No one likes a fraud.  And I am not a big fan of something presented as what it is not. It’s a problem in the vegetarian world with meatless food made to look and taste as close to meat as possible. I mean why not just eat the real thing?! How does tofurkey even make sense? We tell our kids to be themselves and find friends who like them for who they are. So why, you say, is it any different for our friend cauliflower? Well, even though it would be great if cauliflower were as beloved as rice or the white potato, the truth is, cauliflower is like the wallflower at the prom who’s never asked to dance. White potatoes and rice are the ones who get invited to the fancy parties as part of elaborate dishes or weeknight dinners full of comfort foods. But when you are looking for something more nutrient dense and lower in carbohydrates, cauliflower is a great substitute for either of these two rivals.

This recipe for mashed cauliflower does resemble mashed potatoes in taste and texture. Just ask my finicky, mashed potato lovin’ 10 year old, Big Boy, who is a big fan of this recipe.  It is very quick and easy to prepare and can be made ahead and easily reheated. The recipe is also 100% paleo because it is dairy free which means it is also vegan. (Quite ironic considering my earlier comments)  And just to preempt the inevitable question, the coconut milk in the recipe does not impart a strong coconut flavor.

I utilized my pressure cooker but you can certainly steam the cauliflower florets and garlic or even boil them prior to putting them in the food processor.


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup of canned coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or microplaned nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Wash the cauliflower, remove leaves and bottom of stem and cut into large florets. Peel the garlic cloves.  Place the florets and garlic cloves in a steamer basket inside a pressure cooker with 1/3 cup of water. cauliflower in pressure cookerAttach lid and heat on high until brought to pressure. Cook the cauliflower and garlic at the highest pressure setting, according to manufacturer’s instructions, for three minutes. When the time is up use the fast release method (rinsing the pot in cold water) until the pressure is released and you can remove the lid.  Pick out the garlic cloves and set aside. Place the cooked cauliflower in a large food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. cauliflower in food processorPlace the cooked garlic cloves in a saucepan with the coconut milk, salt, nutmeg and pepper, bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 5 minutes so the garlic and spices infuse the liquid.  Use a fork to crush the softened garlic to aid in this process.  coconut milk and spicesAdd the spiced liquid (garlic and all) to the food processor and process until very smooth.

If you prefer a slightly more pronounced garlic flavor you can simply bypass the step of simmering it with the coconut milk and just add it to the food processor at the same time as the cauliflower.

Serves 6

This recipe goes especially well with dry rubbed paleo pork ribs!

mashed cauliflower paleo