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TOPIC: Bechamel Alternative?

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March 2, 2010 10:10 AM
I am trying to adapt a recipe that calls for a bechamel sauce. What can I do as an alternative?
March 2, 2010 10:26 AM
Use the bechamel, just use is sparringly. You don't have to stop eating amazingly tasty food, you just have to eat less.
March 2, 2010 10:37 AM
I agree with Lt Mr. Cook, Eat less of the scrumptious sauce.
You can make it a little healthier by using low fat margarine, skim milk and whole wheat flour....

Good luck!

Jan AKA PoeRaven
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March 2, 2010 10:37 AM
this is from a vegan website, and i don't know what the nutritional values are, but surely better than traditional bechamel!!! and i think you could totally use any margarine and fat free cow's milk!

Bechamel Sauce
Submitted by Andr
prep time: 5 minutes | cooking time: 15-20 minutes | makes About 1 cup
I adapted this recipe from the cookbook "La cuisine raisonne"(Fides). Sorry, I don't think there is an english version of it... Pour this over cooked vegetables, use in vegetable pot pies or use instead of cheese in lasagnas. And remember; the sauce thickens very quickly as it cools, so pour it on whatever you want immediatly when it's ready.

2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup warm soymilk
Salt and pepper

Melt the margarine, fry the onion and add the flour. Mix well.

Pour the warm soymilk slowly so as not to make clumps.

Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Edited by EmilyStrick On March 2, 2010 10:38 AM
March 2, 2010 12:53 PM
If you can find quark, it is a low fat soft cheese. BRILLIANT for sauces. I use it for everything. Its virtually fat free.
March 2, 2010 12:55 PM
I might suggest steering away from using skim milk in a sauce like this... because there's no fat in it sometimes sauces (or puddings or whatever) that are cooked will separate, or just never thicken.
September 20, 2011 9:12 AM
Ahhh i need help with this too!!
September 28, 2011 10:33 PM
You could try this white sauce recipe:

1 cup low fat milk
2 teaspoons corn flour
30g parmesan cheese (grated)
salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a shaker. Shake until combined. Place in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat stirring until mixture thickens.

I also sauteed some leek in a pan with some olive oils spray. I added that to the saucepan with at the milk stage.

Onion would also add some lovely flavour.

September 28, 2011 11:04 PM
Why in the world would anybody (other than vegans) use margarine over butter? The sat fat myth is busted.

Sorry, I got distracted...

You don't say what you're trying to avoid in the traditional bechamel...

If it's just fat and calories, you can simply use less butter and lower-fat milk. The flour does the thickening, so you can get away with even skim milk and remove as much butter as you can stand to lose. You can even make a white sauce completely without butter if you mix the flour and milk into a cold slurry before heating it. Doesn't taste the same, though.

If you're trying to avoid gluten in the flour, you can make a passable white sauce using white corn flour (not corn meal) and potato starch 50-50 in place of flour. It will be a bit mealier than beschamel should be and can get slimy if you go overboard with the potato, but if you're gluten intolerant, you're probably used to compromises already. If you season it similarly, it will taste right, anyway.
September 29, 2011 12:03 AM
It depends what you are using it for.
If it is for a tuna mornay or pasta bake type recipe you can use soup - like homemade cauliflower or pumpkin (you could use canned soup but i think they are horrible and they tend to be pretty high in salt.)
For lasagna - use reduced fat ricotta.
There are probably other things you could use too - tell us the purpose and we'll have ideas for you!
September 29, 2011 6:40 AM
King Arthur Flour - Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour, 1/8 cup 50 11 0 2
Milk - Nonfat (fat free or skim), 1 cup 86 12 0 8
Land O Lakes - Butter, 2 Tbsp (14g) 200 0 22 0

Total: 336 23 22 10
Per Serving: 84 6 6 3

I make a bechamel pretty much in this manner (dusting of nutmeg also) and this is on the night I have banked some cal/cho/fat/protein to enjoy a classic dish.... its actually pretty reasonable this way and its for FOUR servings....

Moderation is the key, right?
September 29, 2011 6:43 AM
You can simply thicken milk (maybe not skim milk, though) with cornstarch. Not as good as the real thing but it depends on what you plan to use it for! Don't forget nutmeg, though!
September 29, 2011 7:42 PM

You can simply thicken milk (maybe not skim milk, though) with cornstarch. Not as good as the real thing but it depends on what you plan to use it for! Don't forget nutmeg, though!

Ive done the skim milk for many of my customers at the University - and they never had a problem with it...


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