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Thanksgiving Recipe Makeovers: Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost here in North America. Many spend the day reflecting on blessings, spending time with family and friends and enjoying a meal together. For many Americans, it’s a day to feast. Traditional Thanksgiving food, unfortunately, includes heavy casseroles, turkey and gravy, potatoes and pie — not part of a nutritious diet.

Nevertheless, even those of us dedicated to healthy eating can find it difficult to say no to classic dishes this time of year. The holidays are a challenging time of year to stick to a nutrition plan. But at Hope4Cancer, we are convinced that the Thanksgiving table can be full of delicious and nutritious options! All November, we are pleased to feature Thanksgiving recipe “makeovers,” which include classic recipes prepared in healthy ways.

Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, and many people prepare the calorie-laden dish with butter, salt, cream and cheese. This recipe for garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” doesn’t actually include potatoes at all! Mashed cauliflower mimics the flavor and texture of the classic recipe, and you won’t miss the potatoes.

You’ve likely heard snippets of the great potato debate. Some nutrition experts advise against white potatoes. Although potatoes are technically vegetables, they have a high glycemic index. This means that consuming potatoes can cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike and drop quickly. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health indicates that a cup of potatoes, from a blood sugar perspective, can affect your body in the same way that a can of soda or handful of candy would. This can leave you hungry and prone to overeating.

Cauliflower, in contrast, is a sound nutritional choice. Like broccoli, cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. It offers an impressive assortment of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals. Just one serving of cauliflower provides 77% of the daily Vitamin C recommendation — and it is also full of Vitamin K, protein, fiber and potassium. Cauliflower is a good source of sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has been demonstrated to halt tumor growth and prevent the growth of cancer stem cells.

This healthy take on the classic mashed potatoes will certainly be a hit this holiday. Enjoy this mashed cauliflower beside other Thanksgiving makeover recipes, like grain-free stuffing, pumpkin bisque and green beans with an almond pesto

Thanksgiving Recipe Makeovers: Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

Serves four – six


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Chop cauliflower into smaller florets and place in a large baking dish to roast.
  3. To roast garlic, cut off the end of your head of garlic to show the clover. Drizzle a bit of coconut oil on the head of garlic, then wrap foil around it.
  4. Place cauliflower and foil packet in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Allow roasted cauliflower and garlic to cool slightly. Remove garlic cloves from the head with a fork. Add both to a food processor.
  6. Pulse until garlic and cauliflower begin to become a paste, then add coconut milk to create your preferred texture. For a smoother texture, add additional coconut milk.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

6 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Recipe Makeovers: Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

  1. Why aren’t your recipes in a format that can be printed without printing 4 or so pages? And why does the label “Cooking For Healing” cover the photos of the food shown before each recipe?

  2. I have avoided aluminum foil since diagnosed with CA. Wondering why the recipe has you wrap the garlic in foil??

    1. Hello Judi.

      You are welcome to do whatever you feel comfortable with! Always go with whatever you feel is best for yourself.

  3. Sounds very tasty – thank you for sharing these lovely receipes…struggle at times to get interesting plant based recipes so love finding new sites. Very interested in your centre.

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