It is very easy for mashed potatoes to present a bland flavor (especially when the potatoes are unflavored with salt while they boil) which is the reason why you need extra fortifications sometimes to add depth to the flavor profile and affect how it feels in the mouth.
When it comes to the things you can add to mashed potato to make it better, milk definitely belongs at the top of the list.
This article explores the benefits of adding milk to mashed potatoes, how it compares to other things you can add to mashed potatoes such as cream and water, and how you can properly add milk to mashed potatoes to make them taste and (feel) better.
Why do you add milk to mashed potatoes?
Milk adds flavor and creaminess to mashed potato which is why it is typically an ingredient in the most basic of recipes. The kind of flavor you get from adding milk to mashed potatoes as well as the degree of creaminess, or richness greatly depends on the variety of milk you’re using, as different milk varieties have different fat content, different thickness and distinct flavors.
What is the best milk to add to mashed potatoes?
When it comes to which is the best milk to add to mashed potatoes, no doubt it is cow milk with more fat content in it (whole milk). Now of course this may not be suitable for many people out there, so you can still opt for the version of milk that best suits your diet and it would work decently.
The best choice (which is) cow milk having higher fat content in it has the true “milk” taste which when added to mashed potatoes will help build up the flavor profile.
Other milks such as milk alternatives, goat milk, raw milk, buffalo milk, reduced-fat milk, low-fat milk, skim milk etc., can truly affect the way that your mashed potatoes end up tasting due to their reduced fat content, or sharp flavor. should be wary of the type of milk that you add to your mashed potatoes.
Can you use milk instead of water for mashed potatoes?
Not only can you use milk instead of water for mashed potatoes, it is in fact recommended to do so because milk adds so much to mashed potatoes that water can’t.
Water naturally thins out items with a bit of consistency in them like mashed potato, and it’s not very forgiving for mistakes. Milk on the other hand, being a little bit thicker than water, is a little more forgiving than water when it comes to mistakes in mashed potatoes.
But that’s not even the thing that sets milk apart from water. It’s flavor.
Water doesn’t add any flavor or even nutrients to your mashed potatoes, whereas milk on the other hand, depending on the type you’re using, comes loaded with flavor and nutrition to boost the quality of your mashed potatoes. It also has the bit of density to thicken up mashed potatoes for that creamy experience.
Are mashed potatoes better with milk or cream?
In an argument for which is better between milk or cream, cream takes the upper hand easily, and that is because cream contains more fat in comparison to milk, which means that it would produce a mashed potato that is much more creamy and flavorful, if those are the things you look out for in a mashed potato.
Cream has a thicker consistency than milk which is the reason why it produces thicker mashed potatoes than milk. The reason why it’s more flavorful is because it has more fat content, which means more fat molecules bind well with the compounds in the mashed potato and dissolve them, therefore triggering the fat-binding receptors in our tongue for a joyful experience.
How do you add milk to mashed potatoes
It is very important that you know how to add milk to mashed potatoes, so you can really incorporate the product and make for a flavorful end result.
Cold milk does not blend well into mashed potatoes and it also lowers its temperature, so you want to bring the milk to a boil first before adding it into the mashed potato. That way the milk will incorporate well into the mixture.
You can choose to substitute milk for water and your mashed potatoes would do just fine.
Another substitution that is totally fine is half of the quantity of water called for with milk.
You can even do half milk and half cream, or simply use half and half which is basically the same thing.
What other things can you add to mashed potatoes?
Broth is an essential ingredient if you truly want a flavorful mashed potato. The flavor you get obviously, would depend on the type of broth you’re using as well as how good it was in the first place.
You can use any type of broth to flavor up mashed potatoes but like milk, make sure to bring the broth to a simmer first before adding it to the mashed potato.
Cream, as we know, is the fatty layer that forms at the top of milk before it is homogenized (or mixed to form a homogeneous mixture). So it contains lots of fat that can make mashed potatoes so flavorful when used.
Cream comes in many different varieties all of which differ from one another mostly by their fat concentration. Light cream has fat concentration lower than 20 %, thickened and normal cream have less than 35% and double cream has double the amount for normal cream.
With cream, the more the fat content, the more flavor it is, yet the more calories it supplies.
So choose the one that best suits your diet or needs.
Other things you can also add to your mashed potatoes to make them taste better include roasted vegetables, cheese, sauce, fried onions, compound butter and even meat.