If you’re weaning yourself off of “white foods”, like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes—starchy foods that raise blood sugar and can contribute to weight gain—you’ll be happy to know that there is one white food that you can enjoy with virtual abandon: cauliflower mashed “potatoes”.
Truth? There are no potatoes in this mash—just cauliflower. But, in my humble opinion, mashed cauliflower tastes even better and is more deliciously satisfying than actual mashed potatoes. You get all the creamy starchy-carb comfort—without the heaviness, lethargy or fatigue that can come from overeating mashed potatoes.
Contrary to most refined white foods (and despite its creamy texture when mashed), cauliflower is a low carbohydrate, non-starchy vegetable. Ironic, huh?! An anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetable, It is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C; it is also a good source of vitamin K, B vitamins, fiber and omega 3 fat.
Cauliflower contains antioxidant-rich phytonutrients, such as glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that give cauliflower (and other cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, bok choy, kale, cabbage, onions and garlic) its distinct pungent aroma.
Organosulfur compounds are linked with many health-promoting benefits. Sulforaphane, which is made from glucosinolates, can help protect the lining of your stomach by preventing bacterial overgrowth of ulcer-provoking H. Pylori bacteria. Sulforaphane can also help improve blood pressure and kidney function. The antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds in cauliflower also help support detoxification by activating detoxification enzymes and by helping expedite the elimination of heavy metals.
This cauliflower mash is very garlicky. Garlic is another stellar source of organosulfur compounds and great for immunity. That said, if you prefer a less garlicky version, you can add 1/2 head of roasted garlic instead of a whole head. You can also add 1/4 cup of scallions—another sulfur rich allium—instead of 1/2 cup for a milder flavoring.
On a cold winter’s night—or really any night—when you’re craving something warm and starch-carb-y, these cauliflower mashed “potatoes” hit the spot.
Cauliflower Mash with Roasted Garlic and Scallions
Serves 4 to 6
2 medium heads cauliflower, remove stem, cut florets into bite-sized pieces,
wash well and drain in colander
1 head garlic, roasted (see below)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 bunch scallions, green part only, sliced into thin rounds—apx. 1/4 to 1/2 cup; add more if desired
To roast the garlic: Preheat oven to 400˚F. Do not peel the garlic. Slice off the end to expose tips of garlic. Brush garlic head with olive oil. Wrap garlic head in parchment paper; cover parchment paper with aluminum oil. Place on center rack in oven and roast about 30-40 minutes, or until garlic is soft. When garlic is cool enough to handle, press down on each clove; it should slip out of the skin. Set aside roasted garlic cloves.
To cook the cauliflower. Add about 1 to 2 inches water to a Dutch oven and insert steamer. Cover. Bring water to a boil. Place cauliflower on steamer. Cover and steam over medium heat, about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft when pierced with a knife. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower from steamer to a glass mixing bowl.
To make the mash: Place the steamed cauliflower, roasted garlic, coconut oil, Celtic sea salt and scallions into a food processor bowl (ideally, 11” or more). Pulse in food processor until creamy and smooth.
Serve warm. Or, make in advance and store in glass container in refrigerator.