When it comes to favorite comfort foods, mashed potatoes, mac’n cheese, and ice cream tend to top everyone’s list. Their rich, creamy texture tastes great but the calories can add up quickly since they are usually high in fat and carbohydrates. How can you have a favorite comfort food and watch your calories? Let’s talk substitution.
Using mashed potatoes as an example, simply substitute a high fiber vegetable like cauliflower for the potatoes in the recipe. This shaves off calories and carbohydrates while adding more nutrients. Cauliflower is a nutrient powerhouse, loaded with more calcium, fiber, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K than a comparable amount of white potatoes.
Nutritional Breakdown Before Substitution:
Here is the breakdown for one serving of regular mashed potatoes (with butter and cream) from a popular cooking website.1 (We actually cut the serving size in half since what they listed as a serving was enormous!) Mashed potatoes: 1 serving = ¾ cup, 400 calories, 35 grams fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber.2
Nutritional Breakdown After Substitution:
However, you can substitute steamed cauliflower for the potato and add additional ingredients that boost flavor and cut the fat. Per serving, you save 200 calories, 25 grams of fat, and 10 grams of carbohydrates!
This substitution allows you to keep a favorite comfort food on the menu. Experiment with other recipes, using ingredients that cut calories and boost flavor. Check out this website for ways to reduce calories while still enjoying your favorite foods3. Unfortunately, cauliflower ice cream just doesn’t sound that good.
Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (Serves 3)
1 medium head cauliflower
½ cup diced onions
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ to ½ cup 2% milk (any type of low-fat, non-dairy milk would work too)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut stem and leaves off cauliflower. Wash and drain trimmed cauliflower. Cut into large chunks and boil or steam on stovetop for approximately 8 minutes, or until cauliflower is soft. While cauliflower is steaming, sauté onions in oil in small skillet over medium heat until transparent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Add steamed cauliflower, onion mixture, butter and ¼ cup milk to food processor or blender. Process on high until all ingredients are combined and smooth. Can add additional milk if desire thinner consistency. Season as desired. Serve immediately or cool in refrigerator, then reheat in microwave.
Nutrition per serving: Portion size: ¾ cup, 200 calories, 10 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber
Chat with Us About Healthy Eating!
If you’re looking for more ways to cut calories in your favorite recipes, or recipe ideas and tips for healthy eating during the holidays, sign up today to join Meagan Mohammadione, Registered Dietitian from the Emory Bariatric Center for a free web chat on Thursday, November 10th. She will be hosting the 1-hour chat to discuss healthy eating during the holidays and year round!
Healthy Eating Web Chat Sign Up
1 – FoodNetwork.com Mashed Potato Recipe
2 – USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory