Not Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Nothing against cauliflower! But, I am pretty sure the key to a long and happy life is not figuring out how to make all your favorite foods out of cauliflower. Sometimes the pursuit of low-calorie, calorie-free, or carb-free foods makes my heart so sad. Sad that you are more fixated on a diet that is continuously removing foods, rather than focused on a plate that full of flavor and balanced.

Mashed cauliflower has become all the rage, and when done correctly, can taste delicious. I’m not knocking it, but I am also not knocking real homemade mashed potatoes from my diet, either. Good ole potatoes can be useful for your health. A plain potato has no fat, sodium or cholesterol and will provide you nearly half your daily value of immune-boosting vitamin C. Did you know tasty ole taters have more heart-healthy potassium than a banana and when eaten with the skin on is a reliable source of fiber, magnesium, and health-protecting antioxidants. It’s all in how you prepare a potato that matters.

Bring mashed potatoes back to your dinner table with this healthier version of a culinary classic!

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I have to give props to my neighbor for hooking us up with homegrown potatoes! If you have never had potatoes straight from a backyard garden, you’re missing out. Next time you are at your local farmers market be on the lookout for fresh potatoes. They won’t disappoint you!

However, pick up 2-3lbs of your favorite variety of potato. Russet or yellow potatoes will have a creamier taste by nature. Then all you need is quality olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can skip the ranch/garlic seasoning, but if you want a new twist to your mashed potatoes give it a try.

I have no relationship with McCormick, but I am a fan of the salt-free garlic ranch seasoning. This seasoning works well on vegetables and meat.

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Start by washing and peeling your potatoes. You can choose not to peel them if you prefer, but as you can see, I’m not a perfect peeler, I just hit the high spots (so-to-speak). Cut your potatoes into even quarters.

Pro-tip: Add potatoes to the pot before turning on the water. Adding your vegetables after the water is boiling will cause the outside to cook too fast. Add in 2 tsp of salt to the entire pot of water for best flavor. Turn your potatoes on high heat to bring to a boil. Once your potatoes are soft (they will slip off a fork easily) take them off heat.

*** Save 1 cup of potato water for later. ***

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Pro tip: For the best homemade mashed potatoes, make sure your cooked potatoes are dry as possible before adding in the rest of the ingredients. Soggy or soupy mashed potatoes doesn’t appeal to anyone.

While your cooked potatoes drain in a colander, dry out your pot, and line with paper towels. Add your hot, cooked potatoes back in and allow the paper towels to soak up any extra moisture. You’ll be surprised the difference this makes in the end.

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Before adding back any liquid season the potatoes and start the mashing process. You probably don’t need nearly as much added liquid as you would think.

  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil per pound of potatoes.

  • 2 Tbsp of garlic ranch seasoning (optional)

  • 1 tsp of black pepper (or less, and is optional)

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Take a fork and start mashing and mixing seasonings well by hand. Then either uses a potato masher or a hand mixer to finish the process. Slowly add in remaining potato water if needed. You more than likely will not need the full cup. You’ll know the potatoes are ready when they look like mashed potatoes.

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Ain’t they purdy! :)

(terrible English, but great taste)

Rebecca Turner