Mashed potatoes rock. Hard. An essential part of so many classic meals, from the British roast to the American Thanksgiving (and a whole load in between) at first sight you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re just a pile of squashed spuds.
But don’t be fooled – they’re soooo much more than that.
Well made mashed potatoes, vegan or regular, need not only be the side dish to a meal; they have the ability to transform a meal from merely adequate, to unforgettable.
There are some insane people out there who don’t seem to like mashed potatoes, and I have come to a conclusion as to why this might be case.
- They’ve only ever tried ‘instant’ mash from packets. Never do that again. Not even if you’re in the outback. Carry a sack of potatoes instead, it’s worth the effort.
- The potatoes were over-mashed and/or watery. Not good, and I can well understand the dislike.
Real, proper mashed potatoes, should be creamy, soft (but not too soft), and bursting with flavour.
Some will argue that you’re going to cover the potatoes in a sauce or gravy anyway – that’s not the point.
Mashed potatoes (vegan mashed potatoes included), should be so good you could eat a whole bowlful without sauce.
If you need sauce to cover the taste, you’re doing something wrong.Vegan mashed potatoes clearly need to be made a little differently.
By the way, if you’re thinking of going vegetarian (or already are and need a bit of inspiration) then make sure you check out our 30 Day Veggie Challenge for the best way to go about it!
While ‘normal’ mashed potatoes can rely on butter, milk, cream or cheese (or a wild combo of two or more) for that silky-smooth texture and hearty taste, vegan ones need to find another way.
Luckily, that’s not a problem.
Oil is your friend here – and what a friend it is.
Flavour is what makes these mashed potatoes really stand out, and by gently aromatizing the oil with a little garlic and chili, you have something special on your hands.
What to know about Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- It’s important to pick a high starch potato that doesn’t turn to mush as soon as you look at it – something like Maris Piper or Russet is perfect.
- While it is possible to make mashed potatoes when leaving the skin on, you’ll get better results by removing it, and won’t have little bits of skin all mixed up in your mash.
You’ll get a few more nutrients and save a little time by leaving it on though. Your call of course – personally we’d recommend the former.
- Don’t cook the potatoes too long! The potatoes are done when they’re easily pierced with a knife. When that time has come, get them out of the water ASAP!
- If you have excess mashed potatoes and vegetables leftover from a big dinner, throw them together and fry in a pan with oil. You’ll soon have delicious bubble and squeak 🙂
Now you know all. Go forth, and enjoy your potatoes.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- Peel the potatoes (or leave the skin on if that’s your thing), and roughly chop into quarters or eighths. Add to a large pot of cold water. Stick on to high heat, and add the salt as the water warms up. After about 20-25 minutes the potatoes should be easily pierced with a knife or skewer – that means they’re ready.
- In the meantime, bring the virgin olive oil to low heat with whole peeled garlic cloves and loosely chopped chilli pepper. For a more intense garlic flavour, chop the cloves first. Cook gently for around five minutes to aromatize the oil. Let rest and add the sweet paprika.
- Mash the potatoes with a fork or masher (or use a hand blender for exceptional softness) and add in the aromatized virgin olive oil (remove the garlic if using whole cloves, but leave it in if using chopped garlic – the flavour will be stronger), soy milk (or other milk or stock), sea salt, nutmeg and margarine (if using) as you do it.
- Tips: In case you find the end result a bit too firm and a little dry, add a drop more soy milk or stock. Also don’t be too stingy with the salt – it’s an integral part of the potato mash!
- Voilà! Smother in sauce or eat on its own – as you prefer!