Want perfect vegan mashed potatoes? Registered dietitian Cynthia Sass shares her favorite recipe – revealing why pudding is really healthy.
Potatoes are the most consumed vegetable in the United States, according to the USDA. While they have an undeserved reputation as starch bombs, these much-loved “puds” actually provide a host of essential nutrients and health benefits, especially in vegan mashed potatoes.
What are the health benefits of potatoes?
A medium baked potato with the skin provides about 4 grams of fiber, nearly 30 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, more than 25 percent for potassium and at least 10 percent for iron, magnesium and a handful of B vitamins. Potatoes are also one of the best antioxidant-rich foods. And potato consumption may help fight inflammation, lower cholesterol and protect against cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a review in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
A 2020 trial published in the magazine Clinical Nutrition found that even in people with type 2 diabetes, eating potatoes as part of a mixed dinner had no negative impact on blood sugar regulation. In the tightly controlled clinical trial, people ate the same breakfast and lunch, but were randomly assigned to one of four dinners. Three contain skinless white potatoes prepared in three different ways (boiled, roasted, boiled, then cooled and reheated), or basmati rice. The participants repeated the experiment, rotating through all four dinners, with a nine-day break between each switch.
In addition to collecting blood samples both immediately after meals, and again every 30 minutes for two hours, the participants wore continuous glucose meters at night to monitor changes in blood sugar levels during sleep. Researchers found that there were no differences in glucose responses after the potato dinners. In addition, the participants’ overnight glycemic responses were more favorable after eating one of the potato side dishes compared to the rice. The researchers concluded that potatoes should not be avoided as part of a mixed evening meal, even in people with type 2 diabetes.
How to make vegan mashed potatoes
Thanks to Cynthia Sass
Of the many ways to enjoy potatoes, mashed potatoes are one of my favorites. When made vegan, this oh-so-satisfying comfort food can be quite nutritious and just as delicious as a traditional version. Here’s my go-to recipe and why it’s so good for you.
Instead of butter, I chose extra virgin olive oil to give this vegan mashed potato a rich texture and mouthfeel. This high antioxidant, healthy fat, a staple of the Mediterranean diet, has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and stroke, according to the journal Endocrine, Metabolic and Immune Disorders Drug Targets.
Garlic, another flavorful ingredient that adds a savory umami flavor, has been found in research to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and prevent hardening of the arteries, according to the researchers. Chinese Natural Medicine Magazine.
The herbs in both the vegetable stock and fresh chive garnish add extra antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, according to a 2019 study published in the Journal of AOAC International.
Using the reserved cooking liquid adds flavor and captures some of the nutrients that leach out during cooking and are added back to the finished dish.
I chose golden potatoes for their velvety texture, buttery color and delicate skin. Potatoes are one of the vegetables that you should not peel because leaving the skin on increases the fiber content of the recipe. According to research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciencesskin is an important source of health-protecting antioxidants.
Makes four half-cup servings
1 pound petite gold potatoes, with skins
1/4 cup organic low-sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Freshly chopped chives
Cut the potatoes into quarters, leaving the skin on. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover about 1 inch (2.5 cm) with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Discover when cooking, add half of the salt and let it simmer. Simmer until potatoes are tender (when a fork or the tip of a paring knife slides easily through the cubes), about 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, set aside 1 cup of the potato cooking liquid. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan over low to medium heat for a few minutes to allow excess moisture to evaporate. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, cover and set aside.
Add the olive oil and garlic to the pan. Saute the garlic over very low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and heat through. Pour the stock mixture over the potatoes. Add the remaining salt and black pepper and mash by hand until the potatoes are quite smooth. Add the reserved cooking liquid, one tablespoon at a time. Continue pureeing until you reach your desired consistency (note: I use 1/4 cup). Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped chives.