By Noor H. Salem, contributing columnist
Many people are quite aware that boxed mashed potatoes are extremely junky. If you don’t happen to know this, I’m advising you now: mashed potatoes from a box is not food! Food in your diet should include meals that are contributing to better health, and high in vitamins and minerals. Heathy food would also mean aiming to have minimally processed food- mashed potatoes from a box is the very opposite. The majority of instant mashed potatoes are full of hydrogenated oils, preservatives like BHT, and other additives rather harmful to your health.
It’s currently the season for flus and colds, and whether you are trying to prevent sickness or already caught something, this is a wonderful food to try. The onions and garlic are both anti-bacterial, and aid in quicker recovery. The extra virgin olive oil gives a delicious flavor, but also adds a myriad of health benefits. Extra virgin olive oil prevents cancer, decreases inflammation in the body, improves cognitive health and heart health, decreases your risk of heart disease, and it grants satiety. There are many more benefits and usages for extra virgin olive oil you can find in depth in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. Once again, I only recommend using Himalayan Pink salt or unrefined Celtic salt- both are wonderful alternatives to commonly used white salt. The majority of salt sold to consumers is highly processed, and contains more additives and preservatives than actual sodium. It’s white in color due to bleaching and being highly processed- stripping it of all the nutrients. Pink salt and unrefined salt on the other hand actually contain more than 80 minerals wonderful for your health. It gives your food flavor and has benefits, too. Adding other spices, like ground garlic, mustard seed, or rosemary aid in giving your food flavor without necessarily adding too much salt. Raw cauliflower, the base of this dish, is very low in carbohydrates compared to potatoes. Atop that, they are a cruciferous vegetable, and contain a very high amount of dietary fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate. If you thought only oranges and citrus fruit were high in vitamin C, you’ve had it all wrong. Cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower, contain a remarkably high amount of vitamin C. Atop that, cauliflower grants satiety quite quickly- perfect for a savory comfort dish like mashed potatoes. This is an incredibly healthy side to add to your dinner or lunch menu.
Try my recipe below, and you will never find yourself reaching for boxed mashed potatoes again!
1 head cauliflower, raw (cut into florets)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, peeled
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
½ teaspoon mustard seed, ground
½ teaspoon rosemary, ground
½ cup water
Garnish: Extra virgin olive oil and fresh parsley (chopped)
- Steam the cauliflower in a steamer for about 15 minutes, or until tender.
- Place the onion, garlic, and water in a high speed blender and pulse until liquefied.
- Add the cauliflower and remaining ingredients. Blend until it’s very smooth.
- Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil and fresh parsley or cilantro.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, Sunnah Superfoods, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.