Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Mash

    MAKES: 12 servings
    PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes
    COOKING TIME: 3 to 4 hours
    Laden with fresh herbs, slow-cooker cauliflower mash is the perfect side for your stews and casseroles. It freezes well, too, so go ahead and make a big batch. For a super-creamy version, add 1 cup (240 g/8.5 oz) cream cheese or sour cream just before blending.

    2 to 3 heads (2 kg/4.4 lb) cauliflower, cut into florets
    8 cups (1.9 L) water, or enough to cover the cauliflower
    2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste
    1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
    2 bay leaves
    3 whole allspice
    1/2 cup (110 g/3.9 oz) ghee or other healthy cooking fat
    1 large (150 g/5.3 oz) yellow onion, sliced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cup (15 g/0.5 oz) freshly chopped herbs of choice (parsley, dill, thyme, rosemary, etc.)


    Preheat a 5- to 6-quart (4.7- to 5.7-L) slow cooker. Place the cauliflower florets, water, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, and allspice in the slow cooker (use a spice bag to easily remove the spices). Cover with a lid. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.
    Grease a skillet with the ghee. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. When done, take off the heat and set aside.
    When the cauliflower is tender, turn the slow cooker off and drain the water by pouring it through a colander. Discard the spices. Place the cauliflower back in the slow cooker and process with an immersion blender for a chunky texture. Or purée in batches in a food processor for a creamy texture. Add the cooked onion and garlic, including the ghee, and process to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Add the fresh herbs and stir in until combined. Eat as a side with meat, or let it cool down and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To store for longer, spoon into single- or double-serving freezer bags.
    TIP: Bored of plain cauli-mash? Skip the bay leaves and allspice and try the following variations:
    • Super creamy mash: add 1 cup (240 g/8.5 oz) cream cheese or sour cream just before blending.
    • Italian pesto mash: add 1/2 cup (120 g/4.2 oz) Red Pesto.
    • Lemon & herb mash: add 2 to 3 teaspoons (4 to 6 g) fresh lemon zest and a bunch of fresh basil leaves.
    • Curried mash: add 1 tablespoon (6 g/0.2 oz) curry powder and a small bunch of cilantro.
    Total carbs: 9.8 g / Fiber: 3.7 g / Net carbs: 6.1 g / Protein: 3.4 g / Fat: 9.7 g / Energy: 131 kcal
    Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (20%), protein (11%), fat (69%)