Yes, we are all trying to eat healthy. No, we don’t want to give up our biscuits and gravy.
It’s okay to have a guilty pleasure or two. And, good news – biscuits and gravy only counts as one!
But, seriously, just by making a few little tweaks, you can reduce the guilty and increase the healthy. When you choose the right ingredients, you can do this without sacrificing taste and enjoy your guilty pleasures more often.
That being said, we wouldn’t change up a classic like biscuits and gravy so much that it becomes unrecognizable. Even after our little makeover, the biscuits are still buttery and flaky and the gravy is just as savory and creamy as ever. How did we do it? Oats, of course.
Our new and improved buttermilk biscuits contain a full cup of oats. It’s enough to boost the nutrition, but not so much that you lose the delicate qualities of a good biscuit. That is, if you treat them right.
The two secrets to flaky biscuits are cold, cold butter and knowing when to leave well enough alone. Once you turn your dough out on the counter, knead it very lightly – only six turns to pull it all together – and then, hands-off. The less you handle the biscuits the better.
And, oh, that gravy. If you’ve never made sausage gravy before, don’t worry, this is our go-to recipe for a reason. You don’t have to make a separate roux for thickening, just sprinkle in some oat flour, cook it for a minute to soak up some of the fat from the sausage and then whisk in your milk. Easy peasy! Even with low-fat milk, your gravy will be decadently rich and creamy. That’s the magic of the oats!
When milk meets oats something amazing happens. Oat flour, just like wheat flour, will thicken a gravy or sauce, but where oat flour pulls ahead is in its ability to make that gravy even creamier and silkier, thanks to the beta-glucan fiber in the oats. (Beta-glucan is what gives oatmeal its creamy, satisfying texture.)
We’re not saying that this recipe is completely free from sin, but it does check a few more nutritional boxes than the original. And, if you want to go a step further with your gravy makeover, you can swap out the pork sausage with turkey sausage.
Of course, how you serve your biscuits and gravy is up to you. We like to take our still-warm-from-the-oven biscuits, split them and then spoon the gravy overtop, but it’s okay if you prefer our biscuits whole or (gasp!) crumbled in a bowl… just make sure you get a snap for Instagram before digging in!
For the buttermilk oat biscuits:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (375 ml)
- 1 cup quick oats (250 ml)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder (15 ml)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (2.5 ml)
- 1 tsp white sugar (5 ml)
- 1/2 tsp salt (2.5 ml)
- 6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes (90 ml)
- 1 cup buttermilk (250 ml)
For the gravy:
- 12 oz turkey or pork sausages, casings removed (340 g)
- 1 Tbsp canola oil (optional) (15 ml)
- 1/3 cup oat flour (75 ml)
- 1/2 tsp salt (2.5 ml)
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper (1 ml)
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme (1ml)
- 3 cups cold milk (750 ml)
For the biscuits:
- Preheat oven to 450° F (230° C) degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
- Cut in butter, using a pastry blender or two knives, until butter pieces are pea-sized.
- Slowly add buttermilk, stirring lightly, just until mixture comes together.
- Generously sprinkle your counter or board with flour, turn out dough, and knead lightly for six turns only. That’s it – do not over work your dough.
- Pat dough into a rectangle, 3/4” thick.
- Cut into eight squares with a sharp knife.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush tops with buttermilk (if desired) and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden. Serve with sausage gravy.
For the gravy:
- Crumble sausages into a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and no longer pink.
- If there is little fat in the pan, add 1 Tbsp canola oil. Whisk in oat flour, salt, pepper and thyme, cooking until oil is absorbed. Do not brown.
- Gradually whisk in milk, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until gravy thickens.
- Serve immediately over warm, split biscuits.