Another peppercorn sauce recipe?
Yes, I know I only recently posted the recipe for my original peppercorn sauce, but I’ve given it a makeover to create a healthy peppercorn sauce. This new version keeps all of the flavour whilst having significantly lower calories, fat and saturated fat (if you want to see just how much I’ve knocked it down by you’ll have to read on – I’m pretty proud of what I managed). There’s also hidden veg for some extra goodness.
This sauce is the perfect accompaniment to steak, chicken or gammon, and is quick and easy to make.
So why give it a makeover?
One of the things I enjoy doing in the kitchen is to attempt to make healthier versions of some of my favourite foods. This is usually trying to reduce calories, fat, salt or sugar, but I’m also happy with anything that makes a recipe more nutritious. Occasionally (OK, quite often) these can be a bit of a disaster, but every now and again I find something that works really well. This peppercorn sauce is one of those times.
When I create recipes for Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen the first step is always to try and create something that I think tastes delicious. It’s only once that’s done that I work out all of the nutritional information, so I can add it to the recipes you read here.
Occasionally that creates the unwanted feeling of finding out that something I thought wasn’t too bad is actually much higher in calories, fat, salt or sugar than I’d expected. I definitely got that feeling with my original peppercorn sauce recipe. It’s not terrible, not terrible at all, at 132 calories and 7g of fat per serving, but if I’m having a bit of a diet day (usually due to too much cake, or hope of future cake) then I don’t think I can afford to get 11% of my daily reference intake of fat just from a sauce!
Ever since I posted my original peppercorn sauce recipe, I’ve been pondering ways to make it healthier. The great thing about calculating the nutritional information myself is that I can see a breakdown of where all of the calories, fat, etc. are coming from and therefore I know where to try and target my efforts.
In the case of my original peppercorn sauce, the vast majority of calories and fat were coming from the flour and butter used in the roux base of the sauce.
Recently I’ve found several recipes that substitute cauliflower for the flour and butter in some roux based sauces to make a healthier version. I thought that idea would be perfect here. So I gave it a try.
I’ve stayed as true to my original recipe as possible in terms of flavours, substituting cauliflower for the flour and butter and adjusting some of the other quantities to ensure that the flavours and consistency are right. The great thing is for non-cauliflower fans, because the sauce has quite a powerful flavour, the cauliflower taste is disguised by it all.
So onto the numbers, what’s the benefit of switching to the cauliflower version?
Here’s the table of nutritional information per serving* for the cauliflower version…
Yes, you read that right. A 62% reduction in calories from 132 to 50. A 91% reduction in fat, and a whopping 97% reduction in saturated fat.
I think that’s a pretty impressive improvement. And what you can’t see here, is that whist it doesn’t fully make up one of your five-a-day fruit and veg, it does contribute 0.6 which isn’t bad at all.
Ideally I’d also like to reduce the level of salt. However, when I’ve tried, the sauce lacks the necessary flavour. If anyone’s got any suggestions for alternatives to salt I can try then let me know in the comments.
So what did I change to make the difference?
Now on to the recipe…
Peppercorn Sauce… with a healthy makeover has been linked to…
* This is the estimated nutritional information per serving including the nutrition as a percentage of an adult’s daily reference intake. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.