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Cauliflower Purée

This recipe's deceitful reputation can be traced to the dawn of the low carb craze, when the Atkins Diet was everything and no potato - neither sweet, nor Russet, nor Yukon Gold - was safe or permissible for consumption. The potatoes rotted in heaps in America's produce departments as the dieting masses turned their forks and knives on non-starchy, low-carb vegetables like cauliflower.

"We'll mash it!" they said. "It will taste just like mashed potatoes!" they said.

And so it began: The trickery of serving cauliflower purée and telling your unsuspecting friends and family members that it's mashed potatoes (wink wink).

"Honesty be damned, I just want to be thin! It's just a little white lie! No one will know the difference!" 

But here's the truth: You aren't fooling anyone, because it doesn't look or taste a damn thing like mashed potatoes. 

Stop the lies. This cauliflower purée is so delicious that it deserves a place on any dinner table. Don't try to sell it as something it's not. 


1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

1/3 c. nonfat buttermilk (see below for DIY buttermilk)

4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 tsp. butter

1/2 tsp. salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

2. Place cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times and then process until smooth and creamy.

3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, if desired. Serve hot.

Nutrition Info for 3/4 cup:

107 calories; 7 g fat; 10 g carbs; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber


If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make it!  Add 1 Tbs. of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 c. of milk and let it set for a minute or so until it starts to curdle. I add a little extra vinegar to my DIY buttermilk because I love the flavor it gives to this puree!