This amazing guest post was written by Tammy Catania, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and Certified Holistic Life Coach! You can check out her website here!
Mashed potatoes have got to be on the top of my comfort food list. I can not tell you how many times that I have sat with a giant bowl of mashed potatoes that were just swimming in gravy. You commonly find mashed potatoes served at most big holidays Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving dinner, even Easter dinner.
Now there is nothing wrong with indulging in such deliciousness, but when we prepare mashed potatoes we normally add in milk, butter and maybe some cheese as well. By the time we have prepared this yummy side dish it has become fattening and not so healthy. To be honest, if you are really trying to lose weight this starchy, high carb food is not something you want on your menu very often never mind the fact that it is a little higher on the Glycemic Index (83 GI). If you are a diabetic mashed potatoes could also raise your blood sugar if not eaten with a good source of protein.
Potatoes are a nightshade so in a few people it can actually trigger leaky gut syndrome and can play a role in joint pain. Also if you have an autoimmune disorder potatoes can be bad news.
There is also a ton of healthy benefits to potatoes. They are high in fiber and contain Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.
Alternatives to Mashed Potatoes
But there are so many alternatives to the regular mashed potatoes. Really there is way too many to choose from:
- Mashed Cauliflower – A great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Mashed Broccoli – Full of great antioxidants, it enhances detoxification and contributes to eye health.
- Mashed Carrots – Great source of fiber, beta-carotene, and antioxidants.
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes – Full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrient, and blood-sugar regulating benefits.
- Mashed Butternut Squash – Full of potassium, vitamin B6 and high in dietary fiber.
- Mashed Millet – Great source of essential fats, high in vitamin B and calcium.
Really you could take any vegetable and make it mashed. So many different flavors and colors so packed full of nutrients and yummy goodness.
Let’s take a look at some of the mash from the list above.
Easy Vegan Sweet Potato Mash
Mashed sweet potatoes this beautiful, bright and vibrant orange veggie that tastes sweet like candy, this has to be a veggie any kid would love. They have such wonderful benefits like promoting healthy complexation, increased energy, and overall lower weight. Studies have shown that sweet potatoes can decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Mashed sweet potatoes are actually pretty low on the glycemic index with a GI of 46.
Makes 6-8 servings
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- 8 cups of diced sweet potato (peeled or unpeeled)
- 6 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- ground pepper to taste
- 1/3 cups of pecans, toasted & chopped (optional)
- Boil a large pot of salted water and once at a rolling boil add the diced sweet potato. They should take approximately 10 minutes to cook until tender.
- Drain the potatoes and add them back to the pot.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the pecans) and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Top with pecans and serve immediately!
A few great options to change up mashed sweet potatoes:
- Add mashed carrots
- Maple syrup
- Curry or Garam Masala
- Greek Yogurt
You can also roast the sweet potatoes before you mash them. Leave the peel on for extra nutrients and fiber.
Butternut Squash Puree
Mashed butternut squash just screams fall comfort food. Now most people are familiar with butternut squash soup or just roasted butternut squash but I just love it mashed. This yummy veggie also has a similar sweet taste like sweet potatoes but it is a little milder in flavor. This beautiful veggie that is surrounded with a firm outer skin is packed full of amazing health benefits. It is full of potassium which helps lower and prevent high blood pressure, plus the beta-carotene can help prevent asthma. It has over 50% of your Vitamin C intake for the day which is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen that provides structure to skin and hair. Also, the beta-carotene and the vitamin C is great for boosting the immune system, definitely a great benefit right before the cold season. Plus it is low on the Glycemic index with a GI of 51.
Makes 12 servings
- 2 whole Butternut Squash, halved and seeded
- 6 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
- Dash Of Salt
- Ground Cinnamon, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes or until fork-tender.
- Scoop out the innards into a bowl and add butter, syrup, and salt. Mash with a potato masher OR puree with a food processor.
- Spread into a small casserole dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Keep warm in the oven until serving, then serve by the spoonful!
A few great options to change up mashed butternut squash:
- Greek Yogurt
Creamy Cauliflower Millet Mash
If you have never tried millet before it has a mild and slightly nutty taste and has the creaminess of mashed potatoes. It is a great source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Some of the great health benefits of millet include its ability to protect your heart health, improve your digestive system, protect yourself from diabetes, optimize your immune system and increase your energy levels. The Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet can help lower cholesterol. Millet acts as a prebiotic feeding microflora in your inner ecosystem. Millet can be found extremely low on the Glycemic Index with a GI of 21.
Makes 4-6 servings
- 2 cups or 2 medium onions chopped finely
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon cold pressed extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 cup hulled millet (washed and drained)
- 4 cups or 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 4-5 cups of vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup continental parsley for serving
- 2 tablespoons hulled tahini for serving (optional)
- Sautee onions, garlic and sea salt in a little olive oil or coconut oil.
- Add in millet and coat with onion mixture. Add in cauliflower and combine thoroughly.
- Add in vegetable stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for about 40 minutes or until cauliflower and millet is cooked through.
- If the millet and cauliflower is not cooked through once all of the water has been absorbed, just keep adding a little bit of water and stirring until absorbed and then repeat this process until cooked through and really creamy.
- Mash with a potato masher or a stick blender.
- You can stir through some tahini, cashew butter or macadamia butter to get them really creamy.
- Stir through finely chopped parsley for a bit of color before serving.
This recipe would be amazing swimming in mushroom gravy.
Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy
Makes 3 ½ cups
- 1 portobello mushroom
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
- 4 cups organic mushroom or vegetable stock
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Marsala wine, (optional)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- Remove stems from portobello, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms. Place stems and mushroom stock in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 30 minutes. Strain; set aside.
- Finely chop portobello cap, and set aside. Thinly slice shiitake and cremini. Place 3 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium heat; add shallots, and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chopped and sliced mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms are soft and browned, and all liquid has evaporated. Add Marsala, if using, and cook, stirring to loosen any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, and set aside.
- Place the remaining tablespoon butter and flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook until browned and fully combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the enriched stock; bring to a boil, whisking until thickened. Add the reserved mushroom mixture and thyme, and stir to combine. Serve hot.
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