There’s a reason why you’re seeing cauliflower in everything from pizza crust to rice substitutes nowadays. The vitamin-rich cruciferous veggie serves as a wonderful substitute for all your carby vices, thanks to its texture and subtle flavor. If you’re already making cauliflower-based Margherita pies at home, why not step it up a notch and upgrade your favorite side, too? Swapping a batch of your usual garlicky mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower will help you get more flu-fighting vitamin C, bone-strengthening vitamin K, and folate on your plate. To help you make mashed cauliflower like a pro, we’ve consulted Claudia Sidoti, the Head Chef and Recipe Developer at HelloFresh, for her easy, step-by-step guide on perfecting the side dish.
How to make mashed cauliflowerShutterstock
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt.
- Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Then, add them to the pot with a clove of garlic (optional) and salt, and pour in enough water to cover the cauliflower by two inches.
- Bring to a boil and continue cooking until tender (about 12–15 minutes), drain, and return to the pot.
- Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the cauliflower and garlic in the pot until it’s as smooth as possible. Place over low heat and add two tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup milk or cream, and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of freshly grated nutmeg for a little touch of warm spice (optional).
Why you’ll love this recipe
“Cauliflower mash has the same comforting and creamy quality as mashed potatoes, but is significantly less carb-heavy and caloric,” Sidoti says. “For a lighter but equally delicious swap, you can use cauliflower as a stand-in for starchy potatoes.” In fact, a half-cup of mashed cauliflower contains 60 calories, 6 grams of carbs (3 grams of fiber), and 2 grams of protein. The same size serving of mashed potatoes clocks in at 108 calories, almost 18 grams of carbs (1.6 grams of fiber), and 2 grams of protein.
Not only is it a winning side and comfort food swap, but mashed cauliflower can also be used as a stellar base for protein and veggies. Layer mashed cauliflower at the bottom of your bowl before topping it with turmeric-roasted chicken, spiced broccoli florets, diced sweet potatoes, and a sprinkle of omega-3-rich hemp seeds for a low-carb, keto-friendly meal.