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Can you supply a non-fat or low-fat sauce for Eggs Benedict?

I have an acquaintance who has been totally brainwashed by popular culture. She considers fat to be in the same category as poison. I am going to be preparing Eggs Benedict with a Hollandaise sauce (which I will enjoy, thank you very much!) Obviously, the Hollandaise sauce is unacceptable to her. What alternative low-fat or non-fat sauces can you suggest?

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  1. you can thicken anything with starch or xanthan gum.How much fat will she tolerate...a little cheese?

    1. Try whipping lowfat strained yogurt with some salt, herbs and a bit of garlic. Pour that over the poached eggs and spritz with a bit of lemon.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JungMann

        This sounds like a great suggestion.

      2. Sadly, my only suggestion is to make a different dish to satisfy your friend's unreasonable fear of fat. Hollandaise is un-substitutable.

        1. during a dieting phase I did a few "cream" sauces with condensed milk. . . it is better than using skim milk as a substitute for cream . . . I'd still go for hollandaise ;)

          1. So she'll eat the egg yolks, but not the hollandaise sauce?

            3 Replies
            1. re: C. Hamster

              C. Hamster, Well, none of her attitude about fat is logical, but there is some logic regarding the egg. A large egg has 4.4 to 7 grams of fat (the usual figure quoted is 5--let's use 5 as the correct figure). There are 28 grams in an ounce. So the typical large egg has 5/28 of an ounce of fat (or 0.18 of an ounce of fat). That's negligible. Hollandaise is a lot more fat because Hollandaise is almost pure butter, which is almost pure fat, and you use a lot more it on the egg.

              As Sir Thomas More said in "A Man for All Seasons," "I trust I make myself obscure." Thanks for the comment, C. Hamster.

              1. re: gfr1111

                1 Tablespoon of Hollandaise sauce has 7 grams of fat. So 1 poached egg, plus 2 tablespoons of Hollandaise = 19ish g of fat.

                One suggestion is to still make eggs Benedict for your friend, and simply give her less Hollandaise sauce - 1-2 T. I would agree that many eggs Benedicts that I've had are drowned in Hollandaise - as much as I like the sauce, many establishments serve it downright soupy with sauce.

                Perhaps you can use high quality eggs (if you can source farm fresh?) that have a deeper yellow yolk color and deeper flavor, and use less Hollandaise, and make the dish about the eggs (and whatever muffin product you are using), and less about the sauce? Just a thought?

                I probably don't need to mention that sauces thickened with starch are likely to be as high in calories (and, a recent research has shown, simple carbs such as starch trigger an insulin response, which leads to more calories being packed away in fat tissue) as a well made Hollandaise that's higher in flavor and used in moderation? No, didn't think so.

                1. re: foreverhungry

                  Don't try throwing logic and nutritional science at the fat-phobic. They're too busy cowering under the bed lest the butter monster leap up and smother them.

            2. I've seen light mayo used in place of the butter and yolks but you also have the meat (bacon, ham) and the poached egg itself. And who among us likes light mayo subs?

              Maybe you make yours in all its glory and for your guest a poached egg with toast...and see if the poison avoidance is really worth it. :)

              1. I would perfectly enjoy Eggs Benedict without any Hollandaise sauce, I don't think any substitute is required. Just don't over poach the egg so there is plenty of yolk.

                Worst case I would enjoy some hot sauce, tabasco or Sriracha would be nice.

                1. I might spread some fromage blanc on the muffin before topping with poached eggs (A little snipped chive here would be nice as well.) I imagine it will probably soften a bit under the heat and get more sauce-like.

                      1. re: rjbh20

                        Actually, that sounds quite appealing to me. Throw in a big spoonful of coconut butter, and plenty of salt =)

                      2. You mean popular culture from 10 or 20 years ago, right?

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: linguafood

                          Yes because now we have moved on to the demonization of carbs.
                          I would just make something else, like shashuska.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                Yes, no durr. I suppose I should've written "not ALL carbs", as plenty of vegetables are very low in sugars or starches.


                                1. re: linguafood

                                  erm.. as an italian-american...

                                  capice, si. ;)

                                2. re: hotoynoodle

                                  Well, yes, but we who eschew sugars and starches eat plenty of non starch, non sugar carbs, so it's not the macronutrient group that's "demonized." Which is a silly term to use for a food group.

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    My point , as I am sure you know, is that fats used to be seen as the enemy , and now sugars and starches( usually generalized as carbs) are.

