Thursday, February 09, 2012

Not potatoes

Perhaps you've seen the latest trend to mash cauliflowers instead of potatoes.

"Sooo much healthier" (They say)
"Tastes just like potatoes!" (They say)
"You won't even notice!" (They say)

They lie.

I'm not a cauliflower fan to begin with.  I'll tolerate it roasted with garlic and parmesean, but I don't actively seek it out.  And I certainly don't use it as a substitute for creamy and comforting mashed potatoes. 

But I understand the basic philosophy behind it.  Potatoes are high in calories and carbohydrates - the white kind that goes straight to your thighs.  Cauliflower is lower in both  Unfortunately, it's also far lower on the taste spectrum.  So when I want a healthier mashed potato substitute, I turn to squash.  Lower in both calories and carbohydrates than potato it's also higher in fiber and contains beta carotene, vitamins B, C, and potassium.

I'm not going to try to pull a fast one on you - mashed squash does not taste like mashed potatoes.  But that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Squash has more complex flavor than potatoes which can - truth be told - be a little bland.  The texture of this however is perfect for cold winter nights.  It's just as creamy as mashed potatoes, and just as rich too. 

Mashed Squash
1 acorn or butternut squash
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Cut the squash in half and remove seeds.  Sprinkle with salt and place cut side down on a baking sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes.
  2. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and put in a bowl with butter, nutmeg, and cream. 
  3. Mash with 2 forks until smooth and well blended.  Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Umm yeah. I love cauliflower...but it is SO not a potato. In any way, shape or form. But I love squash more than this is just ideal.

  2. I've wondered about the cauliflower as potatoes thing. I'm glad you've saved me the trouble and disappointment. Thanks!

  3. Butternut squash always wins and I have not mashed it. Can't imagine why, I never got to this.