Since so many comfort foods begin with a béchamel, I’ve been wanting to test the best gluten-free flours for the job. I still haven’t managed to do any sort of head to head, but I thought a little healthy creamed spinach experiment was a perfectly logical place to start.
Any dish that only requires a tablespoon or so of flour for thickening is a great candidate to make gluten-free. There are many versatile options out there. I used white rice flour for this mac ‘n cheese. For soups and stews, cornstarch or even some chickpea flour works well. But for this healthy creamed spinach, I went with Bob’s Red Mill GF All-Purpose Baking blend.
In addition to a gluten-free béchamel, I relied on one of my usual health hacks to make this creamed spinach a little better for you. Instead of milk, I made my béchamel with vegetable stock. My mom has been doing this for years in her mashed potatoes instead of using dairy. But what really gives the whole mixture its creaminess is a dollop of yogurt whisked in at the end. The tartness helps cut the background taste of butter from the béchamel, which might not be ideal for many of you. But I find the more I cut these things out of my diet, the more cloying dairy becomes for my palette in addition to my delicate tummy.
I’ve been really digging the comfort classics this season – brisket, mashed potatoes, bourbon, pancakes. The second the leaves start to turn, I want to stick a roast chicken in the oven. If you’re doing the same, a little casserole of creamed spinach would be a perfect accompaniment.
Healthy Creamed Spinach
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large shallots sliced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons AP gluten-free flour or white rice flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 10 ounces spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- Heat the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallots until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for another minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat. Cook for a minute, then whisk in the salt and broth.
- Simmer until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and carefully fold in until wilted. Stir in the Greek yogurt and taste for seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish and eat immediately.
Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking says
Love the addition of vegetable broth. From the looks of it you could never tell any difference!
I know what you mean about the cloying taste of milk/cream when I’ve been away from it for a while! It’s like going back to whole milk from skimmed. This recipe looks so good with shallots and garlic and red pepper. Might be fun to put in a dash of nutmeg instead of the pepper flakes like traditional comfort spinach. I could eat these photos alone.
“healthy creamed spinach”… sounds too good to be true! Looks delicious. I’ll be trying this soon! happy weekend!
Great recipe; however many individuals how are eating gluten-free may be doing so for existing health issues. Kosher salt contains yellow prussiate soda which is a chemical that can affect some in the same manner as gluten. I suggest using an all natural sea salt in place of the kosher salt. Appreciate the recipe – was delicious!
Phoebe Lapine says
I’m so glad you liked it!! That’s so bizarre. You’ll notice that on 99 percent of my recipes I call for sea salt. I have no idea why I don’t here! My guess is I was using another recipe as a benchmark for measurements and just forgot to edit the salt line item. Going to change it to sea now. That’s the only thing I have in my kitchen! Thanks again for making and for your feedback! xo
Lorna Soonhee says
I loved this recipe! Incredibly delicious and super easy to make. It’s challenging finding super delicious GF recipes but this is now one of my faves. Thanks, Phoebe!
Phoebe Lapine says
I’m so glad Lorna! Thank you for trying and reporting back. xoxo
Sabrina B. says
thanks for doing the heavy R&D to make this healthier version of creamed spinach, a favorite of mine! Nice to have this option, so thank you.
Phoebe Lapine says
I hope you enjoyed it Sabrina! xoxo