Monday, June 6, 2016

Perfect Mashed Faux-tatoes (Mashed Cauliflower)

Perfect Mashed Cauliflower
Mashed potatoes have always been one of my favorite side dishes but, because I want to keep my blood sugar normal without diabetic medication, I made the choice to stop eating white potatoes a few years ago. It was an easy choice and the benefit to my health has been worth it! A few weeks ago, my husband was making his famous mashed potatoes and it motivated me to perfect my mashed cauliflower recipe. Too often, mashed cauliflower can end up more like a cauliflower smoothie than the consistency of mashed potatoes! Here is my secret for making PERFECT mashed "faux-tatoes" every time.

Cut florets from a large head of cauliflower.

Perfect Mashed "Faux-tatoes" (Mashed Cauliflower)
Makes about 8 servings (1/2 cup each)

1 large head cauliflower
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sharp cheddar, shredded or cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cut the florets off a large head of cauliflower and discard the leaves and core.

2.  Place the florets in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam covered for about 12-15 minutes, or just until the cauliflower is tender and can be pierced with a fork.  (This is the trick to perfect mashed cauliflower: DO NOT overcook the cauliflower! The longer you steam it, the more water is absorbed and the wetter the finished product will be. So be watchful and remove the cauliflower from the heat as soon as it can be pierced with a fork, but is not too soft.)

Steam florets for 12-15 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK!

3.  Using a food processor* with the chopping blade, process the cauliflower WITHOUT adding any liquid until it begins to have the consistency of mashed potatoes. (You may need to do this in batches.) Stop the food processor occasionally and break up and incorporate any larger pieces before continuing to process.

4.  When the mashed cauliflower has begun to reach the proper consistency, add 2-3 tablespoons of salted butter, 1/3 cup shredded or cubed sharp cheddar, salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to process until butter, cheese and seasonings are incorporated and the mixture is smooth or has reached the consistency you desire.  Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*This could be done in a blender in very small batches with frequent stopping and scraping down, although it may be difficult to get the mixture completely smooth.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup: 83 calories, 6 g carbohydrate (3 g dietary fiber, 2.6 g sugars), 5.8 g total fat (3.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 16 mg cholesterol, 78 mg sodium, 25.8 mg calcium, 336 mg potassium, 3.3 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 3 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016

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