The centenarian diets we studied were often high in carbohydrates, often from sweet potatoes, rice and corn. Dr. John McDougall, author of The Healthiest Diet on the Planet, is a proponent of the high-carb diet and even calls himself a “starchivore.” Dr. McDougall shared his favorite mashed potatoes and gravy recipe – a Midwestern tradition he transformed into a healthier version. This vegan gravy is made with brown rice flour instead of wheat flour. The great thing about using rice flour instead of wheat flour for thickening is that it doesn’t form lumps like wheat flour often does. You can just sprinkle it over the top of a hot liquid, stir it in and it thickens nicely without any lumps, or mix it in before cooking and stir occasionally until thickened.
10 medium potatoes, peeled, in water to cover
2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons tahini
¼ cup brown rice flour
freshly ground black pepper
dash or two of Sriracha, if desired
1. Cut potatoes in half and place in a large pot with the water. Cover and cook over low heat until potatoes are very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Drain potatoes, reserving the cooking liquid. Beat the potatoes with an electric mixer, adding small amounts of the cooking liquid to the potatoes while mashing. Beat until smooth and creamy. Season with a small amount of salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
To make the potatoes more creamy, replace the reserved cooking liquid with soy or rice milk. Add the milk to the potatoes while mashing as above.
Peel potatoes in the morning and store in water to cover until cooking time. Drain off all cooking water. Use a handheld electric mixer and add warmed soymilk while beating. Place mashed potatoes into a warmed bowl before serving. For garlic mashed potatoes, add some of the Elephant Garlic Spread to the potatoes while mashing.
1. Place the broth into a saucepan. Add the soy sauce and tahini to the saucepan.
2. Stir in the brown rice flour and whisk until liquid is smooth.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sauce becomes thickened and smooth. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add a dash or two of any hot sauce for more flavor, if desired. Serve at once.
This may be made ahead and refrigerated. It will thicken slightly more when refrigerated. To reheat, place in a saucepan, add a small amount of water, whisk to combine and then heat slowly, stirring occasionally, until hot.