Cauliflower Fake Out! {with Speech Snacks for /f/}


This Thanksgiving we celebrated with all the traditional favorites—turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes—but when the company goes home and I am cooking for just my family, I opt for the healthier version of the foods we splurge on during the holidays.  I could have made this side dish on Thanksgiving using cauliflower and no one would have been the wiser!!  Not only do Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes look like the real deal, then definitely taste like it too.  Add a little gravy over the top and you are eating a low carb, highly nutritious version of a comfort food that is getting a healthy make over.  Try making it for your family the next time you have a “mashed potato and gravy” craving and watch them devour a veggie that they might have never tried otherwise!!


  • The name cauliflower means “cabbage flower”.
  • Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family. The cabbage family also includes cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and bok choy.
    The vegetables in the cabbage family are called cruciferous vegetables.
  • Cruciferous vegetables contain important substances that may reduce your risk of some types of cancer.
  • Almost all cauliflower grown in the United States comes from the Salinas Valley in California.  The Salinas Valley has the perfect climate for growing vegetables.
  • Cauliflower is available year-round, but is especially plentiful in the spring and fall.



1 head cauliflower

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3-4 tablespoons whipped cream cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Look for firm cauliflower, white with no black spots.









Break off the florets from the head of the cauliflower and add all pieces to a large pot. Fill the pot about half way with water and boil until tender—until you can easily put a fork through the florets. Drain well to remove all excess water–this will prevent “watery” mashed potatoes.











Add cooked florets to a food processor along with 2 Tbsp butter and 3-4 large spoonfuls of whipped cream cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.










Blend all ingredients in a food processors until smooth and creamy in texture and consistency.










You can make variations of this recipe and include cloves of roasted garlic, grated pecorino romano cheese, other herbs and seasonings in the food processor while blending.










Top with a ladle-ful of brown gravy and enjoy an amazingly healthy and delicious side dish that tastes just as good as “the real deal” anytime!

















Speech Snacks for /f/:

The /f/ sound is a very visual sound, which makes it easy for you to model for your kids, and even easier for you to see if they are producing it correctly!
Cue your child to “Place your top teeth on your bottom lip and blow out air.” This sound is typically produced between ages 3 1/2 -4 years according to most developmental charts.

Place your hand in front of your child’s face to feel the airflow. Have them do the same by placing their own hand in front of their mouth/face. Also–practice the proper placement in front of a mirror with your child for visual reinforcement.

Another way to cue proper placement involves placing a dab of peanut or almond butter, cake frosting, marshmallow fluff (or some other favorite that will adhere) to the spot between the lower lip and chin. Ask your child to try and reach for it with his upper teeth and scrape it off (or essentially pull it into the mouth with the upper teeth) . This exercise will help reinforce the correct position that you are attempting to stabilize.

  • In the therapy setting, I practice this sound in isolation first, then move on to syllables (fa, fe, fi, fo, foo/afa, efe, ifi, ofof, oofoo/af,ef, if, of, oof ), words and sentences
  • I like to teach the kids a little rhyme: “Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum, Here are four fingers and a thumb”  I will hold up each finger as I say this and then the thumb lastly.
  • I also like to practice counting objects up to five when they are ready to work on the /f/ at the word level, emphasizing four and five.
  •  We have fun taking turns making ”funny faces”.
  •  I will take out my box of craft feathers and we name the colors of the feathers (brown feather, pink feather, blue feather), count the feathers and glue feathers on a hand-traced turkey.
  • For this recipe, reinforce the following words while you cook together: florets, fresh, food processor, fake-out, cauliflower, fork, firm, spoonfuls, fluffy, first, after, cruciferous(now there’s a million dollar challenge word for your kiddos!)
  • Show your child the before and after photos of the cauliflower–you may want to do this after you have “tricked” them into trying it first if you think they won’t eat it knowing it’s  cauliflower!
  • Print out and cut out the photos above and use them to sequence the steps in this simple recipe.
  • Talk about your favorite foods using the carrier phrase: “My favorite food is….” to work on /f/ at the sentence level.  
  • Think of as many foods as you can that start with the /f/ sound.
  • Use the /f/ in more sentences.  Talk about things that they think are “fun” and “not fun” to do and use those words in sentences:  i.e. “Cooking is fun”  “Cleaning up is not fun”

See the recipe for “Fantastic Fig Bars” for more practice on the /f/ sound .  (Also includes a book list of /f/ sound stories for auditory bombardment.)

Check out this children’s book to read about Cauliflower:

The Trouble with Cauliflower by Jane Sutton    

The protagonist of “The Trouble with Cauliflower,” a cuddly koala named Mortimer, believes that eating cauliflower will cause him to have bad luck the next day. His best friend, Sadie, tries to prove him wrong.  



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One comment on “Cauliflower Fake Out! {with Speech Snacks for /f/}

  1. Marlana on said:

    We made the cauliflower receipe tonight w/ some steak!! The lesson was great!! We enjoyed singing, “Cooking is fun” along with using all of the exercises for “F” w/ the other posted activities for this cooking lesson. My son had fun helping & adding the cream cheese, butter, and gravy was a great change to how I usually make this “fake out” receipe. Thanks again Rose Ann! Looking forward to some squah later this week!

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