One of my all-time favorite things to make is the simple mashed potato. Maybe it's texture, or part nostalgia, it's truly one of my favorite foods. I used to make mashed potatoes so unhealthy by adding butter, cream, and all sorts of other things (bacon bits, you name it). But the crazy thing is that a healthy mashed potato tastes just as good if you get the right gravy (such as our pepper gravy here) or some other topping you love. And they also can stand along on their own merit without a topping, too. This is an SOS Free recipe (salt, oil, and sugar free).
This recipe incorporates some nutritional yeast for a bit of that extra umami like taste. And to be perfectly honest I despise the flavor of nutritional yeast (for example, in cheese sauces where it's the dominant flavor). But in these potatoes I cannot taste the flavor in the final result, it's simply there to add some flavor depth - it does serve a purpose. I know some of you really don't like nutritional yeast and will not use it, and it's easy to omit from this recipe. I also typically use it in my gravies for a big flavor punch, and again there due to all the other seasonings you do not get that taste on its own.
I have a bunch of changes and substitutions you can make below the recipe.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 10 cups russet potatoes cubed, about 4 gigantic potatoes
- 8-10 garlic cloves About 1/4 cup minced
- 1/2 cup cashews soaked if not using high-speed blender
- 1/2 cup water or neutral-tasting unsweetened plant-based milk (unsweetened)*, plus extra on reserve
- 3 tbsp Nutritional yeast optional
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder optional, for extra garlic taste
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley
- Chopped parsley
- Vegan parmesan
- Peel and cube the russet potatoes, and garlic.
- Add cashews, water or plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and lemon juice to a blender.
- Add the garlic and cubed potatoes to boiling water, and boil.
- Before potatoes are ready, remove garlic from water and add to the blender. Blend on high-speed until completely smooth.
- Add parsley and pepper to blender and pulse a few times until parsley is chopped fine.
- When potatoes are fork-tender and almost falling apart, drain water and return to pot.
- Add the blended cashew mixture to the pot, and mash with potato masher until desired consistency (add some more plant-based milk or water if necessary).
This recipe reheats well. You can also freeze and thaw any leftover potatoes, or refrigerate for 5 days.
Top these potatoes with our favorite gravy recipe here!
Substitutions and other changes
Potatoes: You can use different types of potato instead, but it will change the texture. Yellow, yukon and similar potatoes are more waxy than russet. This is perfectly good, but is a little bit less fluffy.
Garlic: If you don't have garlic cloves, of course you can use minced garlic instead.
Nutritional Yeast: You can omit this ingredient, or substitute with about 1 Tbsp of miso paste.
Cashews: If you do not want to use cashews, substitute them with white beans or about a 1/4 cup of a different (unsweetened) nut butter.
Plant-based milk: Always keep a bit of additional plant-based milk so you can adjust the consistency of the potatoes - you will be able to easily control this as you mash the potatoes with the masher. But be careful what plant-based milk you use for this recipe, because it can substantially alter the overall taste. I will typically use an unsweetened homemade almond milk for this recipe. Choose something that is unsweetened as quite neutral in flavor.
Parsley: You can substitute this ingredient with green onions or chives.
Blender: If you do not have a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix to make the cashew garlic cream, make sure that you soak the cashews in advance. Or, you might want to use a substitute such as white bean or a different unsweetened nut butter. Use about 1/4 cup if using a nut butter.
Potato masher: You can use a hand mixer for this recipe instead of a masher, but don't over-mix or the potatoes will go rather gummy. Alternatively, you can use a potato ricer that will give you a really nice result.