Mashed potato is the ultimate comfort food, but it’s not the dieter’s friend. Switch to cauliflower and reap the slimline benefits…

If you love mashed potato made with lashings of milk, butter or even cream, you’re not alone. It’s the perfect accompaniment to meat and fish dishes, and has a comforting warmth that’s hard to resist. But for dieters, it’s not a great choice; potatoes are high on the glycaemic index, meaning your body turns them to sugar very rapidly, leading to a subsequent energy crash. Adding butter slows down the energy release, but ups the calorie count considerably.

The perfect substitute, beloved by those following a paleo or low-carb regime, is mashed cauliflower. It contains just over a quarter of the calories of mashed potato, and less than a quarter of the carbs, but can be eaten in exactly the same way and is even quicker and easier to prepare. Cauliflower also has a substantial nutritional profile. It is an excellent source of immune-protective vitamin C, containing 44mg per 100g, compared to a paltry 6mg in potato. It’s also a great provider of the B vitamins, vitamin K, minerals including magnesium and potassium, and fibre, all of which contribute to energy production, muscle growth, bone strength and general health. And it’s rich in compounds called glucosinolates that protect against cancer, making it an all-round powerhouse.

EAT THIS

Calories

23kcals

CAULIFLOWER

Vitamin C

44mg

PER 100G

Carbs

4g

NOT THAT

Calories

86kcals

POTATO

Vitamin C

6mg

PER 100G

Carbs

20g

The Perfect Cauliflower Mash

Steam cauliflower for around 10 minutes, or until soft. Mash with a little olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. You can change things up by adding garlic, yogurt, chilli, paprika, cumin or cheese; or mix the cauliflower with broccoli, carrot or swede, for an endless variety of flavours.

 

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