Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic: A Healthy Recipe Alternative
Mashed potatoes is a classic standby, side dish, but it's mostly empty calories, saturated fat, and carbohydrates: in other words, it's not a healthy recipe for managing your weight or for PMS and PMDD relief. But our cauliflower mashed potatoes with roasted garlic recipe is super healthy and a great mashed potatoes replacement. Many people swear they can't even tell the difference from regular mashed potatoes. It has the same flavor and texture, without the guilt. The combination of cauliflower, garlic, and olive oil is surprisingly delicious and creamy. Our mashed garlic cauliflower is a natural detoxifier and hormone balancer, and instead of pure carbs and saturated fat, the cauliflower is full of antioxidants and healthy phytochemicals without all the starch. And, olive oil is a healthy fat choice. Add in the roasted garlic and you've got another heart-healthy antioxidant. We think our cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe with roasted garlic will become one of your—and your family's—favorite side dishes, whether for the holiday table or just as an everyday recipe.
What's more, this cauliflower potato recipe is quick and convenient. Once you've tried it out a couple of times, we think you'll feel confident whipping this up at a moment's notice.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes prep time, 15 minutes cook time
Serves: Three very large vegetable side-dish portions, or six or more small ones depending on size of head of cauliflower.
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes With Roasted Garlic
1 head of cauliflower (organic, if possible)
3 medium cloves of garlic, roasted
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/8 t salt
1/8 t ground black pepper
1/8 t powdered paprika
2 or 3 sprigs parsley
Wash and clean the head of cauliflower, cutting out any sections that have turned brown. The fresher the cauliflower, the less likely it is to have brown spots.
Chop the cauliflower into pieces about the size of a lime.
Steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes and then let cool. You can boil the cauliflower as well but steaming preserves more nutrients and takes less time. Please note that to steam vegetables the pot must be covered or it will take 3-4 times as long to cook. The cauliflower should be completely soft when finished so that a fork or knife goes right through it without resistance.
Remember that steam can burn. You may want to wait another 15 minutes until the cooked cauliflower has cooled down before handling.
After you turn the heat on the cauliflower, roast the garlic cloves. Ideally this can be done in a toaster oven. To roast garlic, you do not need to remove the skin: simply put the garlic on a cooking tray and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or toast on high, twice consecutively.
Another variation on roasting garlic is to roast whole heads of garlic (multiple cloves, meaning exactly the way you've bought it), again without removing the skins, and to roast for a much longer time: up to an hour. This will give you a lot more roasted garlic than you need for this recipe to have for other recipes.
The finished roasted garlic should be as soft as the cauliflower.
You'll be pulling the skin from the garlic by hand, so let the garlic cool as well. It will continue to cook in the skin after it is removed from the oven.
Drain excess water from the cauliflower then combine in a large bowl, food processor, or blender with the garlic cloves, the olive oil, and the salt and pepper. You can use a potato masher to mix the ingredients, which will result in some larger pieces of cauliflower and garlic, which gives a more rustic appearance and taste. Or, puree the ingredients together in a food processor for at least two or three minutes until the mixture is uniform, creamy, and smooth (this gives the best chance to "fool" your family or friends).
Serve in medium serving bowl. If desired, dust the surface with paprika and garnish with parsley chopped as desired.
You can make the dish richer and smoother by increasing the amount of olive oil in the recipe. Olive oil is a very healthy fat, and has no adverse effect on your cholesterol. You can also just serve with olive oil drizzled on top.
You can add healthy protein by crumbling roasted nuts on top of the serving dish or each individual serving. Roasted pine nuts or walnuts are our two favorites.
If you enjoy dairy, one-half cup ricotta, cottage, mozzarella, feta, or farmer's cheese can be added before mixing as another protein complement. For this variation, the cauliflower-garlic mix should be hot enough to melt the cheese during mixing. You can also crumble feta cheese, or add another cheese grated, on top as a garnish.
If you prefer a strong garlic taste, you'll probably want to add more roasted garlic.
If your diet is otherwise low in saturated fat, you can splurge by using ghee (clarified butter) or butter instead of olive oil, or, even better, replace half the olive oil with butter.
Cauliflower is another cruciferous vegetable, like kale and other greens, or broccoli, which is essential in the PMS Balance Diet. It is a natural hormone balancer and detoxifier. And, as a replacement for mashed potatoes, cauliflower mashed potatoes are a low-carb food. Using olive oil instead of butter, and walnuts or pine nuts instead of sour cream, cheese, or bacon makes this low in unhealthy saturated fat and high in healthy unsaturated fats. Garlic is one of nature's wonder foods and is rich in antioxidants and healthy phytochemicals.
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Principal Author: Daniel J. Heller, N.D.
Last Modified: February 1, 2013