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Easy Healthy Vegan Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Recipe
I always feel bad for cauliflower.
It seems to be the vegetable that gets picked on the most.
We've all seen the memes on social media.
You know the ones I'm talking about... the one where someone is making fun of the person bringing healthy cauliflower mashed potatoes to the gathering?
But you see the thing is that, cauliflower mashed potatoes are actually really, really, reallyyyy good.
And this is coming from someone who hatedddd cauliflower. Well, I didn't hateee it. I just didn't care for it all that much. Now I'm obsessed with this damn vegetable - I eat it as as substitute for rice, I eat is as mashed potatoes, and I also make a bomb ass vegan cheezy buffalo cauliflower casserole with it too (ps. if you're not vegan - add some ground meat to the casserole, you're welcome!).
When my husband first introduced the idea of making mashed potatoes using cauliflower instead of white potatoes, I too, was skeptical. I loveeee traditional mashed potatoes. But my husband doesn't do well on nightshades and he was trying out paleo AIP so I agreed to give it a try.
We've never gone back to regular mashed potatoes.
Not only are these vegan garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes so yum yum, but this recipe is also ridiculously easy. Double win!
why make cauliflower mashed potatoes when regular mashed potatoes work just fine?
I just want to touch on this real quick because I do get this question often from friends and family who ask, why in the world would we make mashed potatoes out of cauliflower if white potatoes work just fine?
The thing is - white potatoes are a type of vegetable known as a nightshades and certain people can't tolerate them. It is also believed (although there isn't strong science indicating this is true) that nightshades cause inflammation in the body.
Then there is the issue with lectins, which is also another controversial topic but in summary, white potatoes contain large amount of lectins. Lectins are proteins found in many foods, but certain foods have a large amount of them. Some people, like this famous doctor, believe that lectins when consumed in excess can cause damage to the gut and lead to autoimmune issues.
This article also goes into detail about some negative effects some people who are sensitive to lectins may experience. Again, the science is very mixed. That is why it is so important to tune into your body and see how YOU react to certain foods. Perhaps you can tolerate white potatoes without any issues - great! However, if you notice a sensitivity or a reaction after eating white potatoes, you may want to try limiting them to see if there is a correlation.
My husband, for example, feels his best when he avoids nightshades and foods high in lectins - so that is why we choose to eat this easy vegan cauliflower mashed potatoes instead.
Using fresh vs frozen cauliflower for mashed potatoes:
I have a ton of experience using both fresh and frozen cauliflower to make mashed potatoes and honestly, I cannot tell the difference in taste between one or the other.
I personally prefer to make cauliflower mashed potatoes using frozen riced cauliflower simply because it is so much easier. It eliminates the step of having to cut the cauliflower into florets (which I hate doing because it tends to get messy).
Of course, some people might prefer to avoid frozen veggies, and fresh is usually better than frozen - I get that. But you do you. Whatever works best for you.
Just know that if you use frozen riced cauliflower it's going to work just as well as fresh, with a little less work. 😉
I get my frozen riced cauliflower at Whole Foods.
some additional optional toppings for your tasty but healthy easy cauliflower mashed potatoes:
This is totally optional and won't break the recipe, but if you have some organic grass fed butter or vegan butter on hand, definitely feel free to add a little bit to the food processor and let it all mix it. You can also add a little dollop of butter on top right before serving so that the butter can melt on top of the warm mashed potatoes - so yum.
If you have some vegan cream cheese, you can also throw in around 2 to 3 tablespoons into the food processor - so delicious. I usually use Miyokos plain cream cheese that I buy from Whole Foods or Trader Joes.
Right before serving, make sure to drizzle some more olive oil and some dried parsley to give it a pop of color!
What equipment do I need to make these cauliflower mashed potatoes:
- A food processor (or a blender would work too I suppose but I much rather use a food processor, have not tried it with a blender)
- A colander to steam the cauliflower if using fresh - but if you do not have a colander you can just boil them.
Ok foodie fam that is all - I hope you give this super easy but healthy vegan garlicky cauliflower mashed potatoes a try, and if you enjoy it.. make sure you come back and tell me all about it.
PS. I started a new private facebook group for women who are into wellness (sorry guys!) and I'd love for YOU to join our tribe. The group is brand spankin' new but I have so many ideas for this new year, and I'd love to get to know you. Join our tribe by clicking here.
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Easy Vegan Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
A simple and easy recipe for healthy vegan garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes. Seriously, this is so good, you can trick your veggie-hating friends with it.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 2 to 3 servings 1x
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 to 2 fresh cauliflower heads OR frozen cauliflower bags (1 – 24oz bag is enough for 2 to 3 servings)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 to 1 tsp of Himalayan salt (to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried garlic powder
- grass fed butter or vegan butter
- a drizzle of olive oil
- a sprinkle of dried parsley
- If using a fresh cauliflower head (if using frozen go to #2), cut into florets (this video on youtube shows you how) and then steam the cauliflower florets by placing florets in a colander above a pot of boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft (poke them with a fork every so often to check). If you do not have a colander, you can also boil the florets in a pot for 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft. Once the cauliflower florets are soft, transfer to food processor. If you’re boiling the florets, let them drain for a little bit on a paper towel to remove excess water before transferring over. (Read note below about steaming/boiling florets).
- If using FROZEN cauliflower (as in riced cauliflower packages like this one), cook the cauliflower rice as you normally would by heating a stovetop pan to medium heat, adding a drizzle of olive oil and cooking the rice until soft. Once rice is soft, transfer to food processor.
- Add the rest of the ingredients – 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and process until smooth. You can also add some vegan cream cheese to the food processor (I’m loving the Miyoko’s brand found at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods) or a little bit of butter. I don’t usually do this but if I have some on hand sometimes I like to get creative. The mixture should resemble mashed potatoes. It doesn’t take very long. If your cauliflower mashed potatoes are not very smooth or creamy, don’t be afraid to add a little bit more olive oil or even bits of water to help it smooth out. I do this sometimes as needed. Adjust the salt to taste. I cook very low in salt so 1/4 tsp is enough for me – but perhaps you like saltier food.
- Serve with a dollop of butter and a sprinkle of parsley and olive oil on top. Enjoy!
- If you’re wanting to make enough servings for 2 or 3 people and are using fresh medium-sized cauliflower, I would use two cauliflower heads, unless you have a really big one.
- If you’re steaming or boiling the cauliflower florets, don’t let them get super soft to the point where they are mushy or you’ll have really wet and watery mashed potatoes. As soon as the florets feel soft that you can pierce them with a fork, remove them from the heat.
Keywords: vegan, cauliflower mashed potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, paleo, healthy, easy, dinner, sides,