Advocate-tested recipe

Yields 2-1/2-cup portions. Recipe is from “River Road Recipes III: A Healthy Collection.”

1 cup all-purpose or whole-wheat flour

1. Spread flour about 1-inch thick across the bottom of an iron pot, baking pan or cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Be sure to stir in the flour from along the edges and corners. Cook until light brown or darker. (When water is added, it will darken even more.)

2. Remove the amount of flour your recipe calls for to make a roux. Store the rest in a zippered plastic bag for future recipes.

3. When ready to use, combine equal amounts of flour and cold water, stirring to form a smooth paste. Stir this paste gradually into the simmering stock, soup, gumbo, etc. Cook for at least 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Nutritional information per 1/2-cup: 228 calories, 0.6 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.

(Traditional roux: 1,191 calories, 110 grams fat, 0 cholesterol, 1 sodium.)