Cauliflower Mash, 3 Ways: Vegan, Paleo, and Keto

Cauliflower Mash, 3 Ways: Vegan, Paleo, and Keto

Cauli Mash: The Best Thing to Happen to the Modern Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’ve been compiling, planning and creating delicious, healthy, diet-specific alternatives to the classic dishes. These days there are so many people with specific dietary restrictions, it can be hard to find dishes that please the masses.

Enter cauliflower mash – the perfect substitute for heavy, high-carb mashed potatoes. Pure, flavorful, creamy deliciousness that taste so good your guests likely won’t even guess they’re not potatoes.

But wait. Thanksgiving dinner without potatoes!? That can’t be a thing. Yes, yes it totally can be a thing. And a thing you might want to consider, because it helps save room for more turkey and pie.

cauliflower mash vegan keto dairy-free paleo

Low on Carbs, Full on Creamy Flavor

With so many people doing low-carb diets these days and avoiding white starches, cauliflower mash is the ultimate solution for your Thanksgiving feast. The most discerning palettes might notice a slight difference, but many people happily devour the cauliflower without even realizing it’s not potatoes.

I’ve made this numerous times in the past and fooled a number of people. It’s so easy and tasty, it’s actually a regular on my cool-weather food rotation.

While many versions of cauliflower mash still call for the traditional cream, cheese, and butter – which is suitable for the keto diet – I created some non-dairy versions for the dairy-free, vegan, and paleo crowds. And yes, they’re still totally creamy and savory.

cauliflower mash vegan keto paleo dairy-free

Garlic Cauliflower Mash: Vegan, Paleo, Dairy-Free

This version calls for just three ingredients: cauliflower, garlic, and olive oil, plus some sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. While I prefer roasting the garlic, this can totally be made with raw garlic to speed it up or up the garlic flavor for the garlic-lovers out there.

So many things are going in the oven for a Thanksgiving dinner, it’s pretty easy to just throw a few cloves of garlic in while you’re prepping the cauliflower or other dishes. But either raw or roasted works just fine. And this version is especially easy because it requires no specialty ingredients.

What goes in:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, roasted or raw*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

*Depending on the size of your cloves and how much you love garlic, you may wish to adjust the number of cloves. It might be easier to throw a couple extra in the oven, just in case! Experiment and adjust according to your taste buds. 

How to make:

  1. Steam the cauliflower until thoroughly tender.
  2. If you’re roasting the garlic, keep the skins on, chop off the heads and drizzle a couple drops of olive oil over each. Wrap in foil and roast for about 30 minutes, or until thoroughly tender.
  3. Transfer the steamed cauliflower and garlic to a food processor, add the olive oil, salt, and a couple shakes of black pepper.
  4. Blend on high until there are no chunks.
  5. Serve and tell your guests they’re better mashed potatoes.*
  6. Watch their faces when you tell them the truth. 😉

*…or be a good host, skip the deceit, and still watch when they taste the mash 🙂

 

cauliflower mash vegan keto paleo dairy-free

Avocado Cauliflower Mash: Vegan, Dairy-Free, Paleo

I’ll be straight with you: this version does come out a pale green-ish color, because of the avocado of course. So it might get some funny looks. And it’s the reason why I also make the garlic version.

Color oddities aside, though, this version is worth considering for it’s bonus nutritional benefits from the avocado and nutritional yeast. And yes, it’s obviously still very creamy.

What goes in:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2-1 tsp sea salt

How to Make:

  1. Steam the cauliflower until thoroughly tender.
  2. Transfer the steamed cauliflower to a food processor, add the avocado, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt.
  3. Blend on high until there are no chunks.
  4. Serve and tell your guests they’re just like green eggs and ham, without the ham or the eggs. Just green mashed potatoes.

 

cauliflower mash keto low-carb

Cheesy Cauliflower Mash: Keto, Low-Carb

This version of cauliflower mash is low on carbs but high in fats and cheesy, creamy, deliciousness. So if you’re trying to avoid carbs but love your cheese, this version is for you.

To keep it as clean as possible, I recommend using only organic dairy products and using ghee in place of traditional butter. If you do not have ghee on hand, go for organic, pasture-raised varieties that have just one or two ingredients: cream, or cream and salt.

What goes in:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2 oz hard, sharp cheese like cheddar, aged gouda, or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2-1 tsp sea salt

How to Make:

  1. Steam the cauliflower until thoroughly tender.
  2. Transfer the steamed cauliflower to a food processor, add the ghee, cheese, heavy cream, and salt.
  3. Blend on high until there are no chunks.
  4. Season with fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
  5. Serve and tell your guests they’re better mashed potatoes.