It's a mash up. I really mean it. I made this side dish last year for Thanksgiving and have since made it multiple times because the cauliflower part of this combo can fly pretty close to under the radar. This really is the best mashed potatoes and cauliflower side dish.
It's also dairy free, so if you can't handle the stick of butter that normally goes into a big bowl of mashed potatoes, you can handle these!
If you're not dairy free, worry not! I've got buttery alternatives for you in the notes below.
So what really makes this the best mashed potatoes and cauliflower side dish? Let's break it down.
The Best Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower Side Dish
It's Easy: What you see is what you get! A total of six ingredients, with five of them essential and one (the parsley) just there to dress things up a bit.
Definitely keep the parsley though. A touch of green really does look nice. If you have any leftover, juice it! Parsley is a great detoxifier.
Benefits of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is part of a group of vegetables that I sometimes get made fun of for talking about them way too often. Cruciferous vegetables are incredible. They include Brussels sprouts (<-recipe), kale, cabbage and broccoli. Unless you're someone who should not have excessive amounts of vitamin K, it's hard to overdo this type of vegetable.
- Healthy Skin and Immune System: Nope, not just in fruits...cauliflower is one of many vegetables that are higher in vitamin C. Cauliflower contains just over 75% of the daily value of this nutrient. Vitamin C is much needed for our skin, helping to keep it toned and tight, as well as our immune system, acting like a healthy shot in the arm.
- Anti-Cancer Effects: It's what makes cauliflower and it's close cousins, broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts smell the way they do. This nutrient is one of the most natural and powerful anti-cancer foods you can eat. Research has shown again and again that this compound has anti-tumor effects, slowing the growth and progression of some types of cancers.
- Good Low Carb Nutrition: Cauliflower is an excellent low carb vegetable packed with nutrition. Not all low carb foods can tout that benefit. In addition to vitamin C, cauliflower is a good source of folate, pantothenic acid and choline, to name a few. You'll also get close to 3 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving, which is great for those of us who need to get more fiber in our diet.
Benefits of Potatoes
Potatoes can sometimes get a bad rap because they're higher on the glycemic index, and, if not paired with enough healthy fat, can cause a problem for people with insulin resistance or diabetes. No one in my family is affected by this, but I always think it's good practice to cut down on the risk, which is why I included cauliflowers in this recipe.
That said, potatoes aren't all that bad - as long as you're not ordering them from a fast food restaurant in the form of French fries or make a regular snack out of them as potato chips.
Here are a few benefits of potatoes that you might not know of:
- Metabolic Enhancer: Potatoes contain about 35% of the daily value of vitamin B6, which is essential for maintaining our metabolism and converting food to energy.
- Improved Cardiovascular Health: Disregarding French fries and potato chips, potatoes prepared healthy have the ability to convert an otherwise harmful molecule, called homocysteine, into something harmless. This is good news for our heart as high levels of homocysteine are closely associated with cardiovascular disease.
- Naturally Gluten Free: If you can't tolerate gluten for any reason, you'll be happy to know that potatoes are entirely gluten free.
The Best Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower Recipe
Yields: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
3 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped into large floret
3/4 cup coconut oil* (see alternatives below)
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk* (see alternatives below)
1 tsp sea salt
Parsley for garnish
- Place chopped potatoes in a stock pot of water. Make sure the water is filled to at least 2 inches over the top of the potatoes.
- After the potatoes are about halfway cooked, add the cauliflower florets. You can test the potatoes doneness by sticking a fork into a large cube. If the fork sinks halfway through, it's time to add the cauliflower.
- After the cauliflower is soft enough to be pierced with a fork, remove potatoes and cauliflower from heat and drain into a colander.
- Return drained potatoes and cauliflower to the stock pot, then add the coconut oil, non-dairy milk and sea salt.
- Using a hand-held mixer, blend until it reaches the degree of smoothness you prefer.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with parsley and enjoy.
- If you'd like to make this using dairy-based products, simply add butter and regular milk in the same proportions in step 4.
- It's not absolutely necessary to use a hand-held mixer. If you'd like to mash the potato/cauliflower mixture by hand, it will work. If you're trying to disguise the cauliflower a little bit, a mixer works better.
- I opted to use Russets because I like the way they taste for mashed potatoes. If you'd rather use another version, account for the size. I typically size two Yukon potatoes for every one Russet, for example. It's more art than science are you're simply trying to achieve a flavor you enjoy. As long as you don't add too much liquid, you can't go wrong.
Let me know what you think about this recipe by leaving a comment below!
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