Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. When it’s cold outside, or you’re feeling under the weather, mashed potatoes really do roll out the comfort like a big, warm, buttery hug.
Many popular mashed potato recipes are full of butter, cream, sour cream, and loads of cheese. But even without these ingredients, potatoes are not exactly the healthiest carb. Potatoes are full of starch which contributes to a high score on the glycemic index. That means they raise your blood sugar very quickly.1
Recently though, another vegetable has been caught masquerading as the humble potato, and it’s one of the last veggies you might expect – cauliflower! In fact, cauliflower has been posing undercover in such forms as pizza crusts, steaks, popcorn, toast, and even buffalo wings. Wow!
The Goodness of Cauliflower
Now, because cauliflower isn’t a green vegetable, many people don’t give it enough nutritional kudos. But cauliflower actually packs a punch – as much as any of those other “greens” on your plate. Move over broccoli!
Fast Cauliflower Facts
- It’s full of antioxidants, which fight cell-damaging free-radicals.2
- It contains important digestive fibers that help to keep you regular.3
- It’s a very rich source of vitamin C – 1 cup of raw cauliflower provides 85 percent of your Recommended Daily Intake (RDI).4
- It’s filled with B vitamins, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous.5
- One cup of cooked cauliflower has 9 percent of the RDI of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help fight internal irritation.6,7
- It is one of the top 25 “powerhouse vegetables,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)8
- It’s low-carb (5g of carbs per cup) and low-calorie (27 calories per cup).9
- Cauliflower is gluten-free, paleo, and vegan.
Cauliflower is also considered a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous veggies have been gaining in popularity since researchers discovered that the glucosinolates found in these vegetables may potentially reduce the growth of abnormal cells.10
How To Make Cauliflower Mashed “Potato” (It’s So Easy!)
This recipe really is so simple, and there are plenty of ways to make it creamy without using actual cream. In fact, cauliflower naturally takes on a creamy texture when blended. But by using a couple of tablespoons of low-fat milk (or almond milk), or some low-fat ricotta or Greek yogurt, you can definitely play with that “creamy” texture.
Side note: Plain, low-sugar Greek yogurt is the perfect substitute for sour cream in any dish. Once you try it, you’ll see that the flavors are almost identical.
Garlic and fresh chives always boost the flavor of mashed potatoes, and they work their magic just as well in cauliflower mash. You can also use some freshly cracked black pepper, but try to avoid adding any salt. It’s really not necessary with all these wonderful flavors!
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (or two bags of riced cauliflower)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (roasted or raw)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons low-fat milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon fresh chives
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional: Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, or use a swirl of low-fat ricotta or low-fat Greek yogurt
- Steam cauliflower florets for 6-8 minutes, or until fork tender (or roast it for extra flavor).
- Place cauliflower, milk, olive oil, garlic, and black pepper into a food processor or blender.
- Blend until smooth. You can also just use a potato masher for a more rustic mash.
- Sprinkle with chives and serve.
Game, Set, Mash
Rather than limit your intake of creamy, mashed potatoes, why not switch to the potato’s equally delicious doppelgänger instead? You’ll be able to eat more mash while getting far greater nutritional wins.
Fun game: Serve this dish to friends, and see who immediately notices the difference. You’ll be surprised at how many people are fooled.