Is bechamel sauce unhealthy? (5 healthy dressings)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is bechamel sauce unhealthy? We will give you the recipe for a healthier version of this sauce and five alternatives for a healthy sauce with beneficial health effects.

Is bechamel sauce unhealthy?

Bechamel sauce consumed in excess can be unhealthy. The béchamel sauce with skimmed milk hides its game rather well with between 70 and 100 calories per 100 g. The sauce itself is not that high in calories but we tend to baste our dishes in large quantities!

100 g of Bechamel sauce contains:

Calories153 kcal
Fat 10.30 g.
Cholesterol 26 mg.
Sodium400 mg.
Carbohydrates10.80 g.
Fiber 0.30 g.
Sugars 4.40 g.
Proteins 4.10 g.
Vitamin A 127.83 ug.
Vitamin C 0.00 mg.
Vitamin B12 0.40 ug.
Calcium 130 mg.
Iron0.20 mg.
Vitamin B30.96 mg.

The amount of nutrients in this table corresponds to 100 grams of bechamel sauce. Remember that nutritional values ​​may vary depending on the type of food and the preparation.  Cooking food can change the values ​​of its nutrients. The nutrient values ​​of the bechamel sauce presented in this table are only indicative. 

Bechamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is one of the basic sauces of French and international cuisine. This sauce is often used as a base for other sauces. For example, Mornay sauce, which is a bechamel with built-in cheese. Bechamel is also used as an ingredient in dishes such as lasagna, for example. 

Traditionally, Bechamel sauce is made from milk, butter, and flour and seasoned with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. The consistency of the sauce depends on the ratio of milk to the flour.

According to Larousse Gastronomique, the sauce was named after a “Marquis de Béchamel”. More precisely, Louis de Béchameil, Marquis de Nointel (1630–1703). This noble figure, the Marquis de Béchamel, held the honorary title of the head of the services of Louis XIV. 

Larousse Gastronomique also notes that bechamel sauce is an improvement on a similar one, dating back a long time, the Tuscan “salsa colla”. This Italian sauce was allegedly imported from Italy to France by Catherine de Medici.

Béchamel sauce is one of the most delicious sauces that we can use in the kitchen. Our exquisite croquettes, cannelloni, lasagna, or creamy spinach have this sauce as one of their basic ingredients. 

A healthy version of bechamel sauce

To prepare this version of  bechamel sauce you will need the following ingredients: 

  • 1/3 of a cup of sifted flour
  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • 5 cups of hot milk
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Sauté the flour with the butter while continuing to stir until it begins to brown.
  2. Little by little add the milk while mixing vigorously with a balloon, to avoid cutting.
  3. Once the milk is integrated, add the nutmeg and salt and pepper.

Bechamel sauce for lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 60 grams of butter
  •  60 grams of flour
  •  600 milliliters of milk
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to do it:

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. 

2. Add the flour and gradually incorporate the milk, stirring with a balloon whisk, until you have a homogeneous and slightly thick sauce. 

3. Remove from the heat, add the bay leaf, and reserve until ready to use.

5 healthy sauces with beneficial effects on health

What is good is said to be either little or unhealthy. Well, there are, however, some sauces that, in addition to being very tasty, are prepared from nutritious ingredients and have real medicinal properties. The proposed recipes are based on natural oils, sea salt, or Himalayan salt and do not contain lactose, sugar, or gluten.

Coconut oil mayonnaise  – Mayonnaise is one of the most widespread sauces in the world, being present in every kitchen, regardless of culture. It is useful to complement various snacks, sandwiches, or even delicious french fries, but the mayonnaise on the market is downright unhealthy because it contains a lot of additives and preservatives. 

Home-made mayonnaise is really healthier, but we still offer you a really unique and delicious recipe, with a surprising taste: coconut. It is prepared like the classic mayonnaise, but, instead of sunflower oil, add coconut oil and add a small clove of garlic. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 4 days.

Rocket and basil pesto – A well-made pesto sauce is perfectly seasoned with almost any dish. It can be spread on toast, can complete pasta, or can be eaten with raw or cooked vegetables. The recipe proposed by us involves the introduction of new ingredients. 

Thus, mix a cup of walnuts, a bunch of fresh basil leaves, a handful of arugula, and a clove of garlic with half a cup of olive oil. For the recipe to be successful, it is recommended that the walnuts be left to soak for a few hours before preparing the sauce. It can be consumed for a maximum of 2 days after preparation.

Sweet vinegar sauce –  For the recipe, you need half a cup of raisins, half a cup of olive oil, a quarter of apple cider vinegar, and a tablespoon of honey. The raisins are left to soak overnight and the next day all the ingredients are beaten until a homogeneous cream is obtained.

Mustard sauce – Although the original recipe is prepared with butter or sour cream, to keep us on the healthy side of gastronomy, we will give up this ingredient. Thus, the sauce proposed by us contains half a cup of mustard, a cup of water, and a cup of oatmeal. 

They are soaked in water and mixed with mustard. Depending on the consistency we want, hot water or oatmeal is added to the sauce. It is recommended to be consumed immediately after preparation.

Guacamole sauce – The traditional Mexican sauce, also called salsa, is extremely healthy and beneficial for digestion and, although there are several recipes, depending on the ingredients added, avocado remains the basis of guacamole sauce. 

A tasty and easy to prepare option involves an avocado fruit, two cloves of garlic, even green garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Mix the ingredients until a paste is obtained and add pieces of finely chopped tomatoes.

The bottom line

Any type of sauce, consumed with moderation, is healthy to eat and essential to make our dishes taste absolutely delicious.  With the bechamel sauce, we recommend eating it in smaller quantities, as it is high in calories and contains a lot of sodium (400 mg/100g). 

Instead, you can prepare and eat one of the five sauces mentioned above. We know they may not go with every dish, but remember that you can also be creative and improvise a healthier alternative to the bechamel sauce!

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know.

References

Fifteenspatulas.com

Food.com

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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