I could have given this a fancier, more appealing name, such as Root Vegetable Mash, or Rutabaga, Carrot and Parsnip Puree. But mashed veggies was what my mum called them, and mashed veggies was one of my favorite comfort foods as a kid (and still is might add). So mashed veggies it is!
There’s not much of a recipe to this one, because it is so flexible and almost anything goes. But I’ll give you my “usual” recipe along with a few ideas for variations.
What I love about mashed veggies:
- Healthy and tasty carb option – a great alternative to mashed potatoes or rice, especially if you’re looking for a carb that will “soak up the sauce”.
- Lower carb options – potatoes are very high in carbohydrates, but root vegetables such as rutabagas, turnips, and also winter squash such as butternut squash have fewer carbs than potatoes ore sweet potatoes.
- GAPS diet-friendly – choose GAPS-friendly vegetables such as carrots and winter squash for a hearty and satisfying side dish.
- A complete veggie side dish all in one – starch/carbs AND green vegetable. I always include a green vegetable, such as broccoli or any of the leafy greens, in my mash too.
- Flexible – so many different combinations of veggies work in this dish, which is great because it means you can use up whatever you have on hand in the fridge.
- Freezes well – I usually make more than I need for one meal and freeze extra portions for later.
My go-to combo is carrot, rutabaga and parsnip with either broccoli or chard. But I’ve made so many different combos depending on what I have on hand at the time.
Select 2-3 different root veggies eg. carrot, rutabaga, parsnip, turnip, celery root, potato, sweet potato, and/or winter squash (butternut squash works great).
Select your green veggie eg. broccoli or any of the leafy greens. Sometimes I will add cauliflower instead of broccoli. I estimate that I use about 1-1.5 cups of either chopped broccoli or chopped greens.
1 Tbsp. fat/oil of your choice – butter/coconut oil/ghee/olive oil/lard. Use more or less fat depending on the quantity of vegetables that you’re mashing.
Seasonings – salt and pepper to taste
My typical mash recipe is……. (makes about 3 servings):
2 large carrots (butternut squash in place of carrot is also really good)
1 medium/large rutabaga
1 medium/large parsnip
Either 1-1.5 cups chopped broccoli, or an equivalent amount of chopped greens (uncooked, which reduces to maybe 1/2 cup after cooking)
1. Peel all root vegetables and cut into even-size chunks, preferably no more than 1/2 inch in size (makes for faster cooking).
2. Boil or steam your root vegetables until they are soft when pierced by a sharp knife. I prefer to steam them because I find that boiling them can leave them a bit watery/mushy, whereas steaming gives a better flavor.
3. While root vegetables are cooking, rinse and chop up your green veg. If I’m using broccoli I will throw it into the steamer with the other root vegetables when I estimate there is about 10-15 minutes to go before the root vegetables are done. But if I’m using leafy greens such as spinach, chard or beet greens, then I cook the greens by boiling them, then I discard the cooking water, to minimize the amount of oxalic acid in my food.
4. Once the vegetables are cooked, get your seasonings and fat/oil ready, because you want to mash everything together as quick as possible while it’s still hot. Drain away any cooking water and add all vegetables into the cooking pot. Add the fat/oil, salt and pepper and mash everything together really well! I mash by hand using a potato masher, but alternatively you could use a blender to puree it. Taste and adjust seasonings as you go.
Note: for vegetables like carrot, rutabaga, parsnip etc. I never need to add any liquid to get the right consistency for the mash. But if you’re using potato or sweet potato which is starchier and drier then you may need to add a little milk or broth to get the right consistency and make it easier to mash.
5. Serve immediately (with added butter melting on top is really yummy!), or allow it to cool and refrigerate/freeze for later.
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