Mashed Potatoes can be both Nutritious & Delicious!
Have you started to think about Thanksgiving yet? I was at the drug store today and there were three empty aisles. Three! I’m not sure if the Halloween candy sold out yesterday before the holiday, or they cleared it out on sale today, but I’m quite sure they will waste no time filling those shelves with the next seasonal retail bonanza. I didn’t need the retail reminder though; in addition to prepping for the classes I teach that focus on healthy holidays, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to cook for.
What would Thanksgiving be without mashed potatoes? Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. They are a nice receptacle for that tasty gravy, a bona fide topping to the turkey pot pie, and if done correctly, mashed potatoes can be a nutritional powerhouse. Yup! By focusing on adding ingredients that will both enhance the taste and the nutritional value of the mashed potatoes, while simultaneously omitting those ingredients that make them gluttonous, it isn’t so hard to transform this dish nutritionally, while keeping it appealing to those only interested in taste.
As long as you don’t fry them, potatoes can be quite nutritious, especially if you leave the skin on. Potatoes provide a significant amount of potassium, Vitamin C and antioxidants, while naturally containing no fat, sodium or cholesterol. So, potatoes can play a role in a healthful diet. Instead of using all potatoes in this recipe, I substitute some of the potatoes with other vegetables, to widen the variety of benefits, and keep the total calories in control. Cauliflower, parsnips, turnips and celeriac all substantially boost the Vitamin C levels in this recipe as well as providing significant amounts of potassium, folate, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and generous amounts of fiber. The addition of garlic not only adds to the flavor of this recipe, it increases the nutritional profile of this dish because garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory, supports lower blood pressure, and has numerous cardiovascular benefits.
Never forget that YOU are in control over what goes into your body…and ultimately how you FEEL. Decide to own your own well being! When you’re invited to someone else’s house for a meal, always volunteer to make something healthy….at least you’ll know there will be one thing on the menu that you can eat and still feel good afterwards!
Health and holidays don’t have to be mutually exclusive; nor do the holidays have to be a time of restriction, separatism, or guilt. Most dishes can be altered, even slightly, to become a healthier version of themselves. You’d think it was magic…but really it’s just a matter of knowing what to do and planning ahead to do it! Open your mind to all of the nutritious and delicious options out there! There isn’t only one way to do healthy!