Supersized nutrition in a nibble
Heeey! I’m having a hard time feeding solids to my little one. He’s not really picky with anything he noshes until he caught flu and developed oral thrush and had to go on a soft diet. Now, he will only eat his meal if it has soup or if it is super crunchy!
I sought advice from my sister, who’s now officially a Doctor! (Yaaaaay so proud of you Mohanna) She said I should offer something he can’t resist to jumpstart (again) his cravings for solids.
Then I remembered I still have zucchini in the pantry so, CHALLENGE accepted.
If you’re a conscious eater, chances are, Zucchini is no stranger to you. But just a bit of a background, think of an eggplant and a cucumber having a baby … Well that’s the easiest way to describe it.
Aside from the rich nutrition profile under its belt, Zucchini’s versatility in the dining scene is another reason to include it on every supermarket trip. I mean, you can make pasta, fries, veggie tempura, bread, muffin, cupcakes and the list goes on!
Since we’re dealing with Atlas’ appetite, I thought of smart ways to turn it to toddler food (read: yummy, healthy, soupy or crunchy) hence, the NUGGETS.
The recipe is originally from Life Made Sweeter but we’re bringing the nutrition game up a notch by
adding more veggies like carrots and potatoes
more Vitamin A, potassium, antioxidants from sweet potatoes, anti-inflammatory properties from Zucchini, making this tiny tots BIG in nutrition
saute-ing the veggies
My mama Rosie, a superb cook taught me this (not-so) kitchen secret! Apparently this method magically makes every meal more flavorful!
switching almond meal/flour to oats flour
Although both are darling to health conscious bakers (because – good source of protein, fiber, iron and so much good stuff), I read about the 5 Reasons to Avoid Almond Flour. With that said, it’s better to stick to the safer one, right?
using HIMALAYAN pink salt for the spice — my current obsession
“..over 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, so it does more than just make your food taste better” — Pink Himalayan is without a doubt Superior to Table Salt.With all its nutritional and therapeutic uses under its belt, why would we settle for anything less?
and, the star of the Nuggets, Nutritional Yeast
Which I know kinda sounds scary but the nutrition profile is a hero! Aside from adding a cheesy flavor it provides complete protein and vitamins (B-complex vitamins, folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and zinc).
NOW, HOW SUPER CAN YOUR NUGGETS GET?
1 Medium Zucchini
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 Medium carrot, diced
1 Medium Potato, diced
1/2 teaspoon fine Himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 -1 teaspoon Carmencita Barbecue Spice
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 cup oats (Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats milled to flour consistency)
(adapted from Life Made Sweeter)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the whole sweet potato and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until you can pierce it easily with a fork.
Grate the zucchini but leave at least 1/4 to dice with carrots and potatoes.
Saute the diced veggies, set aside to cool.
Drain and use the fork to mash the sweet potato while still warm.
Mix the grated zucchini with the sauted veggies and mashed sweet potato. Add nutritional yeast, himalayan pink salt, black pepper and Barbecue spice, until combined.
Add oat flour, 1/4 cup at a time, using your hands to press until you can easily form a firm cylinder tot shape without it falling apart. Add more flour as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Form the mixture into small cylinders with your fingers, making them about an inch and a half long. Set them on a lined baking sheet in rows so that they are not touching each other.
Bake for 15 minutes. Then, flip them over. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes. Turn oven to broil for about 1-2 minutes, watching carefully until the tots are lightly browned.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy immediately.