Healthy Baked Veggie Tots, a fantastic snack or appetizer that even veggie haters will love. Nutritious, delicious, great any time of the day. Particularly nice as a finger food for babies and toddlers.
Fresh veggies are the best
I don’t think I’ve ever been fussed about spinach, I’m pretty sure I used to eat it even as a child. Mum was making us a delicious spinach dip that we had with fresh bread. There was plenty of spinach and other greens in the garden, so eating vegetables seemed natural to me.
The local market would sell really good fresh vegetables at super low prices, which meant that mum could stock up the freezer with loads of vegetables for the winter. Back then it was common to eat different fruit and vegetables only when they were in season. Once the season was over, that’s it, there was no more of the fresh ones until the following year.
Exotic fruit or vegetables were out of question, we were familiar only with the local produce, and Brussels sprouts were not local produce for us. Which meant they were pretty new to me before coming to the UK. I can’t say I liked them straight away, but now I’m happy to cook Brussels sprouts.
How to make healthy veggie tots for kids
They might be the two vegetables that people love to hate, but spinach and Brussels sprouts make one healthy combo. They have countless vitamins and minerals, they are high in protein, and don’t taste that bad at all. I honestly could eat every day without complaining.
Especially if you mix them with a bit of cheese, they really are great. Mozzarella works better in this recipe, as it keeps the bites soft and moist while being baked. When cheese is not added, I tend to fry patties/bites, because I find that they dry out no matter what.
Another thing that helps is spraying they with cooking spray before popping them in the oven, they came out perfectly moist. There was no need to coat these veggie tots at all with flour to become slightly golden, although I would have used some had I decided to fry them instead.
FINGER FOOD FOR BABY-LED WEANING
You can call them spinach tots too, or spinach fingers. I chose this shape rather than patty one so that my baby could hold them better and feed herself, she’s brilliant with food.
Not the toddler though, oh no. She didn’t even touch them, she felt offended that I even dared to offer her something like that. Silly mummy to think she would give them a go. More for the baby!
They might be only one and a half year apart, but they are so different. Little one would gladly eat whatever she is offered, she loves cooked food. I so hope the will be that good later on too. And I’m secretly hoping that the older one will become less fussy in time. One can only hope, hey!
When I cook for the baby I don’t add salt at all, and to be honest I don’t think these bites need any. But if you’d rather add some, a quarter of a teaspoon should be more than enough, don’t forget that naturally occurring salt would be found in veggies too. So, how’s in for some yummy bites?
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Healthy Baked Veggie Tots, a fantastic snack or appetizer that even veggie haters will love. Nutritious, delicious, great any time of the day. Particularly nice as a finger food for babies and toddlers, these tots will go down a treat with all the kids no matter the age. They are jam-packed with delicious veggies and cheese - what a delicious combo. A great idea for a picnic or back to school recipe too.
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts
- 1 cup spinach, frozen
- 1 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste (If made for babies, salt to be omitted)
Boil the Brussels sprouts in a pan of salted water for 15 minutes until really tender.
Drain the water, and chop the sprouts really finely.
In a separate pan, boil the spinach for about 5 minutes, transfer to a colander, and use the back on a spoon to squeeze out the excess water.
Chop the spinach finely, and mix with the Brussels sprouts, mozzarella, egg, breadcrumbs and spring onions.
Season to taste and shape 15 tots.
Arrange them on a bake tray lined with non stick parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
Spray the bites with cooking spray, then bake the bites in the oven for 30 minutes until lightly golden.