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Posted on Wednesday, 16th October, 2019

Gravy with roast dinner or as a side to a meat dish has long been a favourite with Aged Care residents as it has a familiar flavour which evokes memories and represents comfort-style food.

The role of gravy in Aged Care meals can be so much more than a traditional accompaniment to meat dishes. In fact, it can be one of the most economical and versatile ingredients in your kitchen.

Many of your resident’s favourite lunch, dinner and even savoury mid-meal snacks can be refreshed by adding a different gravy-based sauce. Whether using traditional gravy in casseroles and stews to give them a slow-cooked, deep flavour, or using it as a base for a range of different flavoured sauces, it can give a dish a great new flavour lift while keeping it balanced, mild and familiar in taste, especially for residents with conservative palates. 

KNORR cuisine sauces and pastes can be combined with a gravy or a demi to create a variety of different gravy based sauces, enhancing a flavour profile of a dish without making it overpowering in taste. Thus for residents who always like to stick to their routine choices, the rich flavour of a traditional gravy can be used to subtly carry a less familiar flavour, and in this way new flavours can be gently introduced to residents’ repertoire, thus adding to the variety of meals available and more choice on your menu.

Many sauces and gravies are now gluten-free so catering to specific diets is much simpler.

Check out these tips on how the humble sauce can add variety to your menu. 

More options at point of service

The new Aged Care Standards which came into effect on July 1 2019 have stipulated Aged Care residents be given a range of choices. This includes meal-times and offering residents the choice of three or more options of sauces to go with their meal, allowing them to customize their food to taste.  

Update your texture modified recipes

While the introduction of IDDSI has been a welcome change, many Aged Care facilities are unsure about how to update their recipes in accordance with the new texture modification levels. Using brown sauces and gravies as a foundation ingredient (rather than a topping) can help to create a more consistent and moist texture. Adding a gravy or sauce base is ideal for achieving IDDSI level 5 (previously minced and moist) and Level 4, as per the fork drip and spoon tilt test.

Extra flavour and moisture

Additional delicious flavours are always welcome on the menu where maintaining a healthy intake of both food and liquid are paramount for the wellbeing of your residents. When using a combination of gravy with another sauce, it can help to infuse the dish with rich deep flavours making the meal tasty and aromatic - both important factors in helping to stimulate appetites and increase food consumption. Further enrich flavours with herbs and spices.

Find out more about Aged Care RE:FRESH