It would be rare to find a Thanksgiving spread without mashed potatoes. While potatoes themselves can be a healthy part of our diet, the standard mashed potato recipe is full of inflammation-causing dairy and low-quality fats. For this 21-Day cleanse-approved version, we’ve replaced the traditional white potato to make a cauliflower mash for a lighter texture and a gentler effect on our blood sugar.
Switching mashed potatoes for cauliflower mash
It may seem like an extreme change to remove the potato from this beloved classic, and we think you’ll be surprised at the creaminess and fluffiness of this cauliflower version. We didn’t miss the potatoes when we taste-tested this version. Still, if you have very picky eaters or just can’t say goodbye entirely to your potatoes, we suggest using 1/2 potatoes and 1/2 cauliflower. The ingredients will make this version a cleaner choice regardless of the base vegetable chosen.
The Glycemic Index, and why it matters
The glycemic index measures how different foods will affect blood sugar. The higher foods fall on this index, the more they typically raise blood sugar. Of course, this is not the only factor determining a food’s health benefits – micronutrients, phytonutrients, and personal toxic triggers, which are all essential qualities to consider when choosing the best foods for you. However, choosing foods lower on the glycemic scale can help you regulate your blood sugar and keep us healthy in the long run. When choosing foods that are more likely to raise blood sugar (like white potatoes), it’s important to pair them with healthy fats and high-quality protein to slow their digestion. In this cauliflower mash, we paired it with vegan-friendly fats so we won’t experience a spike in our blood sugar (or a food coma) from this dish.
Detoxify with cauliflower
Pairing the turkey with vegetables like cauliflower and leafy greens will increase our nutrient intake during holiday feasting. Plus, this ensures that we leave dinner without the bloating, sleepiness, or too-full feeling customarily associated with Thanksgiving.
Cauliflower specifically is high in fiber, which will help move our food through your system and assist in smooth digestion. It’s also rich in antioxidants to protect us against cell damage. This time of year can lead to less movement due to colder weather, stressful holiday preparation, and poor food choices – all putting us at risk for cell damage and a decline in our health. Sneaking in plant-sourced antioxidants, micronutrients, and digestive enzymes can help keep us on track this fall.
2 medium heads cauliflower (about 2 pounds total once trimmed)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for baking
3 tablespoons coconut cream
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
4-5 cloves roasted garlic
3-5 tablespoons chives thinly sliced, plus more for serving
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Slice off the top of an entire garlic bulb, exposing each clove slightly. Drizzle olive oil, coating the bulb thoroughly. Wrap garlic bulb in foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until garlic is soft. Once finished baking, set aside to cool.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble