Have a Healthy Thanksgiving with Mashed Cauliflower

Reader Contribution by Justine Patton
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The holiday season: a time for family, togetherness and lots of eating. Indulging in high-calorie treats at the dinner table once or twice a year may seem harmless enough, but research has actually shown that the pounds packed on during the winter months have a tendency to stick around along after the snow has melted.

One of the most fattening culprits lurking on your dining room table is a creamy, buttery dish that goes hand-in-hand with turkey: mashed potatoes and gravy. While this side may seem like a necessity for your holiday meal to feel complete, you’d be better off leaving it off your menu. Here’s why: One cup of mashed potatoes by itself contains almost 250 calories, and that’s not including the gravy to top it, or the other yummy additions some recipes call for, such as sour cream, bacon or cheese.

You can still have a creamy, buttery dish atop your table that contains only 67 calories and much less fat and sodium: Cauliflower mashed ‘potatoes.’ Give this nutritonal recipe a try. I guarantee it’ll fill the void left by your beloved mashed potatoes, and you’ll get some health benefits along the way.

This dish may look like the traditional holiday side, but it contains many more
health benefits than its calorie-packed look-alike.
Photo by jessica mullen/Courtesy

Cauliflower Mashed ‘Potatoes’


• 1 head cauliflower
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 leek, white only, split in 4 pieces
• 1 tablespoon soft-tub margarine, nonhydrogenated
• Pepper to taste

1. Break cauliflower into small pieces. In a good-sized saucepan, steam cauliflower, garlic and leeks in water until completely tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

2. While cauliflower is hot, puree until the vegetables resemble mashed potatoes. (Use a food processor, of if you prefer a smoother texture, use a blender. Process only a small portion at a time, holding the blender lid on firmly with a tea towel.)

4. Add a little hot water if vegetables seem dry. Stir in margarine and pepper to taste.  

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