Dairy Free Cooking: Mashed Potatoes

cowsIf there’s one thing my Irish Catholic upbringing and my husband’s Jewish upbringing have in common, it’s potatoes. (Okay, two. Potatoes and guilt). So when I started eliminating dairy from my diet, one of my first cravings was mashed potatoes. I love them so much that I once cried at Thanksgiving when the relative in charge of the potatoes made them a way I didn’t like!

Nothing can quite replicate the fluffy, buttery taste and texture of potatoes made with real milk and butter. So the best option is to blast them with so much flavor that you won’t notice the absence of real butter.

There’s a pretty easy way to do this: boil the potatoes in broth instead of plain water before you mash them. Be careful: some broth may not be dairy free. I usually use either homemade or store bought kosher chicken stock because we keep kosher at home – but it’s also guaranteed to be non-dairy.

After boiling the potatoes, I usually scoop out some of the broth, then drain them. I then mash the potatoes and add a good scoop of non-dairy margarine such as Earth’s Balance. Along with some black pepper. After tasting the potatoes to see how salty they are, I add either more stock, unflavored almond or soy milk, or plain water to bring them to the right consistency. The stock usually makes them plenty salty but if not you can add more salt.

So far, I’ve made potatoes this way a few times and they’ve always turned out well. Next time, I might try some different ideas to add flavor and creaminess such as:

  • Roasted garlic
  • Olive oil or chicken fat in place of margarine
  • A little mayo for creaminess
  • Caramelized or fried onions
  • Rosemary
  • Truffle oil

Do you have any ideas for great non-dairy mashed potatoes?

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