Let's get the most important bit of this recipe out of the way first – there is no potato in this veggie tater tot recipe. Why? Because why put extra effort into making food for kids that are easy sells? Was there ever a kid that you couldn't pry a potato into? That's like making fancy noodles and cheese. No need to give it time when it's a sure thing.
In feeding my two-year-old, the extra effort goes into making things that are stuffed full of the foods that are trickier to get him to eat – things like zucchini and mushrooms. I won big with Finley when I swapped out the cauliflower in my Clean and Simple Butter Chicken for eggplant, mushrooms and sweet potato. I did this only because these were the veggies I had. He devoured it.
In my podcast episode on How To Raise Adventurous Eaters, Josh and I talked about the importance of having a sure-win meal option on hand. This is something to keep in your back pocket (or the fridge, as the case may be) if your planned meal goes untouched because your child genuinely does not like it. There is a fine line, one that usually a primary caregiver needs to tune into, between a child testing the boundaries and becoming selectively selective to see what they can swing, and just not liking something.
If Finley gives a fair taste of something and is clearly hungry but doesn't like the offering after at least trying it a few times, I pull out these veggie tots. I always have these on hand. If I'm pressed for time, I make them as small little veggie burgers (yes, a veggie burger containing vegetables, not what Beyond Meat calls a plant-based burger). When I have more time, I roll them into little tater tot sizes and give him a sauce or a dressing to dip into.
I love this veggie tater tot recipe because it's simple. It includes more vegetables than flour, is extremely flavourful and the tots freeze well. I make a whole batch or two, allow them to cool and freeze so it's easily on hand for a quick and healthy meal. I'll pull them out to go along with some sauerkraut, sliced cucumber and tahini sauce if I have nothing fresh ready to go. If I am trying a brand new meal that I'm not sure Finley will love, they become a back-up option, without compromising on nutrients.
- 1 cup cassava or oat flour
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 3 Tbsp ground psyllium
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup ghee or coconut oil
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup grated carrot*
- ½ red pepper, chopped*
- 1 cup grated zucchini*
- ⅓ cup minced onion*
- ½ cup chopped mushrooms*
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, psyllium, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
- Cut in ghee with a fork until completely mixed.
- Add warm water and cider vinegar and mix thoroughly.
- Add vegetables and fold in until fully integrated.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, roll out 24-36 little balls of batter (about 2 Tbsp per ball).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden and slightly firm when you give them a squeeze. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
If you don't want to spend the time to make them tot size, use about ¼ cup of the batter and make them into veggie patties. Bake for 25-minutes.
A simple dipping sauce can be made by combining tahini, flax oil and a pinch of salt or a little squeeze of lemon. "More dip" is a popular phrase at mealtime!
Other Dipping Options