Creamy Cauliflower Mash

cauliflower mash

There are plenty of ways to make mashed cauliflower– but believe it or not, it took me quite a few tries to master this creamy cauliflower mash recipe!

Why try mashed cauliflower?

Cruciferous veggie benefits

Cauliflower is a member of the “cruciferous” vegetable family and offers lots of health benefits! 

Cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy all contain a unique type phytochemicals called “isothiocyanates” which have been shown to neutralize (get rid of) certain types of carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) in various studies (1, 2).

Nutritional value of cauliflower

Nutritionally speaking, cauliflower packs a powerful punch.  One full cup of cooked cauliflower has only 5 grams of carbohydrates and 29 calories while providing us with 2.5 grams of fiber, 75% of our daily vitamin C requirements, and 20% daily value of vitamin K (3). 

Cauliflower also gives us a generous dose of B vitamins such as folate, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Not bad!

Cauliflower mash for better blood sugar

Mashed cauliflower is a wonderful option for people who LOVE mashed potatoes but need to watch their blood sugar for one reason or another.  Conditions including but not limited to diabetes, pre-diabetes, and a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) often benefit from reducing the glycemic index and limiting total carbohydrates at meals to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and/or support reduced insulin resistance.  

Cauliflower mash is also a GREAT way to convince picky kids to eat more veggies (shh!).

Cauliflower contraindications

Proceed with caution if you’re on Coumadin or Warfarin (blood thinning medication)

  • Cauliflower is known to be high in vitamin K, which could alter your blood clotting patterns and medication dosing requirements.  The key with vitamin K and Coumadin/Warfarin is not necessarily to AVOID vitamin K while taking this medication, but rather to make sure you’re keeping your vitamin K intake CONSISTENT each day.  (Read more here.)
    • For example:  If you normally eat a salad SOME days but not all… you can add a serving of this cauliflower mash on your NON-salad days! 

A few words on cauliflower and digestion: cauliflower is a high FODMAP food   

From a digestive health standpoint, cauliflower is considered high in FODMAPs (acronym for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols”).  FODMAPs are various types of carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest, when they feed “bad” bacteria in the gut.  These specific fibers and sugars in cauliflower can often contribute to unwanted symptoms such as gas and bloating, especially in people with dysbyosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

  • If you DO have a positive SIBO diagnosis or symptoms of SIBO, you need to be working with a doctor and registered dietitian before you begin a low FODMAP diet! There are very specific medical nutrition guidelines and protocols that need to be followed. 

    • If you start a low FODMAP diet to manage SIBO before completing your antibiotic regimen, the “bad” bacteria can actually hide and stay dormant in your system by forming spores during a low FODMAP protocol which would then reduce the effectiveness of to prescription antibiotics.  (Not ideal and not fun at all!)  Consult the experts when in doubt.
  • Surprisingly… cauliflower (especially when mashed/pureed) can still be tolerated by some people with gut health issues! (This recipe was actually a staple for me throughout my entire healing journey with digestive health and immunity.)

    • Cauliflower is “allowed” on various other types of diets for managing gut health, such as the GAPS diet, Paleo, Whole30.  (For the record I don’t recommend you go on ANY kind of restrictive diet without first identifying what’s going on in your body, and of course working with a doctor and dietitian!  Restrictive diets are dangerous and irresponsible in many ways if not done properly and they aren’t always necessary/medically indicated).
      • In my experience, many doctors and even some dietitians can sometimes “over-prescribe” the low FODMAP diet for people with digestive issues unnecessarily, which can lead to other problems such as disordered eating, unwanted weight loss and/or nutritional deficiencies.  
  • The low-FODMAP diet is not for everyone!  As I mentioned, it’s very restrictive.

    • There are many occasions where people can tolerate certain types of “high FODMAP” foods (including cauliflower) in moderation as long as we don’t cross a certain threshold which can vary from person to person. 
    • If you were prescribed a low FODMAP diet for IBS and are struggling to follow it, or find it is too restrictive/not helping, take it upon yourself to consult other health professionals (including me!).

link to landing page - 5 diet mistakes to avoid when healing your gut - Jenna Volpe, holistic dietitian

Okay, all of my nerdy fun facts aside, I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know how it goes in the comment section below! 🙂

cauliflower mash

Creamy Cauliflower Mash

Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD, CLT
This mashed cauliflower recipe is not just bursting with nutrition - it's worthy of including as part of your Thanksgiving celebration! It's a great option for people looking to eat more veggies, manage blood sugar, or support hormone balance.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Knife and cutting board for chopping veggies
  • Medium stovetop pot for boiling cauliflower
  • Food processor or Vitamix for blending
  • Glass tupperware recommended for storage

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head cauliflower (fresh and chopped; or can use 1 bag frozen cauliflower florets)
  • 1 medium potato (washed and baked at 375 degrees F x 40 minutes)
  • 4 cups broth or stock of choice (for boiling cauliflower - I use bone broth!)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 tbsp Kerry gold butter/ghee or vegan butter (Miyoko's Creamery or Earth Balance are great!)
  • 1 tsp unrefined sea salt (Celtic or Redmond Real Salt are my go-to options)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (fresh or from jar)
  • 1 handful chives, chopped - for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Start by making sure your potato is baked, or start baking the potato at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes. (I usually do this part in advance when I know I'll be making this recipe.)
  • Bring broth to a boil, then add cauliflower and cook until "fork-tender". Make sure not to over-cook the cauliflower or it will become too mushy! (Pro-tip: Save the broth afterwards to use for a soup - it will have collected lots of water-soluble nutrients from the cauliflower.)
  • While cauliflower is cooking, sauté the chopped onion and garlic on low-medium heat in 1 tablespoon of fat of your choice (butter/ghee/coconut oil).
  • Using a colander or strainer, drain the cauliflower into a separate bowl. Drain a second time before transferring to a food processor. (Trust me, you don’t want any extra liquid sneaking into the final product or the consistency will be too mushy!)
  • If you're including the potato in this recipe, add that to the food processor next.
  • Transfer the onion, garlic, and butter/oil into the food processor, and add remaining ingredients.  Blend everything until mixture has become creamy in consistency.
  • Optional: garnish with some fresh chopped chives. Recipe is best when served still hot. Enjoy!

Notes

Diabetic exchange: 
  • 1/2 cup creamy cauliflower mash = 1 veggie + 1 fat
  • 1 cup creamy cauliflower mash = 2 veggies + 1 carb + 1 1/2 fats
Keyword cauliflower mash, creamy cauliflower mash
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 References

  1. Tang L, Zirpoli GR, Jayaprakash V, Reid ME, McCann SE, Nwogu CE, Zhang Y, Ambrosone CB, Moysich KB. Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely associated with lung cancer risk among smokers: a case-control study. BMC Cancer. 2010 Apr 27;10:162. 
  2. Higdon, J. (2005). Isothiocyanates. Retrieved July 21, 2016, from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/isothiocyanates 
  3.  Cauliflower. (2016). Retrieved July 21, 2016, from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13 

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