For the love of mashed foods

Mashed sweet potatoes in a bowl
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Squish it. Smash it. Smoosh it. Our very first taste of solid food most likely came in a mashed or pureed form. However, as we have aged into adults, we must not forget that we can still enjoy our inner-baby’s love of mush. Here are four mashed foods that shouldn’t be stopped when the high chair gets put away.

  1. Potatoes. That’s no surprise, right? Mashed potatoes and gravy remains a beloved food. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, needs to be used for more than the sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving. Treat it as oatmeal, and microwave mashed sweet potatoes with milk and cinnamon; top with vanilla yogurt, nuts, and granola. This bowl will fill the tummy with fiber, protein, vitamin A and potassium.
  2. Berries. Berries are delicious in their whole form, but heating and mashing them brings out their juices and intensifies their sweetness. Make a topping for whole-grain waffles, and not only will you get in a helping of antioxidant-rich fruit, but there will be no need for maple syrup! Simply place 2-3 cups of berries in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and heat for 3-4 minutes; mash with the back of a fork or potato masher if desired.
  3. Avocado. Guacamole is the most obvious use of mashed avocado, but avocado toast with egg is nothing short of genius. Spread mashed avocado over whole-grain toast, and top with either a sunnyside egg or sliced hardboiled egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and it’s the perfect start to the morning.
  4. Beans and Lentils. Open a can of beans or lentils, rinse with water and mash with a potato masher. Spread mashed pinto or black beans, sprinkled with seasonings, on a crisp tortilla for a yummy tostada. Mash chickpeas for a quick hummus spread, or mash lentils for an easy side dish. It’s an inexpensive, quick, and protein-rich alternative to a main dish meat.


Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl (Printable PDF)

1 medium sweet potato

2-3 Tablespoons nonfat milk

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional toppings: pecans, granola, raisins, yogurt, etc.

Wash sweet potato and pierce with a fork. Place potato on microwave-safe plate and microwave 5 minutes or until it’s fork tender. Remove skin, and mash sweet potatoes with milk and cinnamon in bowl. Serve with desired toppings.

Yield: 1 serving


Nutrition Facts (per serving): 130 calories, 0 grams fat, 95 milligrams sodium, 29 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams protein


This blog post originally appeared in the Pantagraph on January 13, 2021.