Diet & Weight Magazine

5 Simple Tips for Perfect Cauliflower Mash

By Carbophobic @carbophobic

5 Simple Tips for Perfect Cauliflower MashHave you already tried cauliflower mash? If you do it right, you will never miss mashed potatoes.

The basic recipe is self-explanatory: cook some cauliflower, and mash it.

Simple, eh?

You could just do that and get an adequate low-carb side dish. It might be a bit watery and taste not so great, but at least it will be low-carb.

But what if you want mash that's light, fluffy and scrumptious? An equal companion to your delicious meat, fish or sausages? A dish to enjoy for its taste, as well as its low carbs content?

Cauliflower can deliver. You just need to know a couple of simple tips.

Here's how to turn boring basic cauliflower mash into a truly delectable dish.

Use fresh cauliflower, not frozen

Fresh cauliflower works much better than frozen for mashing. Both texture and taste improve when you use fresh.

If you can, get the whole head of cauliflower rather than pre-cut chunks. It will stay fresh longer this way.

Cauliflower is a durable vegetable - it can last for several weeks in the fridge.

Don't boil cauliflower - steam it

Most cauliflower mash recipes start with boiling cauliflower. But cauliflower absorbs a lot of water during boiling. The texture of your mash is already doomed.

You are advised to squeeze excess water out, but that only helps a little, and anyway, who needs the extra hassle?

Steaming is a much easier way. Cauliflower gets cooked without being watery.

Use a if you have one (steaming is great way to cook most vegetables and fish, so a steamer is well worth considering).

If you don't have a steamer, get a small pot of water, metal colander and a lid or a plate to cover it.

Steaming takes about 10 minutes.

If you like your mash to be really dense, you can squeeze some water out of your cauliflower even after steaming. I usually don't bother, and it comes out about the same texture as mashed potatoes.

Add butter, cream and cheese

Generous amount of fat is the secret to making cauliflower taste scrumptious.

I add about 1oz (30g / 2 tbsp) each of butter and double cream (that's heavy cream in USA) per 1 head of cauliflower (1lb / 450g).

Cream is important. It adds rich smooth tones to the taste, but also lightens up the texture and makes it more fluffy.

Finally, strong-tasting cheese like cheddar or parmesan helps to jazz up the taste of cauliflower. Let's face it, it's not the most exciting tasting vegetable on its own. Add at least 1 ounce (30g / 2 tbsp).

Don't pulverise it - use a masher or a hand-held beater

Powerful modern food processors and blenders are great time savers. But they are not the best choice for cauliflower mash.

I love my Blendtec. But it pulverises poor cauliflower into the complete oblivion. Texture becomes liquidy and lifeless.

For better results, use a hand blender - or even a manual masher. This gives you more control over texture, so you don't overdo it. It creates a more natural, fluffy and light mash.

If you must use a food processor, choose the gentlest possible setting.

Try adding other root vegetables

You can diversify the taste of your mash by adding low-carb root vegetables, for example:

  • celeriac - 7g net carbs per 100g
  • swede (aka rutabaga) - 5g net carbs per 100g
  • turnips - 4g net carbs per 100g

They take a little longer to cook than cauliflower, so steam separately and start them first.

Each has a strong taste that would interact with cauliflower to make something completely new.

Jazz it up

If you follow all the steps above, you will end up with a lovely simple side dish that goes well with anything.

Once you are used to making the basic recipe, you can jazz it up further by adding extras. Here are some ideas:

  • caramelised onions
  • mashed roasted garlic
  • fresh chives
  • spring onions
  • fried thin slices of chorizo
  • crumbled crispy bacon or pancetta
  • blue cheese (if you like the taste)
  • crumbled feta cheese

Don't settle for bland watery cauliflower mash! Use these simple tips to make it wonderful.

Do you have a tip on making cauliflower mash?

If you have any further tips, please share with us in the comments below.

5 Simple Tips for Perfect Cauliflower Mash
5 Simple Tips for Perfect Cauliflower Mash

5 Simple Tips for Perfect Cauliflower Mash

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