Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that may be prepared in a variety of ways, including roasted, salads, and mashed. It’s low in carbohydrates but high in fiber, B vitamins, and choline, among other nutrients.
Although cauliflower has a texture that is similar to that of potatoes, it is not the same. Because cauliflower absorbs more water than potatoes when cooking, it’s all too easy to make your cauliflower mash excessively sloppy.
Fortunately, there are methods to avoid the difficulties that come with thinly mashed cauliflower. Here are some ideas for thickening your mashed cauliflower, whether you’ve just started making it or are about to serve it.
Where to Utilize Mashed Cauliflower To figure out what texture your mashed cauliflower should have, you must first figure out where you’ll use it.
Most people serve mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes as a side dish. Butter, garlic, chives, and other flavorings can be added to mashed cauliflower in the same way they are to potatoes.
In many traditional recipes, such as potato bakes, shepherd’s pies, and more, mashed cauliflower can be substituted for mashed potatoes. There are even ways to incorporate mashed cauliflower into mac and cheese to make it healthier.
Some individuals make a puree out of their mashed cauliflower for soup. If you’re intending on doing the same, you’ll want to aim for runny mashed cauliflower. Most people, though, like a heavier side dish.
Best Preparation Advice When making mashed cauliflower, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to save yourself the trouble of thickening the mixture afterwards.
Methods of Preparation If you’ve been boiling your cauliflower, consider steaming it instead. Because steaming requires less water, the finished product is significantly less runny. You can easily add more liquid later if it becomes too thick.
Other options for reducing the moisture level of your cauliflower include baking, roasting, microwaving, or even shredding it with a cheese grater. Because it is far easier to add more liquid than it is to take it away, the purpose of each approach is to make the mixture as thick as possible.
Because liquid evaporates when heated, you can lengthen the time it takes to prepare food. You will naturally get rid of more liquids by boiling or steaming the cauliflower for a long time with the lid off, though you may spend more time over the stove than you would prefer.
Draining Before mashing your cauliflower, no matter how you cook it, make sure it’s completely dry. If prior draining procedures have left you with a liquid mash, consider using cheesecloth to wring out as much moisture as possible.
Ratios are sometimes the cause of your cauliflower mash being too fluid, rather than your method. To make a beautiful mash, you must have the right ratio of cauliflower to liquid.
Simply add more cauliflower to the mixture while it is cooking or steaming to make it thicker. If you’re not attempting to eliminate potatoes entirely from your diet, a small amount of potato can be added.
Cauliflower can be thickened with a variety of vegetables other than potatoes. Parsnips or even zucchini, for example, are thick vegetables with a mild flavor that won’t overshadow the mash.
You can even add broccoli to the mash if you don’t mind the color turning green.
Although it is easier to prepare your cauliflower using a method that lowers the liquid content, this does not mean that everything is lost if your mash turns out sloppy. Here are a few combinations for thickening mashed cauliflower after it has already been prepared.
Cream Cheese To thicken your mashed cauliflower, add cream cheese or any other form of creamy cheese, such as goat cheese.
If the cauliflower puree is too runny, whisk in the cheese after it has been pureed. Simply stir it into the sauce, though you can reheat it to properly incorporate the ingredients.
The best news is that cream cheese is keto-friendly, so you can save your cauliflower mash and add flavor without going off the rails.
If you don’t like cream cheese or any other type of cheese, you can use another fat like butter instead. The goal is to add more fat to the mixture, which will thicken it up, but you can choose which fat to use based on your preferences.
Slurry A slurry is a mixture of water and cornstarch or flour. Typically, one part flour or cornstarch to four parts water is used.
To begin, combine the slurry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl or cup. Then, while continuing to cook the mashed cauliflower, gradually add the slurry to the pot.
It’s crucial not to use too much slurry all at once. You never know how much you’ll need, and it’s always easier to add more than it is to try to salvage anything after you’ve added too much.
Xanthan Gum Xanthan gum is a thickening agent made from fermented sugar. It can be used to thicken mashed cauliflower and is used in gluten-free baking.
When cooking with xanthan gum, a couple of teaspoons in the recipe is all you need to thicken it up beautifully. Simply add it after draining and mashing the cauliflower.
Repurposing the Dish Sometimes, no matter how much you add to your mashed cauliflower, it’ll still be too runny to serve as a side dish. In that instance, you can make a soup out of your mashed cauliflower and still serve it.
Simply add stock, any vegetables of your choice, and seasoning to turn mashed cauliflower into cauliflower soup. Here’s an example of a recipe to get you started.
You can still offer it to your family or visitors without anyone noticing.
Final Thoughts If you’re trying to conserve calories or just want to change up your dinner routine, mashed cauliflower might be a terrific substitute for mashed potatoes. Mashed cauliflower, on the other hand, tends to become very runny as it absorbs more water when boiling.
By modifying your ratios, adding other veggies, or changing your cooking method, you can avoid sloppy mashed cauliflower when cooking. Instead of boiling or roasting the cauliflower first, steaming it reduces the moisture content.
Even after you’ve finished cooking, you can rescue sloppy cauliflower mash. Add more fat or a slurry, or transform it into a different meal where texture isn’t as important.
It may take a few tries and trial and error to get the right texture for your cauliflower mash, but it’ll be worth it.