3 Lectin Free Alternatives to Mashed Potatoes
Thanksgiving quickly approaches, and some of us are wondering what we will ever do without the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. For many sufferers of autoimmune and chronic diseases, holiday gatherings will never be the same, but that doesn’t have to be a sad thing!
For those who aren’t ready to risk a plateful of nightshade glycoalkaloids, I’ve devised 3 easy, yet creative alternatives to everyone’s favorite mashed side dish. You don’t have to stop with these, though. Nearly any root vegetable can be peeled, steamed, mashed, and seasoned to comfort food perfection. The sky (er…the ground?) is the limit!
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Step 1: Choose an Alternative Root Vegetable
For purposes of varying colors and tastes, I’ve chosen:
1. sweet potatoes
2. cauliflower (not a root vegetable, but will work)
Your poundage may vary; however, a good rule of thumb for any mashed side dish is to use a 1/2 pound of vegetable for every person (if you want leftovers).
Step 2: Peel and Cut into 1-inch Pieces
Don’t worry about being super exact. Just make sure you don’t have ginormous chunks with pinky nail-sized chunks. You want everything to steam evenly in the same time frame.
Step 3: Steam it!
There are several methods for steaming vegetables. I steam everything in my pressure cooker, because it’s the best kitchen contraption since the bread slicer (which, ironically, I no longer use). Choose your method from the following:
1. Pour one cup of water in the pot.
2. Place steamer rack inside and arrange veggies on top.
3. Close the lid and choose the “Steam” program for 3 minutes.
4. Eat some dark chocolate while it steams.
1. Bring one inch of water to a boil in a pot fitted with a steamer basket and lid.
2. When water boils, place veggies in steamer basket, and cover.
3. Steam until veggies are tender (test with fork), about 10 minutes.
This will only work for a small amount of veggies, like 1 pound. Anything bigger will take two or more batches in the microwave, and won’t be worth the extra time.
1. Place veggies in a microwave safe, covered dish with one inch of water.
2. Microwave until veggies are tender (test with fork), 5-10 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave.
3. Drain excess water before mashing.
Step 4: Mash Those Veggies
Place your veggies in a large bowl.
If you’ve chosen cauliflower, you don’t need to add liquid to mash–cauliflower has enough water that it won’t turn into a ball of sludge halfway through mashing.
For starchy root veggies, mash with a 1/4 cup of liquid per 2 pounds (pre-cooked) veggies. If you prefer the real, old-fashioned texture of mashed potatoes, mash by hand with a potato masher. If you cringe at the thought of a lump in your mashed vegetables, use a food processor to puree the veggies with your liquid of choice.
- almond cream
- full fat coconut milk
- heavy cream
- A-2 whole milk
- organic vegetable broth (won’t be as creamy, but will add a savory flavor)
Step 5: Add Butter
No matter what vegetable you choose, add butter. It’s sacrilege not to add butter to a Thanksgiving side dish. Ghee will work too, I guess. If you’re vegan, I recommend adding a compliant vegan sour “cream,” like Kite Hill almond milk cream. Add the butter and continue to mash until your veggies reach creamy, comfort-food-heaven consistency. When in doubt, add more butter.
Step 6: Add Seasonings and Aesthetically Pleasing Toppings
It’s hard to go wrong here. There are so many possibilities for seasoning vegetables. You’d have to really be adventurous to screw this up. Just in case, here are my recommended recipes for mashed vegetable success. All recipes serve 4, plus leftovers:
Start with: 2 pounds cauliflower florets (from 2 large heads), steamed
Mash with: 2 tablespoons French or Italian butter (no liquid required)
Mix in: 1.5 cups shredded real Italian cheese (like pecorino romano or parmigiano-reggiano)
Top with: Chives and chopped rosemary
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Start with: 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, diced, and steamed
Mash with: 1/4 cup almond milk, 4 tablespoons French or Italian butter
Mix in: 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of allspice
Top with: Scallions and finely chopped pecans
Start with: 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, diced, and steamed
Mash with: 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk, 4 tablespoons French or Italian butter
Mix in: 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Top with: A variety of chopped, fresh herbs (mint, thyme, sage, rosemary)
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