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Hearty and Healthy Mashed Potatoes

Healthier recipe for mashed potatoMashed potatoes have a reputation for being unhealthy. High-fat ingredients like butter and cream are an easy way to add flavor and a creamy, rich texture—but they aren’t the only way. It’s possible to make hearty and healthy mashed potatoes. Here’s how.

One trick: Reserve some of the cooking water. You might think it will make your potatoes watery, but the water contains potato starch, which helps to thicken them.

Another trick: Use evaporated milk. It has the consistency of heavy cream with a fraction of the fat and calories. Or replace the evaporated milk with ¾ cup buttermilk (despite its name, buttermilk is low-fat).

Use low-fat or nonfat ingredients to add flavor. This recipe features horseradish, but if you prefer, omit the horseradish and stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of roasted garlic, or add a tablespoon of chopped chives just before serving.

This recipe leaves out the butter so that everyone can enjoy it. But if you’re not on a restricted diet, feel free to top your portion with a pat at the table.

Makes 6 servings

1½ to 2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into chunks

1 teaspoon salt

1 can (7 ounces) evaporated fat-free or low-fat milk

2 to 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained

  1. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover by about 1 inch and the salt. Cover the pot, set over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, set the lid to partially cover the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a low boil until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Drain the potatoes, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the potatoes to the saucepan and set over low heat. Shake the pan until the potatoes look dry, then mash them with a potato masher. Add the milk, horseradish, and a tablespoon of the cooking water and stir with a heavy wooden spoon. If the mashed potatoes are too thick for your liking, stir in a little more of the cooking water.