Challenger School

Mashed Cauliflower


Cauliflower is the new kale. So the headlines say. For sure, more and more people are finding creative ways to eat more healthfully by including this cancer-protective crucifer. Some are grilling “cauliflower steaks” while eating smaller portions of beef steaks. And others are roasting cauliflower florets to draw out a deeper, richer, sweeter flavor instead of just typically steaming them.

We’ve taken an all-American favorite comfort food – mashed potatoes – and replaced the potatoes with cauliflower. Not that mashed potatoes can’t be part of a healthy diet if prepared with minimal added butter, but our Mashed Cauliflower is perfect for those looking for new ways to eat cauliflower, cut calories and enjoy a comfort food with a twist.

Like its cruciferous cousins—cabbage, kale, and broccoli—cauliflower provides health-promoting compounds not found in other vegetables such as indoles, isoflavones and isothiocyanates, which seem to block cancer cell growth, repair DNA, inhibit inflammation that is linked to cancer growth and boost immune function. Cauliflower is especially high in vitamins C, K and folate.

Thought to have originated in Cyprus, this ancient vegetable was popular in Europe by the 1500s, but was not grown in the United States until the 1900s. Today, cauliflower is becoming more of a mainstay vegetable. It closely resembles broccoli in appearance, but is white due to the protective leaves that grow around its head. These leaves shield it from the sun, preventing the formation of chlorophyll. Although the white variety is the most popular type in U.S. supermarkets, it can be found in different colors, including purple.

The onions and garlic add depth to the flavor of this mash, but it is the almond milk that lends its mild, nutty flavor and creamy quality. Almond milk is made from ground almonds and is frequently used as a substitute for dairy milk or cream.

This simple recipe with mostly fresh ingredients allows you to make real food from whole foods while enjoying the qualities of comfort food.

Mashed Cauliflower

1 medium cauliflower
4 green onions, sliced, including half green stems
2-4 cloves garlic
1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
4 tsp. extra virgin live oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. chopped chives

Place cauliflower, onions and garlic in steamer basket and steam for 10-12 minutes or until very tender.

Place cooked cauliflower, onions and garlic in blender or food processer. Add 1/4 cup almond milk and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Blend until desired consistency. For creamier consistency add more milk in 1 tablespoon increments. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to serving bowl. Drizzle with remaining oil and garnish with chives. Serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving:  87 calories, 5 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 10 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein,  4 g dietary fiber, 61 mg sodium.


About author

Dana Jacobi

Dana Jacobi

Chef, The American Institute for Cancer Research

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