How to make an ultra low-fat white sauce

Cut the fat content of your sauces with this quick and easy technique.

By Mike Lewis

When you make a white sauce to use in a recipe, you typically blend flour and oil over a low heat to form a roux, then gradually add milk. The result is a nice creamy sauce, but one with a fairly high fat content.

Fortunately, there's a way of reducing the fat content of a white sauce without sacrificing the taste or consistency. The technique is easier than the traditional way of making a white sauce, and has the advantage - for some people - of being wheat-free and gluten-free.

Mixing the sauce

Photo © Veg World

The trick is to use rice flour in place of wheat flour. Rice flour is fairly easy to find in most supermarkets. If you don't see it on the usual flour shelf, check the "free from" or similar section. You can also buy it in health-food shops. It has a long shelf-life, and can be used in a variety of other recipes.

To make just over 10 fl. oz. (300 ml) of sauce, you will need a tablespoon of rice flour and 1 cups (300 ml) of low-fat (skimmed or semi-skimmed) milk. These quantities are usually about right for two portions, but check the recipe. You can always scale it up or down as needed.

Start by placing the flour in a saucepan. Mix it with a little of the cold milk to form a paste. Place the pan over a low heat, and gradually add the remaining milk. Bring to the boil, and simmer gently for about five minutes, stirring occasionally (see photo). Season with salt and pepper as required.

And that's all there is to it. You can use the sauce in a variety of recipes, just as you would with the more familiar high-fat version.

November 2010

Please note: Neither Veg World nor its contributors are qualified to give medical or nutritional advice. If in doubt, always consult a suitably-qualified professional.

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