Nurturing our roots and relishing life

Creamy Colcannon

Creamy Colcannon

In my final ode to the patron saint of the Emerald Isle, I bring you the humble colcannon.  Once a peasant dish made with cheap, available ingredients (like potatoes and dairy!), this AIP version is packed with nutrition and inflammation-fighting goodies!

I was a big potato eater in my pre-AIP days.  Perhaps one day we will become reaquainted once more…  But not in the near future, as I’ve just hit my half-way mark (6 months!) on the AIP.  Then there’s many reintroductions to happen before ever getting to nightshades.  Sigh.

In the mean time, I didn’t want to miss out on the St. Patrick’s Day deliciousness, so I created an AIP compliant version of my old stand-by recipe for colcannon.  I’ve become a big fan of mashed cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes.  In developing this recipe, I discovered that a mix of cauliflower and white turnip makes for a very realistic mashed potato taste and texture, much more so than the mashed cauliflower by itself.  It’s almost good enough that I don’t miss mashed potatoes at all.  Or at least that’s what I tell myself…

Kale vs Cabbage


Ask any real Irishman, and he’ll tell you that colcannon is made with curled kale, not this cabbage business that North American’s have come up with.  I think the shift happened in large part due to availability.  Until recently, kale just wasn’t very available on this side of the Atlantic and cabbage could be found in abundance.  In Ireland, however, kale was quite plentiful in the fall, which is part of the reason this dish became associated with Hallowe’en.  Now that every supermarket stocks this amazing superfood, I can get back to making colcannon the way it was intended…with kale!


Leafy greens are a very important part of a healing, nutrient dense diet.  Of the leafy greens, kale is king.  Kale is rich in a whole host of micronutrients, many of which I have a hard time getting my daily dose of.  Think B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, among others!  The more greens in your diet, the better.   I don’t know about you, but there is only so much salad I can eat in a day!  This recipe is a great way to get in some extra kale and reap the nutritional benefits (not to mention it’s super tasty, too)!

Oh, and it has bacon.  Who doesn’t love bacon?!  And bacon and kale together?  Delish!!



Creamy Colcannon

Category: side dish

Cuisine: Irish

Yield: 4-6

Creamy Colcannon


  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 white turnip, chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 cup coconut milk or raw cream/milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
  • pinch of garlic powder (optional - I prefer it without, but Scott likes it)
  • 4-6 tablespoons bacon fat, coconut oil, or high-heat oil of choice
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch curled kale, chopped
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and chopped (eliminate for vegan)


  1. Steam cauliflower and turnip until soft and puree in food processor.  Gradually add coconut milk until the mash reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Add salt, mace, and garlic (if using) and give the processor one last whirl to mix them in. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl.
  2. Sauté onion in bacon fat until translucent.  Add chopped kale to the pan and sauté until just starting to go limp.  This won't take very long, so be careful.  Add to cauliflower mash and stir to combine. Transfer to serving dish.
  3. Serve piping hot, perhaps with some Irish Stew and Cinnamon Raisin Soda Bread!


I leave you with my Irish grandmother’s blessing, the one she shared with me when I moved west:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

This recipe has been shared on Real Food Recipe Roundup, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Mouthwatering MondayFat Tuesday, Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdayTasty TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Phoenix Helix AIP Recipe Roundtable, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, The Wednesday Roundup, Full Plate ThursdayCorn Free Everyday, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Friday DIY, Foodie Friends Friday, Foodie Friday and Everything Else, and Weekend Potluck!

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