, but I'm Californian and it shows, even in my gravy. What also shows is how many recipe steps I try to skip.  It works just fine to dump the meat in the pan over low heat, sprinkle the seasonings in, and incorporating it all as it cooks.  Less dirty dishes = more life to live.

Does billowing steam from cooking breakfasts memorize anyone else?  It could be the pre-coffee, half-asleepedness, but it's practically hypnotic to me.

Also, morning light on creamy, meaty goodness sends me into utter bliss.  Commence stomach growls.  

Making the biscuits from start to finish only takes 20 minutes.  That includes baking time.  Add the gravy and the whole meal will find it's way to the breakfast table in 35 minutes, so long as you start the gravy right after the biscuits go into the oven.  I pull all the needed herbs for this recipe from the garden and hang them above the stovetop ahead of time, making this dish an even more aesthetically delightful event.

A faucet will go where that stump is, one of these days,

We are family of seven, so my recipes tend to make a lot of food.  If you don't go through this batch in one setting, both the biscuits and the gravy reheat wonderfully for yummy days to come.

Buttermilk Spelt Biscuits
Prep time: 10 min, Bake time: 10 min, makes 8-9 biscuits
  1. Preheat oven to  450ยบ.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix in shortening, and buttermilk until just combined.
  3. Roll dough out onto lightly floured surface, to a 1-inch thickness.  Cut out biscuits with a 2.5-inch biscuit cutter.
  4. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on ungreased pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned.  Serve immediately, though room temperature or reheated biscuits are good, too.
Sausage Gravy
Prep time: 20 min, Serves 8
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 Tablespoon rapadura (or coconut sugar, or brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, if you like spicy sausage)
  • 1/4 cup bacon grease, optional (we buy organic, pastured bacon and definitely save the grease)
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 3-4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place ground turkey in skillet (cast iron is the preferred, non-toxic choice), over low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, add 2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, sage, thyme, marjoram, smoked paprika, and optional pepper flakes to turkey; chop and stir to incorporate into turkey with spatula to combine and cook, turning heat to medium.
  3. Once turkey is fully cooked with no more pink meat, reduce heat to medium-low, add optional bacon grease and sprinkle flour onto meat.  Cook for about minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Drizzle milk onto sausage, stirring constantly.  Cook gravy until it thickens to desired consistency, 10-12 minutes.  If it gets too thick, add milk. If it's too thin, add a little more flour. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper into sausage, stir, and serve immediately with warm biscuits.
Oh and the tree?  We found one.  Jeremy did good, as usual.  This is why I let him obsess over finding the perfect one, even after the children are long done and ready to go home. It's always worth it.

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