                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                      And my point is that while there was zero evidence for the dangers touted for fats, there is actually quite a breadth of evidence for carbs.

                                      I think suggestion that it's just another cycle of disinformation trivializes the cause of an awful lot of suffering and preventable disease conditions that are debilitating.

                              2. re: magiesmom

                                making 1 serving of hollandaise is a total pita. agree about making another kind of egg dish that you both will enjoy. also seems a bit more hospitable. :)

                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                  Trader Joe's has a very workable hollandaise. I add a tad bit more lemon, but that's about all the work involved.

                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                      No, it's like a sauce. It's in the refrigerated section.

                                2. re: magiesmom


                                  How true. My friend got brainwashed about fat a long time ago. Part of her syndrome is that carbs don't count
                                  . For example, she is a granola bar addict and the calories and carbs don't seem to bother her at all.

                              3. This might sounds nuts, but I would just spritz the eggs with some lemon. It brings up nice memories of hollandaise without the fat content. I have done this often when hollandaise was too much, but I wanted to make the muffin, Canadian bacon with an egg. I do admit that when I do this, I butter the muffin a little bit more.

                                1 Reply
                                1. About 10 years ago I was cooking for a relative who was recovering from heart surgery, so no-fat/low-fat was the order. I found this recipe, probably from a magazine like Cooking Light or Eating Well. It will not fool anyone that it is Hollandaise, but it is a nice light sauce, with a slightly whipped texture. I liked it over vegetables too. I have not made it in years so your post reminded me about and I looked it up.

                                  It does have some fat in it but tastes quite light. The texture is sort of like a mousse or whipped cream.

                                  1 Tbl butter, melted, set aside
                                  3/4 cup buttermilk, divided
                                  1 Tbl cornstarch
                                  1/2 tsp salt
                                  pinch of cayenne
                                  1 large egg
                                  1 Tbl fresh lemon juice

                                  Whisk 1/4 of the buttermilk with the cornstarch, salt and cayenne in your saucepan until smooth.

                                  Lightly beat the egg and whisk into the cornstarch mixture with the rest of the (1/2 cup) buttermilk.

                                  Whisk the mixture constantly over low heat until it simmers. Continue whisking for 15 seconds. Remove from heat and add in the lemon juice and melted butter.

                                  It's an interesting concoction, of course, adjust the cayenne, salt and lemon to taste.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: pamf

                                    Interesting. I'm a hollandaise freak, but I'll save this recipe for the future if I'm ever in a similar situation. Thanks!

                                    1. re: pamf

                                      It's from Eating Well. It's one gram of fat per serving, and got good reader reviews.


                                    2. Knorrs makes a Hollandaise sauce in an envelope that you just mix with milk and butter or margarine. It's lowfat, and you can make it with nonfat milk. I used to use it when I was doing Weight Watchers and wanted to make lowfat Eggs Benedict (english muffin, scrambled eggwhites and canadian bacoon) or with asparagus. I used to add an extra squeeze of lemon for more tartness.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: boogiebaby

                                        My mother eschewed my delicious homemade HS in favor of the Knorr packet. :-(. But it wasn't that bad.

                                        My mother-in-law asked for jarred gravy at Thanksgiving over my painstakingly made award-winning homemade turkey gravy.

                                        That was a bad decision!

                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                          I am a stickler for fresh food served as unadulterated as possible but I prefer instant mashed potatoes. I have no idea why.

                                      2. Just serve a poached egg on a lightly butted English muffin with a sprinkle of paprika on top. It's my go-to nearly every day breakfast.

                                        1. I think a low fat hollandaise would be a poor imitation of the real thing. I would either make an herby yogurt sauce (plain yogurt, fresh herbs, lemon juice) or she can just pass on any sauce- the drippy yolk makes a kind of sauce anyhow.

                                            1. Nonfat yogurt, buttermilk, chives, a bit of cayenne pepper and minced garlic. Add a bit of yellow mustard if you want it to also "look" the part.



                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                V nice. That is, about the best you could do without fat.

                                              2. Thanks to all who replied. Please continue to provide your comments and suggestions. Isedixit, I like your suggestion and will try it.

                                                Pamf, thanks for the recipe. I'll give it a try, although no doubt my friend will quiz me on how much butter there is in your recipe. My answer will be the equivalent to her ears of saying, "Well, there's a little bit of poison in it, but not much."

                                                I think that in my request above, I unintentionally implied that the sauce must be a low-fat or no fat lemony Hollandaise substitute. It could be, but other sauces with a low fat content would be acceptable, too. I thought of maybe a non-chunky, Mexican salsa? Thanks!

