Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes? No thank you!
If you follow a dairy-free low FODMAP diet for IBS and/or SIBO, this recipe may be just what you are looking for in order to indulge in the Thanksgiving celebration without the regret of symptoms.
Normal Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are typically made using milk or cream to give them a creamy, whipped texture. But did you know that potato water can be used instead?
I learned about using potato water from my aunt. Who learned it from my grandmother. And they are definitely not your quintessential no-moo people. Their cooking is heavy on the dairy. But wow does it always taste good!
But that’s how you know that mashed potatoes don’t need milk to be amazing. Because my aunt and grandmother do not skimp on flavor, but choose to use potato water instead of milk.
What is potato water? Well, when you boil the water for mashed potatoes, some of the flavor and nutrients from the potatoes get left behind in the water. You then reserve some of that water to slowly add into the potatoes as you mash them. Not only does it create a creamy texture, but some of the nutrients that leached into the water during the cooking process get returned to your tummy!
Why You Probably Tolerate Butter Even If Milk & Cheese Make You Sick
Milk is by far the most common ingredient that contributes to digestive (and other) issues.
So what I commonly see happen is that someone will remove milk from their diet, feel relief, and then think that they must be sensitive to all dairy.
But the problem with that is that there are different components in dairy that can be causing issues:
- Lactose- the sugar
- Casein- a protein
- Whey- a protein
And milk contains all three- lactose, casein, and whey. Other dairy products, however, will contain varying amounts of these potentially problematic ingredients.
Most cheeses (especially aged ones) will be low in lactose, but still contain problematic proteins.
Butter, on the other hand, contains virtually no lactose, whey, or casein. Instead, it is almost entirely fat. I recommend using organic, grass-fed butter for the most nutritious option. Organic because animals store toxins in their fat, so when you are eating their fat, you probably want to pay extra attention to what that animal was eating. And grass-fed because it will contain more nutrients (beta-carotene & omega 3-s) which are important for immune function and combating inflammation.
Potatoes and SIBO
If you are confused as to why a SIBO recipe blog is sharing a recipe that contains potatoes, let me clear things up!
According to Dr. Siebecker’s SIBO Food Guide (which is followed by many with SIBO), potatoes are listed in the red “illegal” column. That is because her food guide combines the low FODMAP diet with the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD). According to the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), potatoes are illegal. However, since releasing that food guide, Dr. Siebecker shared at the NUNM SIBO Symposium 2016 that she finds white potatoes to be well tolerated by most individuals with SIBO.
Additionally, according to Monash University, potatoes are low FODMAP at all serving sizes tested (which was up to a whole potato). That means that they are unlikely to generate symptoms for most people.
Similarly to these findings, I find that most of my clients are fine with potatoes. Especially when they are being consumed as part of an overall balanced meal.
Let’s get to work on this super simple recipe!
- 4 small russet potatoes (about 1.2 pounds), peeled and chopped into 6 pieces each
- 1 cup reserved potato water (you likely won't use all of this though)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or grass-fed butter (read post to find out why you likely don't react to butter even though you react to other dairy products!)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Garnish: chives (a couple sprigs), chopped
- Place peeled & chopped potatoes into a medium saucepan. Add water to cover potatoes by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook 20-30 minutes until potatoes are soft and break easily when poked with a fork.
- Reserve 1 cup of the potato water in a bowl or measuring cup. Drain potatoes of remaining water.
- Add 1 T olive oil or butter to potatoes along with about ¼ cup of the reserved potato water and the sea salt.
- Use a potato masher to mash them and mix everything together, adding more potato water, as needed, until desired consistency is reached. Taste test and add additional olive oil, butter, or salt, if needed.
- Optional- for extra creamy mashed potatoes, finish with an immersion blender- but make sure you don't overdo it or they will become rubbery!
Extras can be frozen!