These creamy mashed turnips are the perfect low carb alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. With a sweet, slightly nutty flavor, these beauties transform into a smooth, delicious side dish easy enough for a weeknight but sophisticated enough for a holiday table.
Turnips don’t get enough credit, in my opinion. They’re the underdog of root vegetables. When in season, they’re easy to come by, and they’re versatile and healthy.
Turnips have a fairly neutral flavor, so you can serve them with almost anything. And you can prepare them in a number of different ways, from baked to roasted to mashed.
Mashed turnips make the perfect mashed potato alternative. Lower in carbs, lower in calories, and higher in nutrients, they’re a win-win for both you and the turnip!
How to get the bitterness out of turnips
Sometimes you might find that turnips have a slightly bitter flavor. The turnips that are produced for human consumption are harvested when young and small, and if they are harvested late or grow too large they can have a bitter bite to them.
Try to go for the smaller ones at the store – you might have to peel a few more for your dish, but you’ll get a better flavor.
If you have any dish that tastes bitter, the way to counter that is either fats or sweetness. I try to refrain from adding sweeteners to dishes that really don’t need it (ie, vegetables), so that leaves us with healthy fats.
To get the bitterness out of turnips in this recipe, we’re going to use ghee.
Ghee is clarified butter, which means all the milkfat has been removed. You can make it yourself or buy it at the store – it can be pricey; Trader Joes and Aldi typically have the best deals on it.
If you don’t have ghee, you can substitute a different healthy fat to help cut the bitterness. My top suggestions to keep a creamy consistency for the mashed turnips are grass-fed butter, vegetable shortening, or coconut oil.
Keep in mind when using coconut oil that refined coconut oil will not have a coconut flavor to it, while the unrefined coconut oil may bring a slight coconut flavor to your mashed turnips.
How to thicken mashed turnips
While turnips are a root vegetable, they are not as starchy as a potato.
A potato has a water content of 80%, while turnips have a water content of 94%, so it’s not uncommon for your mashed turnips to be a bit thinner than mashed potatoes.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’ll experience the same thing with mashed cauliflower (92% water content).
It’s just the nature of the vegetable. Don’t expect something that’s not a potato to act like a potato.
I didn’t mind the consistency of these, and was happy to eat and serve them as they were. That being said, there are a few ways you can thicken your mashed turnips:
Drain the water. Once you make the mashed turnips, let them sit for a bit. The water will separate and rise to the top, and you can drain off some of it, reducing the water content and leaving behind a bit thicker consistency.
Add some starch or flour. There are quite a few paleo and gluten free flour alternatives and starches that can help thicken things up a bit.
My favorite one for this use is cassava flour. Add a tablespoon at first and give it a minute to soak up the moisture before you jump the gun on adding more.
Other options for this particular recipe would be coconut flour, tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder.
Remember, small amounts at first. You can always put more in, but you can’t take it out.
Make a turnip + potato blend. If you really want mashed potatoes, but are trying to make a healthier choice (go you!), try making a blend of mashed turnips and potatoes.
A 60/40 turnip to potato blend or even a 75/25 blend would provide a thicker consistency and a lower carb, more nutrient dense option.
How to make these mashed turnips
This recipe seriously could not be easier. You’re going to need a kitchen tool to help you with the blending.
My recommended tool is an immersion blender – it gives you more manual control over it and will allow you to smooth them out to your desired consistency. The one I swear by is the Cusinart Stick Blender, which you can find here.
If you don’t have a stick blender, a regular high powered blender will do. (I use a this Ninja blender.) Just know that you will have to scrape down the sides a few times as the turnips start to break down.
You may think they are too thick and won’t thin out – be patient. As you release their water content and they blend with the ghee and almond milk, they will.
To make these mashed turnips, simply peel, chop and boil your turnip chunks.
Once a fork slides easily through them, drain them.
Combine them with the almond milk, ghee, and salt, and start blending to your desired consistency.
Easy peasy mashed turnips.
Other ways to prepare turnips
My favorite way to cook turnips is actually to make them into turnip fries.
They’re such an easy and fun way to get your dose of veggies, and you can dip them in so many sauces. (If you need sauce ideas, check out this sauce roundup post!)
If you can tolerate dairy, these Parmesan Crusted Crushed Turnips look ah-mazing as well.
What goes with mashed turnips
Mashed turnips are so versatile. Here are some ideas:
Load them up with some bacon and chives.
Serve topped with Citrus Glazed Salmon.
Serve alongside a nice seared steak or pork tenderloin.
Make them as a side dish at Thanksgiving as a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes.
- 2 pounds fresh turnips
- 2 Tablespoons ghee
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp salt
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
- Trim the ends off and peel the turnips, then cut them into large chunks.
- Place the large cut pieces of turnips into the boiling water and cook for about 20 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork.
- Turn the burner off. Drain the turnips in a large colander, then return them to the pot and return the pot to the stove.
- Add the ghee and almond milk to the pot.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the turnips until they are the consistency of mashed potatoes. You'll have to pick up the blade and put it back down a few times on tops of the chunks to get it started. Once things start to smooth out, it will get easier.
- Smooth to your desired consistency and serve!
If you don't have an immersion blender, you can either mash by hand using a potato masher, or you can stick all the ingredients in a blender. If using a blender, pulse a couple of times to break down the large chunks, then run it smooth it out. You may have to scrape down the sides once or twice to get everything incorporated!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 618mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g
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