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What’s a Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes? What’s dinner period without mashed potatoes??? I kind of like mashed potatoes! Can you tell?

The great things about mashed potatoes are they’re easy to make, most people love them, and you can get creative with them. You can even keep them pretty healthy and low-fat.

As I mentioned in one of my first Thanksgiving tip posts, I like that you can peel the potatoes the day before and get them soaking in water, so you don’t have much to do on Thanksgiving Day. You can even take it a step further and completely make your mashed potatoes and then warm them up in your slow cooker the day of the holiday.

My Basic Mashed Potato Recipe

4-5 russet potatoes, peeled, washed and cut in half

1 cup fat free sour cream

¾ cup fat free milk

2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped (or you can substitute garlic powder)

Salt and pepper to taste

In a size appropriate pot, cover potatoes with water and add about a teaspoon or two of salt. Bring to a boil and boil for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Turn burner down to medium low. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add sour cream, milk, garlic, salt and pepper and stir. Enjoy!

Options – Here’s where you get to play:

• Instead of all Russet potatoes, use half or more of sweet potatoes.

• In addition to your potatoes, boil, mash and mix some carrots with your potatoes. These turn your potatoes a beautiful orange color that is very Thanksgiving appropriate. It sneaks some veggies in too!

• Sliced chives or green onions can be a nice addition that add both flavor and color.

• Of course, you can add butter! It’s delicious, but it does bump up your fat and calories. I choose to make butter available at the table and let people make their own choice about that.

What are your creative mashed potato innovations?