Discover the new mash!
The cool weather is coming in and what better than a steaming hot serving of mash… and despite its humble image, mash is not just about spuds!
Mash is a culinary specialty that can be made with any vegetable; carrots, artichokes, broccoli, turnips, split peas and celery to name but a few. Mash comes in all flavours to delight our taste buds and support our health. Here are all the reasons why you should get mashing pronto!
Making up a swirl of delicious mash
A message for all culinary novices: making mash is really easy! All you have to do is cook the vegetables; generally boil them or put them in a steamer, before mashing them with a fork, in a vegetable press or in a blender.
Then add a bit of milk to the mix, with dab of butter, margarine, single cream or oil and season to taste with whatever takes your fancy (garlic, lemon, aromatic herbs such as chives, coriander, chervil or thyme), as well as salt and pepper and some spices if you feel like it (cumin works well, as do curry powder and nutmeg). It’s a piece of cake!
Nevertheless, for those who stubbornly resist, the endlessly busy or the thousands of couch potatoes out there, many different varieties await (carrot, squash, potato, peas, green beans, cauliflower, etc.), which can be found frozen, or fresh in ready-to-serve packs.
Mash is good for you
Vegetables are the undisputed source of vitamins (A, B, C and K especially), minerals (iron, calcium, copper, manganese, iodine…), polyphenols and fibre. These nutrients are rich in antioxidants and have only good qualities: they protect cardiovascular health and boost the immune system.
Any combination of vegetables suits mash, which allows you to vary your diet and benefit from all their goodness:
- Mashed veggies are particularly easy to digest as the fibre in vegetables is softened up through cooking.
- Mashing is also a good way of making the most of chickpea and split peas’ rich nutritious content without the unwanted windy side effects!
- Low in fat (as long as you don’t drown it in butter, cream and cheese), mash fills you up without bloating and is a valuable tool in the fight against obesity.
… and mash isn’t expensive either!
Depending on the time of year, you can change your mash using seasonal vegetables (and what’s fresh in herbs) to ensure the best taste at the lowest cost.
- In spring, go for new potato, cauliflower, artichoke or kale mash.
- In summer, go for aubergine, courgette or broad bean mash.
- In autumn, go for artichoke, celeriac, parsnip, chestnut, turnip or pumpkin mash.
- In winter, go for celery, potato, carrot, parsnips or spinach mash.
To retain the maximum amount of nutrients, choose a pan that’s not too big and fill it with just enough water (the vegetables should be covered but not drowned) or even better, cook them in a steamer or microwave.
It’s useful to note that some vegetables, such as chestnuts and sorrel taste better when they are put back into the pan with a bit of butter or oil. As for aubergines, it is better to cook these in the oven, then cool them down and peel them before mashing.
Why not try:
- Sweet potato mash with horseradish
- Carrot and parsnip mash with tarragon
- Broad bean mash
- Ultimate mashed potatoes
- Creamed swede mash
… and everyone likes mash!
Mash has everything to can please everyone. Young or old, foodies and serial dieters, vegetarians and omnivores, bohemians and fans of traditional food, everyone finds something to like in mash.
From the age of about 5 or 6, children often refuse to eat new things and can be put off or totally disgusted by the appearance, shape and smell of “real” vegetables. However, mash is familiar to them. It is effectively one of the first types of food they taste after milk. In order to appeal to their taste buds and win them round, adapt your recipe!
Add a bit of cheese (cream cheese or Boursin) into a courgette mash for example, or add subtle flavours to cauliflower, celery and broccoli by mixing in potato. Play with colour and serve up orange and green mash (squash, spinach, or carrots and peas), or earthy colours (mushrooms, turnips, aubergines and cauliflower).
When it comes to appetite, chestnut purée and split pea mash will even fill up someone who eats like a horse, while sylphs who opt for light meals, will consider courgette, broccoli and celery purée (40 to 50 kcal per 100g) a delight.
Great for vegetarians, mash has a rustic feel to it as though it has come straight from a country kitchen and its association with childhood simplicity will be a well-deserved success with most. Whether it is for formal diners, family, friends or a fashionable crowd, you will always win them with swanky and surprising gourmet mash.
To cover every taste preference, serve up an assortment of flavours: not everyone can hate both carrots and swedes!
Copyright © 2011 Doctissimo
- Mixed salad: a marvellous main meal
- Get the soup attitude…
- A taste of Italy in your kitchen
- Fried food is ok! Just make sure you use olive oil and sunflower oil!
- Emergency Meals: Cooking with what you've got
- Savoury tarts without the guilt!
- Healthy cooking starts with a clean kitchen
- Antioxidant-packed fruit juices
Get more on this subject…