Cooking for a family, while making family time

Veggie Nuggets

Veggie Nuggets

I am always looking for new and creative ways to get more vegetables into my kids. Nuggets seem to be a food group all their own for children, whether frozen, homemade or from a drive through, they just love them. This idea came to me after many failed attempts to get veggies into my youngest. Turns out my older 2 and husband like them as well. They freeze beautifully and reheat even faster than traditional frozen chicken nuggets.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup carrot
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup flax seed

Vegetable oil for frying

Makes 18-20 nuggets

Additional equipment needed:
A food processor

Method:

I like to process everything in stages, however, if you’ve got a really great high powered food processor you can just pulse everything at once and be done. Peel and give your carrots a rough dice. Then toss them into the food processor and pulse 5 times. Do the same thing again adding in your broccoli to the carrots this time. Once your veggies are all finely minced, dump in the rest of the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined. Next, heat about a 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. To form your nuggets scoop out about a tablespoon or so of your nugget mixture and press firmly to get the desired shape. Place into the hot oil and sear on each side 2-3 minutes. Lay your nuggets on a paper towel lined baking sheet and top with an additional sprinkle of salt while still hot. Either eat immediately or flash freeze in the freezer. Once frozen move to a freezer safe zip top bag and keep up to 3 months.

If freezing, to reheat, place veggie nuggets onto a baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.

Texture-wise these are going to be softer than chicken nuggets. When forming the nuggets you’ll notice it’s a wet batter consistency, don’t be afraid to add pressure to really form them together. If you plan to eat the nuggets right away you can sear them an additional minute or 2 longer on each side to get a firmer crust. You’ll also achieve this firmer crust naturally when reheating them from frozen in the oven. So if you plan to eat half the batch and freeze the rest, you can adjust the time to your liking. My tip for this one is if you’re in a weeknight dinner hurry and not in the mood for a veggie battle, heat these up with frozen chicken nuggets. Then dinner can just be a nugget free for all.

UPDATED: I’m happy to report that if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to pan frying these in oil they bake beautifully in the oven as well. Follow all of the directions above to make your nuggets but instead of frying them, place them on a baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake the veggie nuggets for 8-10 minutes per side. For a total baking time of 16-20 minutes. By flipping them halfway through you’re still getting a very nice sear on each side. Then feel free to go ahead and eat them or freeze a batch as stated above. The reheating directions would stay the same. Pictured below is the batch I made in the oven.
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