Cauliflower disguised as mashed potatoes – in appearance, texture and taste? It’s true! Cauliflower is a demure member of the Brassica vegetable family, overshadowed by its more vibrantly colored cousins, broccoli and cabbage. But, cauliflower’s neutrality is what make it a culinary chameleon with a secret weapon; pectin. You would never guess it from chewing on a raw floret, but when cooked, it releases pectin, the same substance which transforms crisp, raw apples into a yummy viscous treat when cooked. Without pectin there would be no applesauce, just apple chunks. Suspend your disbelief!
Served on its own or as a companion to a roasted chicken or salmon, this waistline and Paleo-friendly dish betrays the fact that you are consuming a nutritional powerhouse. Because the dish does not contain starch, it will reheat the next day beautifully, retaining its texture, unlike mashed potatoes. Flavor and garnish with whatever ingredients you like with mashed potatoes.
- 1 medium head of fresh organic cauliflower cut into florets or 16 ounces frozen
- 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic (added during steaming)
or 1/2 head roasted garlic (added during processing)
- 2 tablespoons organic butter or coconut oil
- Rice, almond or coconut milk as desired for texture (up to 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8th teaspoon white (or black) pepper
- 1/4 cup hummus or Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup grated organic cheese
- 1 teaspoon cumin or 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon white miso
- Place chopped cauliflower into a steamer insert inside of a saucepan or stock pot with an inch or two of water.
- If using fresh garlic cloves, add them to the steamer.
- Cover and steam for fresh cauliflower for 10-12 minutes, until very soft when pierced with a fork. Frozen cauliflower will take less time.
- Remove the cauliflower from the heat.
- Allow the cauliflower to rest in the steamer for another five minutes.
- Transfer steamed cauliflower into a food processor or blender.
- Add roasted garlic (if using), salt and pepper and the optional “add-ins” of your choosing.
- Process until smooth, adding rice, almond or coconut milk as needed for a smooth texture.
- Season to taste with added salt and pepper, if needed.
Equipment: You can make this mashed cauliflower recipe without a blender or food processor. You simply need to cook the cauliflower a few minutes longer until it is very soft. Then, transfer to a bowl and use a potato masher. The result is more of a “cauliflower rice”, equally tasty and nutritious, but not as creamy.
Fresh or Frozen: This recipe works equally well with either fresh or frozen cauliflower. The frozen cauliflower will cook more quickly. I do not add any liquid during processing when using frozen cauliflower.
My favorite mashed cauliflower flavor combination? Roasted garlic and cumin with almond milk. What is yours?