Healthy Tots

For the past week I have been in utter Autumn denial, but I’m starting to see things the other way. I have to admit that I do love that slight chill in the air, a nice pair of fall boots, and last but not least: fall food trends.

Fall has a distinct palette, doesn’t it? Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, squashes, sweet potatoes, pecans. But the best of them all for me has got to be the most classic: pumpkin.

But just when you think you know pumpkin well, you’re about to be thrown for a loop! Because guess who has a starring role in these Healthy Tots? That’s right! High in fibre and vitamin A, it’s literally the glue that holds these tots together.

Not to be overshadowed, cauliflower also makes an appearance. Cauliflower brings a satisfying texture to these tasty bites, as well as vitamin B6, folate, and more fibre.

To be fair to the cauliflower, that’s the ingredient I thought of first when I considered how to make a “healthified” tot. I knew that cauliflower would be great from a textural standpoint, but I also felt like it wasn’t strong enough to hold this recipe alone. We needed something that was going to bring some substance to these, and also help them hold well – no one likes a crumbly tot.

I did considered going at this recipe with pumpkin alone, but these two main ingredients together are like chocolate and peanut butter – great on their own, but even better together.

This started as a cauli-tot recipe, but at the end of the day, these tots are actually a little more pumpkin-forward. They’re rich and dense, without being heavy and overwhelming.

This recipe is plant-based and gluten-free! Makes 12(ish) tots.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Riced Cauliflower *
  • 1 Cup Canned Pumpkin, Plain
  • 1/2 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Onion Powder
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Rice Flour
  • 3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the rice flour and extra virgin olive oil. Mix well to uniform consistency. From mixture, form 12 tots.

Add rice flour to a shallow bowl. Take each tot individually and coat all sides in rice flour. Add to a parchment lines pan. Drizzle with half the olive oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip and drizzle with the other 1.5 TBSP of olive oil.

After 30 minutes in the oven, Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes – these are going to be nuclear hot. After a few minutes. This is a good time to prep your sauce! I recommend serving with the obvious – ketchup. But this would also be good with a chipotle mayo or garlic aioli.

*You could cheat (like I did) and buy riced cauliflower pre-made at the store, which makes this recipe that much easier to put together. If you’re feeling ambitious, add your own cauliflower florets to a food processor until chunks are small and “riced”.

I originally made this recipe in a pan, and essentially fried these up on medium. While just as good (they turn out oh-so-crispy!), I love the ease of letting the oven do most the work. Plus, the pan fry requires more oil. Definitely try it though, if that’s the method you prefer! Cook on medium, 4ish minutes per side.

Don’t keep rice flour on hand? Rice flour is something I use a lot in my kitchen as we go gluten-free whenever possible! I like brown rice flour because it’s versatile and inexpensive. You could sub with a different kind of flour, but I haven’t tried any others. If you do, let me know how it goes!

This was one of those recipes that conceptually I was really excited about, but the finished product wowed me even more. I’m always conscious of keeping stable blood sugar levels – so I love that these are satisfying without putting me into a carb coma.

I know that when you get the chance to try these, you’ll be trippin’ too! Why settle for the packaged, frozen stuff when these are so easy to make and full of nutritional benefits?

Food rarely lasts in our house – we go through the good recipes made almost immediately. These are best served hot for sure. If you make extra – set aside before you cook them. They will keep in the fridge for 2 days, and you can cook them up when you want them.

Interested in a healthier tot? If you make these, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! I would love to know what you guys think – seriously! I love it when you guys try these recipes.

Hungry for more? You can check out more recipes here.

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