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: gfr1111

                                                  I love salsa with eggs, that would work beautifully. And I salute your hospitality to your fat-hating friend.

                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                    I love salsa with eggs too.

                                                    There are so many ways you could go with salsas -

                                                    roasted tomato salsa
                                                    tomatillo salsa
                                                    (so they like spicy?)
                                                    roast poblano chiles, a jalapeno, add some garlic/cilantro, red onion, lime juice and some water - blend until smooth

                                                    oh that made me think - there is a corn sauce (I know it's not in season) that could be really good with eggs . . .

                                                    shallots, garlic, corn, basil, salt/pepper, and you could use 1% milk - essentially all except milk sauted then milk added to deglaze - add to blender to puree, strain, reheat

                                                    There is also an asparagus soup I love to make, that would be too thin for a sauce - but you could use it as a base in the bottom of a wide bowl, place toast/muffin in center, top with poached egg, topped with asparagus tips - would be really good too.

                                                    The asparagus soup is very low fat:
                                                    little onion sauted - add about 1.5 lbs of asparagus stalks (you can even use the woody ends), a small diced potato, salt/pepper/ 5 cups chicken stock - bring to boil, simmer for 20 minutes (I know it sounds like way too long but it works) - transfer to blender, blend until smooth - strain.

                                                    You could do that same plating with any number of soups - roasted red pepper comes to mind.

                                                  2. re: gfr1111

                                                    Here's another one. The new issue of Food & Wine just arrived. They have an "Avocado Hollandiase", it's very simple.

                                                    Avocado pureed in a blender with a little lemon juice and a small amount of hot water. Keep the blender running and drizzle in a couple of tbls of olive oil until you get the consistency you want. Season to taste.

                                                    1. re: pamf

                                                      That's pretty much all fat, too. Might not fly with Miss Skinny.

                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        Yes, I know, but no animal fat so maybe that would work for Miss Skinnny. Sounds tasty, I will try it sometime.

                                                    2. re: gfr1111

                                                      Oh a tomato based sauce would be great!
                                                      A mexican one with tomatillo ,onion, lemon/lime, cilantro and some spice, just blend it smooth.

                                                    3. Hollandaise and mayo are closely related sauces.

                                                      I would cheat by making a remolade sauce using non-fat mayo thinned with lemon juice.

                                                      1. Present her with a notebook documenting modern theories of nutrition with that sauce !

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. Crikey! You are kind to want to accommodate her dietary requirements.

                                                          I quite often make baked eggs with spinach and parmesan for breakfast at the weekend. They feel very treaty, like eggs benedict (well florentine, with the spinach) but without the faff of hollandaise and only a spoon of cream in each serving: http://growcooksew.blogspot.com/2011/...

                                                          1. My quick and dirty way to make low-fat sauces is to buy a package of powdered mix and add about 1/4 of the butter they suggest, replacing it with water.

                                                            Knorr has MSG if you're avoiding that but I think Club House comes without.

                                                            1. I saw the feedback about Knorr --- maybe you could try this packet - with skim? I have it in my pantry but have not made it yet in one of my experimental cooking sessions (actually, most of my cooking borders on experimental ; )

                                                              *(for any Cdn's reading this - I bought this in greater Vancouver BC ---- I am sure it's readily available in the Western USA - that is also where I have purchased it at most supermarkets)


                                                              NB - if you click on the little magnifying glass - you can read the entire label from the back of the pkg - I believe that the fat content shown is "un mixed" ... tho I might be mistaken - this also claims gluten free so maybe this helps you as well

                                                              ps - I know you OP have already explained your dilemna - and your guest's low fat info - vs - has he/she read the sodium content? or how about a walk after eggs benny? I realize this may not be helpful input - so respectfully to you, I say as the host I think it's perfectly fine to serve what you are serving at your brunch event - and leave the sauce OFF his/her portion - or put it in a little side cup (like one can ask for salad dressing on the side)

                                                              1. What about abandoning the notion of a Holandaise substitute and perhaps doing some sauteed wild mushroom medley with fresh herbs over the eggs? You can easily just use a little cooking spray instead of pouring oil into the pan.

                                                                Some brands of vegetable stock, such as Whole Foods 365 brand, have a yellow-ish color. You could perhaps use some of that thickened with some corn starch and perhaps a little skim milk, with maybe a little mustard and garlic. I'm just thinking out loud, not sure if it would be worth the trouble though.