Mashed potatoes are synonymous with winter comfort food but spuds get a bad rap these days. Fortunately there are many healthful and equally delicious alternatives.
Mashed carrots and parsnips
1 medium carrot and 1/2 – 1 parsnip per serve, scrubbed or peeled
Vegetable stock or water
Butter/butter substitute or olive oil – about 1 tablespoon per serve
Pepper and salt
Cut vegetables into chunks and simmer in enough vegetable stock (or water) to cover. Cook until tender. The time varies depending on the size, age and types of vegetables, so start pricking with a fork after 5 minutes. When tender (but not falling apart) drain well. Keep the broth for making soup (it freezes well). Use a fork, potato masher or ricer to smash the vegetables. Add olive oil, butter or dairy-free alternative, and continue mashing until a relatively smooth consistency. You can use a hand blender if you like it super-smooth but I prefer mash with a more rustic texture.
If you want a looser texture, add a little of the drained stock or some nut mylk to the vegetables while you’re mashing.
Taste before seasoning, as some stock already contains salt. Add pepper and salt as required.
Dense/root vegetables are ideal for mashing – try beetroot, turnips, swedes, parsnip, pumpkin, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potato or celeriac.
For a smoother mash, add a little potato or sweet potato.
A peeled clove or two of garlic added to the pot will subtly infuse through the vegetables. Leave it in and mash, if you want a more garlicky dish.
Stir through finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, thyme etc) after mashing.
Mashed vegetables are vegetarian, gluten-free and can be vegan. They go well with baked or grilled protein, stews and most hot savoury dishes. For more recipes, check out the resources archive.
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