Carrot & Swede Mash in a Flash

Carrot and swede mash is one dish that has always ‘annoyed’ me when I see it for sale in supermarkets.  It’s one of those ready prepared vegetable side dishes that’s available to be picked up in a supermarket and just reheated.  Perfect if you’re in a rush… but …wait!  Check out that price.  You’ve probably just won the Chump of the Week Award! Carrot Swede Parsnip Potato Mash P20173

My dad used to buy these packs regularly – every time he did that I’d shout at him that it was a waste of money and he could do it himself!

Carrot and swede mash is really simple to make yourself – and you don’t need to peel any vegetables either, if you don’t want to.

All that’s in the packet will be some swede and some carrots.  That’s 99% all you get.  Beyond that there might be a dab of butter and a bit of salt/pepper for seasoning, but there’s nothing unusual, hard to obtain or hard to cook ingredients in there at all.

To make carrot and swede mash all you have to do is:

  • cook the carrots
  • cook the swede
  • mash them together with a knob of butter and any salt/pepper you have to hand.

That’s it.

If you don’t want to peel and boil those vegetables yourself, then you can buy packs of frozen cubed carrot and swede that just need microwaving for a few minutes with a little water, until they’re soft.  You can then use a fork to mash them together, adding a little butter and salt/pepper.  Or you can microwave the carrots yourself in 5 minutes, without any chopping!

You can even use your microwave to cook the swede, using the method that’s often called the Singing Swede – where you place the whole swede in the microwave for 20 minutes on high setting; it makes a singing noise, but doesn’t explode. How long the swede takes to cook in the microwave will depend on its size, so after 20 minutes just slide a sharp knife into the middle to check it’s soft, if not, then put it back in the microwave oven for another 5-10 minutes. Then just cut the top off and scoop out the swede flesh, then mash it. Microwave mashed swede looks like this:

Microwave Mashed Swede

These can be a great side dish if you’re stretching out a Christmas dinner – there are a variety of root vegetables you can use.

Using a fork to mash the vegetables is the quick/easy way to mash vegetables for small portions.  I only ever cook for one person, so it’s just easier for me to use a fork.  For larger quantities, a cheap stick blender or even a food processor, will do the job just as well, or a simple potato masher.  The longer you blend the mix, the lighter and fluffier it gets – great for making it look like more!

The additional benefits of doing this are:

  • using frozen cubed carrot and sweet packs you can make just the right amount that you need.
  • you don’t have to think about the use by date on the pack, a ready to eat carrot & swede mash pack might need using within 5-7 days.
  • It ends up at half the price, so it’s a great frugal solution
  • The frozen vegetables might have been frozen faster than the fresh ingredients reached the mash factory, retaining more nutrients.

Make Ahead and Reheat:

Can you make carrot and swede mash in advance?

Yes. You can make carrot and swede mash ahead of time, simply cool it and store it in a lidded container in the fridge, then microwave it for just 5 minutes to reheat it on demand.  It’s best used soonest, but you can keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days if it’s well covered!

Freeze Carrot & Swede Mash:

This side dish freezes well – you can reheat it from frozen, just make sure to regularly stir/chop it up as it’s reheating, to get it heated all the way through.   It’s all “just vegetables” so perfectly safe to be reheated, the only thing you need to think about is not hitting a cold spot when you’re eating it!

Alternatives:

  • Parsnip and Potato Mash
  • Swede, Carrot and Potato Mash

Note: The photo here shows parsnips, carrots and potatoes – another great mash mix you can make at home!