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Sep 14, 2003 05:17 PM

fluffy mash--without dairy

  • t

does anyone know how to make excellent mashed potatoes without milk or butter? (For food allergy purposes.) I've been using olive oil, but I can't get that light, nice whipped feeling or creamy taste. I use a cheapo masher. . . maybe a different utensil? Whip 'em up in the Kitchenaid? Push them through a strainer?

Would rice milk have any effect? Anything?

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  1. I've used chicken broth to cut out fat with great results. If your goal is vegan mashed potatoes, I'd try vegetable stock.

    I do an initial mash with a potato masher and then whip it up with my handheld mixer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chris VR

      Use the starchiest potatoes you can find. Large Idaho or Russet potatoes are ideal.

    2. I would also recommend using some kind of solid fat, instead of oil. If you're a vegetarian, your options are limited. Margarine is the only solid veggie fat that I can think of.

      However, if you're not a vegetarian you could try other animal fats--like bacon drippings, or goose fat, added at room temperature.

      Finally, for fluffy mashed potatoes, bake the potatoes and scoop them out of their shells, instead of boiling or steaming.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Lindsay B.

        I completely agree! Baking the potatoes gives a lovely roasted, rich, intense taste, and you don't get that weird watery aftertaste. I've never used a ricer but a friend swears by hers. I myself don't use dairy in my mashed potatoes (severely lactose intolerant) and have never had complaints or in fact anyone else notice that I make mine with margarine and soy milk.

        1. re: Lindsay B.

          margarine is just as bad as butter...both contain milk..that would be bad for someone with allergies to dairy.

          1. re: mike the lactose intolerant

            Margarine does not contain milk. It's primarily hydrogenated vegetable oil. That's why my kosher grandma could serve it at a meat meal. It's completely non-dairy.

            1. re: small h

              It depends on the type of margarine. Many do have some milk products in them and are certified Kosher Dairy. Smart Balance is one of the few that is K P instead of K D.

              1. re: TampaAurora

                I'm more or less responding to margarine being "just as bad" for the lactose intolerant as butter. Clearly it is not, since it is readily available in non-dairy form.


                1. re: small h

                  Margarine is almost always completely lactose free, so if you're lactose intolerant that's fine. But margarine and almost any other "dairy-free" product contains Casein, a milk protein used to reach the same creamy consistency as dairy based products, so as a vegan it defeats the purpose, since animal protein is what we avoid, considering its indeniable contribution to cancer cell growth

            2. re: mike the lactose intolerant

              There is a margarine that is dairy free, such as Nucoa and Earth Balance.

          2. I'm allergic to dairy and find a canola based butter subsitute called Spectrum Spread comes closest to a buttery taste. It is available in Whole Foods and most health food stores. And it's best to put the potatoes through a ricer - makes them much fluffier. Instead of substitute milks, try reserving some of the water you boil the potatoes in and use that for your liquid. It gives a good texture and boosts the potato flavor very nicely.

            1. Have you tried a whisk? Or an electric hand mixer?

              10 Replies
              1. re: nja

                Sorry to say that an electric mixer will only make them gluey, not fluffy, by developing the gluten and releasing all the air. :(

                1. re: lucia

                  That has not been experience in many years of mashed potato making.

                  Potatoes don't have gluten, do they?



                  1. re: nja

                    Oh those poor, poor spuds!!! One of the best cooking techniques I have picked up is the use of a ricer for making mashed potatoes. Butter and milk can then be gently stirred in to create the kind of decadently rich and creamy mashed potatoes that are served in fancier restaurants. Ricers are not that expensive and you should definitely give one a try.

                    Unfortunately I can be no help to the original poster as I am a firm believer that you can not add too much butter to mashed potatoes. On the dairy side I like half and half or whole milk as I find heavy cream to overly coat the palette and ruins the mouth-feel of the dish.


                    1. re:

                      I've eaten a lot of good mashed potatoes from the KitchenAid mixer. That's how my mom does them. The trick is to use the regular paddle mixer and starchy potatoes, and to watch very, very carefully. Ten seconds too long and you will have wallpaper paste. I don't use the mixer, myself. A potato ricer is a boon to fluffiness, but it is time consuming to use.

                      1. re: Lindsay B.

                        I don't think I have ever seen them made with a paddle attachment which I can imagine could lead to a different texture. I also tend to make my mashed potatoes with waxy potatoes which are very different than the starchy varieties. This is another great area for discussion and I am sure there are some vary different opinions on the optimal potato. Has anyone here ever tried blends of potato types in their mashers?


                      2. re:

                        Have you ever tried buttermilk? I've been a believer ever since having buttermilk mashed potatoes at a great restaurant in Charleston, SC, called Jestine's Kitchen. It really gives mashed potatoes a whole new aspect.

                        1. re: Zorra

                          I have and it does give them a nice bit of tang and makes them seem a bit less rich in my experience. I think these are a great match with more rustic american style foods which tend to be on the heavier side. Ahhh so many fine ways to tweak out the simple mashed potato.


                          1. re: Zorra

                            I think the OP is trying to avoid dairy.

                      3. re: lucia

                        Not in my experience, and mom has also done it with a hand mixer for at least 25 years.

                        I did get a horrible gluey texture using a food processor, though.

                        1. re: lucia

                          Potatoes do not have gluten. When they are over-mixed the cells break apart and bleed the starch out, and all that starch floating around freely makes the glueyness. You can use power tools if you are careful.

                      4. I've gotten great results using olive oil (and a bit of the water in which I boiled the potatoes). I use a food mill to do the mashing.