When I'm in need of some good comfort food, the first thing I've always craved is mashed potatoes. Drenched in homemade turkey gravy, chunky mashed potatoes from my momma. Unfortunately, I want those mashed potatoes a lot, and they don't exactly fit in with a clean, healthy diet. A few years ago I decided to try cauliflower in place of potatoes because it was all over Pinterest. After a few trial and error attempts, I finally got the hang of it and figured out how to make them as delicious as they are healthy.
Mashed cauliflower is a staple in my diet now. I cook it at least every other week, and I've ranted on and on about how much I love cauliflower so much that my friends use "loves cauliflower" as a way to describe me. The best thing about it though, is how easy it is too cook. It doesn't require a lot of attention or time.
So what are the health benefits of cauliflower?
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable (like broccoli), so even though it's white, and in general you're supposed to avoid white foods, it comes packed with goodness. Cruciferous veggies are said to reduce the risk of some cancers (don't we all need some help with that?) and contain beneficial vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Here's a break down.
Cauliflower is high in glucosulfinates, which help detox the body. I know I'm pretty much always in need of a detox, especially after a weekend drinking with my friends. It's also packed with vitamin C (Everyone knows that vitamin C is the bomb.) and potassium. The potassium is the health benefit I like the most. I workout 5 days a week, so my muscles are constantly in a stage of soreness. Potassium helps relieve muscle soreness and aids in hydration. That's a win-win in my book.
Oh, and there's one more major bonus to eating cauliflower. It's majorly low in calories. One cup of chopped, raw cauliflower is a mere 27 calories. At only 27 calories, you can pretty much add as much seasoning as your want to it. In comparison, a cup of raw potatoes is 116 calories. Imagine how many calories are in those gravy-drenched ones my mom makes! I think I'll stick with the cauliflower.
Okay, here's my recipe.
- one head of cauliflower - chopped
- 1 clove or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic
- 1.5 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter
- salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Chop the cauliflower and set a large pot of water on to boil. Fill the pot about half way.
Step 2: Once the water is boiling, add the cauliflower. While that cooks, add the Earth Balance and garlic to a large mixing bowl. Boil cauliflower until tender.
Step 3: Remove cauliflower from heat and drain.
Step 4: Add cauliflower to large mixing bowl and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes. This heats up the garlic and melts the butter.
Step 5: Using either your own muscle and a potato masher, a mixer, or a hand blender (my preference) mash the cauliflower to your desired consistency.
Side note: You can also add all ingredients to a blender if you prefer a super smooth consistency and easier clean up.
Step 6: Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 7: Eat up!
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