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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.

      6 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. 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?

                Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/...

                Image: http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00...

                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: nathanp@NOSPAMcalcentral.com

                    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: nathanp@NOSPAMcalcentral.com

                      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.

                      1. c
                        Caitlin Wheeler

                        Mayonnaise. An ingredient added by my mother in law's Southern Gentleman friend, who is a fantastic chef in the true Southern Fashion.

                        1. Every once in a while I make mash and mix in some capers, and when I do this I find I actually like it better without milk. I do still use butter but from the other posts it seems you can sort that bit out. I wonder about soya milk??? Let me know if you try the soya, would like to know myself what happens.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: drdawn
                            lactose intolerant

                            Soy milk doesn't work too well. It's too sweet.

                            1. re: lactose intolerant

                              Soy milk itself is not sweet. The ingredients in pure soy milk are just beans and water. Soy beans themselves also are not sweet.

                              What you may be referring to as sweet is probably the soy drink sold commercially, which typically has sugar added for a sweet flavor.

                              1. re: Browniebaker
                                lactose intolerant

                                Yes, it's very hard to find any soy milk that can be used in savory cooking because of the added sugar. If you know of a brand, please let me know!

                                1. re: lactose intolerant

                                  Westsoy,unsweetened is what I use. TJ's carries it and so does my local supermarket. Your local market should order it if you ask. I like it very much and drink it as well as use for baking.

                                  1. re: lactose intolerant

                                    Silk is also now offering unsweetened soy milk--I saw it in my local Whole Foods (previously Bread and Circus).

                                    1. re: divstudent

                                      Pacific Foods now has unsweetened almond mylk. I haven't tried it. Hemp mylk might be another possiblity.

                            2. My father and sister are lactose-intolerant and so they have developed several tricks over the years in order to enjoy mashed potatoes.

                              One trick was to use a sour cream substitute called IMO and that turned out decently.

                              However, the most successful variation has been to use a margarine that doesn't contain milk products (one such in our area is Willow Run), with milk and to actually put crumbled up Lactaid in the potatoes.

                              I can attest that the end product, while not as wonderful as potatoes made with real butter, is very good indeed. And my father and sister can enjoy mashed potatoes without side effects.

                              As this is a food allergy, one option might be to use a non dairy margarine and something like rice milk with something to cut the sweetness a bit. My father experimented with malt vinegar flavored mashed potatoes using Mocha Mix, which is pretty sweet. He had to play around with it a bit to get the right combination, but eventually his malt vinegar mashed potatoes were a big hit at Thanksgiving.

                              I hope that this isn't sacrilege to mashed potatoes, but I can understand the difficulties of having to work around the issue of dairy!

                              1 Reply
                              1. Try mashing them using a hand held mixer and adding a little chicken stock/broth to them. You can also add some roasted garlic at the end (mixing it in by hand) to give it an extra kick. The chicken stock/broth gives a nice mellow flavor and saves on calories while the mixer fluffs them nicely.

                                1. a
                                  abdul alhazred

                                  try using some of the water you boiled them in...

                                  1. Try out some diced salt pork. Remove pork from skillet. Cook some halved and thinly sliced onion in the resulting fat. Pour all of this plus the salt pork into the mashed potatoes and mix thouroughly. This has a wonderful taste and you won't miss the milk or dairy substitute, but don't tell your doctor.

                                    1. My mother's mashed potatoes are fluffy and delicious and contain no added fat, milk, etc. Here's her technique:
                                      Boil the cut-up potatoes. When done, drain and save the cooking water. Put the pan of potatoes back on the stove over low heat (or the turned-off-but-still-hot electric burner) and shake the pan gently to dry the potatoes. When potatoes are dry, mash with a hand masher. Add the reserved cooking liquid a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, whatever else you like.

                                      1. Have you tried dairy substitutes like almond, rice, or soy mylk and Earth Balance?

                                        1. two words: duck fat :)

                                          a little bit of well flavoured homemade chicken stock and lots of duck fat.
                                          it is ridiculously good :)
                                          add some finely chopped parsley and they sing ....la la la :)
                                          happy eating, oana

                                          1. I'm vegan so I make non-dairy mashed potatoes quite frequently. I boil my potatoes just as I would with regular mashed potatoes. I mash by hand, with a fork as I find it creates a better texture. I mash with smart balance 100% organic, which is dairy free, and soy milk. I've used vanilla soy milk and must say that the sweetness really didn't bother me. It kind of mimicked the sweetness of traditional butter, which smart balance lacks. However, you can use plain or unsweetened soy milk if the sugar is off putting. I use Silk brand soy milk. Also, I use a hand mixer at the end to fluff up my potatoes a bit.

                                            1. Use a potato ricer. We get nice light mash every time....

                                              1. Yes! I am a lactose intolerant, potato lovin' pro chef. Every Thanksgiving, I do the mashed potatoes. I started doing this so I could eat them. Now I have to.... everyone LOVES them!

                                                Amy's Favorite 'Taters

                                                Russet potatoes
                                                Earth Balance Margarine
                                                Chicken broth (Imagine Foods is best)
                                                Better Than Cream Cheese
                                                salt and pepper

                                                Boil 'taters. When about half done, throw in garlic cloves. Use a potato ricer to mash the 'taters and garlic.. Makes them fluffy and creamy! Heat some chicken broth in a sauce pan, add margarine and Better Than Cream Cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Stir into 'taters till they are just how you like 'em. Chop up the chives and stir in. Yummy!!
                                                To make them even better, put them in a oven proof dish and pop'em in the oven till toasty brown on top! Not only does this make the top crunchy, but it also makes them even fluffier!
                                                Make too much so you can have potato pancakes in the morning!

                                                You can find Better Than Cream Cheese and Earth Balance Margarine at Whole Foods or Trader Joes