What Are the Best Tips for Making Healthy Mashed Potatoes?

Dee Jones

While many people love traditional mashed potatoes, the dish is packed with the starch, fat, and carbohydrates, that healthy eaters try to avoid. There are ways, however, to make healthy mashed potatoes that are lower in fat, contain fewer calories, and taste nearly as good as the traditional potato dish. One of the easiest ways to make healthy mashed potatoes is to use non-fat or low fat versions of some of the basic ingredients. Traditional mashed potatoes contain plenty of butter and whole milk, and many cooks will add whole sour cream to add extra flavor. The fastest and easiest way to make the dish healthier is to use low-fat milk, low-fat butter or margarine, and low-fat sour cream.

Various types of potatoes.
Various types of potatoes.

A major concern many have when making healthy mashed potatoes is that they won’t have much flavor, especially with many of the ingredients removed or substituted with low-fat versions. There are many ways, however, to improve the flavor of healthy mashed potatoes. Instead of using low-fat milk, use low-fat buttermilk, which is low in calories, and will give the potatoes a tasty, tangy quality. Roasting a few cloves of garlic, and mashing them in with the potatoes will also give the dish added flavor. Using fresh herbs is a great way to make any dish more flavorful, and herbs like rosemary, parsley, basil, and tarragon go great with healthy mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes.

Another thing that can affect the flavor of healthy mashed potatoes is the types of potatoes used in the dish. Several potato varieties can be used to make mashed potatoes, and many recipes call for russet potatoes, which are considered excellent mashing potatoes. Consider using Yukon gold potatoes instead. Yukon gold potatoes have a natural, buttery flavor that can help make up for the butter taken out of the dish to make it healthier.

Fresh basil leaves can add extra flavor to mashed potatoes.
Fresh basil leaves can add extra flavor to mashed potatoes.

While there are ways to make mashed potatoes healthier, there are also many mashed potato substitutes. Root vegetables like rutabagas and turnips, which are lower in carbohydrates than potatoes, can be mashed and prepared much like potatoes can. These mashed root vegetable dishes might not taste exactly the same as mashed potatoes, but many find the flavors of these dishes appealing. Mashed cauliflower is another alternative, and this dish has the advantage of having the same appearance, texture, and even taste as mashed potatoes.

Rutabagas and other root vegetables can be mashed as served as a healthier substitute for potatoes.
Rutabagas and other root vegetables can be mashed as served as a healthier substitute for potatoes.
Leave potato skins on for healthier mashed potatoes, as the skin contains many vitamins.
Leave potato skins on for healthier mashed potatoes, as the skin contains many vitamins.
Yukon Gold potatoes and red potatoes are both touted for their ability to render creamy mashed potatoes without adding as much butter, milk or cream.
Yukon Gold potatoes and red potatoes are both touted for their ability to render creamy mashed potatoes without adding as much butter, milk or cream.
Yukon gold potatoes have a natural buttery flavor.
Yukon gold potatoes have a natural buttery flavor.
Mashed potatoes is traditionally a dish packed with fat, carbohydrates and salt.
Mashed potatoes is traditionally a dish packed with fat, carbohydrates and salt.
Using low-fat sour cream can make mashed potatoes healthier.
Using low-fat sour cream can make mashed potatoes healthier.

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