We’ve all heard how healthy and tasty it can be, but does mashed cauliflower taste the same as mashed potato?
Well, the short answer is no.
But don’t let that put you off.
Mashed cauliflower doesn’t taste the same as mashed potatoes, but it doesn’t matter. Instead of trying to replica the exact flavour, think of it like replacing the character of the dish.
And mashed cauliflower can replace mashed potatoes hands down 100%. For example, mashed cauliflower with oil free roasted vegetables and topped with homemade vegan gravy, yumm, just as you would if it were made with potatoes.
So forget about trying to exactly copy the flavour, and instead go for the perfect creamy texture.
If you eat cheese, or if you ever used to eat cheese, you never worried that one cheese tasted different to another, did you? They were both cheeses even though they had different flavours.
Well that’s the same here. Cauliflower mash isn’t trying to be a potato, but it’s still a mash, and can be used wherever you’d use mashed potato.
So go ahead and make a delicious mashed cauliflower and you won’t look back.
This cauliflower mash recipe is oil free but can be served with olive oil on top if you’re not oil free.
Oh and by the way, if you don’t like cauliflower cooked in other ways, you might like this cauliflower mash, because the flavour of the cauliflower changes slightly when it’s served this way with the addition of nutritional yeast, lemon juice and olive oil.
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Is Mashed Cauliflower Healthier than Mashed Potato?
If you’re following a whole foods plant based diet, this might be a matter of personal opinion at the end of the day.
And it will also depend on every individual person. For someone with diabetes, it’s probably best to replace white potato with other vegetables, like sweet potato or this cauliflower mash.
White potato is high on the glycemic index and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, though for for people who are not at risk of diabetes, the spike in blood sugar levels can be reduced by allowing the potato to cool down and then reheating it before eating.
Another way to minimise the blood sugar spike is to eat potatoes with the skins on, and to choose yellow or purple potatoes over white potatoes.
And finally, by serving with broccoli, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar you can further offset the sugar reaction.
But for many people it’s enough to change the way you cook the potato. No deep fried chips or lashings of butter and cheese on top. And if you’re new to the wfpb way of living, there’s no immediate rush to cut the potato from your life.
Better to go step by step and at your own pace.
Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you want to keep the potato as a regular part of your diet but even if you do keep eating it, you might still like a variation cauliflower mash from time to time.
Cauliflower’s lower in carbs and in calories, and higher in its overall general nutritional profile, but there are some things which are higher in the potato (see below).
In my opinion, if you follow a wfpb diet, you can eat both mashed cauliflower and mashed potato, varying them for flavour rather than avoiding the potato completely.
But it’s true that since going wfpb I eat far less potato than I used to. It just happened. And I’m super happy this way.
Nutritional Value Cauliflower Vs Potato
Cauliflower is much lower in calories and carbs, and marginally lower in protein, and it’s slightly higher in fat. Plus it’s higher in calcium, vitamin E, C, B2, B5, Folate & vitamin K and packed full of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Potatoes have a higher calorie count, are much higher in carbs and are also higher in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, vitamin A, vitamin B3, and B6, according to Food Struct.
Dr Michael Gregor of the plant based whole foods diet recommends removing potato from your diet, among other things, because of its high glycemic index. He’s an advocate of replacing potato with sweet potato and/or cauliflower and benefitting from the nigher nutritional profile that comes with both.
So if you want to reduce your potato intake then you can make a delicious cauliflower mash to replace your mashed potato, but don’t go thinking of it as potato.
Because it isn’t!
Health Benefits of Cauliflower
How to Avoid Watery Cauliflower Mash
Some people recommend adding corn flour to your cauliflower mash if it’s become too watery, but I don’t really like that because I think the corn flour brings it’s own texture with it, one which isn’t my favourite texture.
But it is an option for you if you don’t mind the effect of corn flour for thickening soups etc.
I prefer to take a different approach and simply boil off the excess liquid if it’s too runny.
But even before that stage, it’s better to prevent than to cure, so try to avoid having excess liquid in the first place.
To do this, steam the cauliflower instead of boiling it.
If you don’t have a steamer, pour 1 cm of boiling water into the bottom of a pan and place a sieve or colander on top, with the cauliflower in it. Cover with a tight lid and steam until soft to the bite.
You can even use this method without the sieve if you don’t have one. Just cover the bottom of the pan with a tiny bit of water, bring it to the boil and add the cauliflower and a tight fitting lid.
Keep a check on the pan to make sure the water doesn’t all evaporate and burn the cauliflower.
If you boil the cauliflower in water, once it’s cooked, drain the cauliflower in a colander and leave it to cool a little. Before blending, press out any excess liquid.
How to Fix Watery Cauliflower Mash
If you’ve already blended the cauliflower mash and it’s too runny, place it in a pan and heat it up, making sure not to burn the bottom of the pan, and stir it as the steam is released and the cauliflower thickens.
You can also add some extra nutritional yeast to the pan which will also help it to thicken up.
If you’re really stuck, make some vegan cashew cream and add that to the pan and you’ll find yourself with a delicious creamy cauliflower mash of a perfect texture.
Creamy Mashed Potato without Oil or Dairy
If you’re a fan of mashed potato, I think you’re gonna enjoy making a creamy oil free vegan cauliflower mash.
Of course it’s different to mashed potato, but it’s a mash, and that’s what counts, no?
Vegan Oil Free Cauliflower Mash
- 500 g cauliflower (1/2 a cauliflower)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 lemon
- salt & black pepper
- Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and cut out any brown or dried out bits.
- Break the cauliflower into small florets and chop the stem into small cubes.
- Place into a sieve in a pan with 1 cm boiling water at the bottom.
- Peel 3-4 cloves of garlic and add them to the water in the pan so that they boil in the water.
- Steam the cauliflower until soft, for anything from 6-12 minutes depending on your pan/steamer.
- Remove the cauliflower when soft, sprinkle liberally with salt and place into the food processor along with 2 of the garlic cloves.
- If necessary for blending, add a scoopful of the cooking water, just enough so that the cauliflower can be blended.
- Blend until smooth. If necessary you can blend in several sessions if you’re food processor is too small for the whole quantity.
- Taste the blend and add more garlic to taste, pulsing in the blender if you add more.
- Add the nutritional yeast and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
Enjoy your cauliflower mash on the side or as part of a buffet.