Broccoli Tots a much better way to get your Tater Tots fix, with more healthily ingredients and good way to sneak in some healthy vegetables and cheese. Totally love tater tots, growing up on these tasty treats in 60’s and 70’s, eating them by handfuls. Only problem is gaining weight especially now that I am over 60 years old, and child at heart. But my waist expanding, and pants size changing, my belt doesn’t fit, and ran out of notches. It’s now time to find an alternate fix to my Tater Tot craving.
Broccoli is great vegetable to use, and marries very well with cheese, it’s very nutritious too. So how do I go about getting these Tots to work? Broccoli is going to be the main ingredient, so what is going to be the binder? Bread crumbs is one of better binders along with eggs. But you have to be careful not to put too many eggs and too much bread crumbs, which defeat the whole purpose of reducing calories and but still making them tasty too. Of course cheese could be used also as another binder and add good flavor too. By adding a little crisp bacon would but it over the top. With out the bacon would take away all the good flavors and leave a bland uneatable Broccoli Tots, which would be a total bummer. So how do you get them into a Tot form efficiently? I am thinking using the gnocchi techniques in forming them into long rope then cutting them into Tot size shapes about 1″ long and 3/4″ wide.
Now that we figured out how to shape them will they become nice and crunchy on out side like a good Tot should be? I am thinking breading them with a light coat of panko bread crumbs. Then Air Fry them with just a few spritz of vegetable spray in 350°F setting, this should take about 8 minutes in good Air Fryer. Then dipping them into Spicy Sriracha Ranch Dressing.
These are going to be so good and my tummy might even get thinner, well hopefully so.
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Broccoli Tots a much better way to get your Tater Tots fix, with more healthily ingredients and good way to sneak in some healthy vegetables and cheese.
Thaw broccoli cuts and drain any excess liquid off cuts. Place in food processor with blade attachment. Pulse until chopped into 1/4 to 1/8th inch size pieces. Be sure to scrap sides of processor down with spatula as you pulse broccoli cuts.
Process the velveeta cheese, american cheese singles skim milk, hot pepper seasoning, and low fat cream cheese in food processor with blade attachment until smooth paste formed. Be sure to scrap bowl down as process cheese mixture.
Add egg to seasoned cheese mixture and process until smooth, scrap down sides with spatula. Then add panko bread crumbs and process until well combined.
In large skillet fry bacon until crisp, turning bacon strips as needed. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towel, absorb bacon fat. Chop crisp bacon fine with chef knife.
Add the finely chopped bacon to cheese mixture and process until combined well, scrap sides down with spatula. Finally add the chopped broccoli to cheese mixture and pulse this mixture until broccoli is mixed in well, do not over process. This is broccoli tot mixture.
Divide the broccoli mixture into two portions, place on 24" strip of plastic wrap in even line of mixture. Roll plastic wrap over broccoli mixture to make broccoli roll. Then wrap in sheet of foil twisting ends well to form a perfect even roll of broccoli mixture. Place in freezer until semi frozen about 1 to 2 hours. Before cutting into broccoli tots.
After the broccoli tot roll is semi-frozen, remove the foil and plastic wrap then cut broccoli tot roll into bit size portions about 3/4" wide. Arrange on sheet tray lined with plastic wrap and freeze solid, for about 1 to 2 hours.
Mean while set up breading station. The far right bowl should have season flour mixture containing the following, flour, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, pepper and salt combined. The middle bowl should have egg and 2 tbsp milk combined. The far left bowl should have panko bread crumbs. Using your right hand to dredge broccoli tot with season flour then place dredge tot into egg wash. With left hand coat tot well with egg wash then place into panko breading. With right hand coat with panko bread to completely cover tot. Place on sheet tray lined with plastic wrap. Freeze again until solid about 1 hour.
Remove tray of frozen broccoli tots, take amount of tots you like to Air-fry and spray them with some vegetable oil like canola oil. Place them onto Air-fryer basket and set time to 8 minutes and temperature to 350°F.
When the broccoli tots are about to half way time point pull basket out of Air-fryer and turn broccoli tots, I used tongs carefully not to scratch non-stick coating then place back into Air-fryer and cook until timer goes off.
When Air-fryer timer goes off remove basket and use tongs to plate Broccoli tots. They should be crisp on outside and moist and cheesy on inside. Serve with Sriracha Ranch Dressing to add some extra kick. Mix greek yogurt, low fat mayonnaise, Hidden Valley Ranch Mix and Sriracha Sauce. They go so good together it will put smile on your face.
Plate broccoli tots with smear of Sriracha Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and favorite sandwich like BBQ Pulled Pork on bun.
Retired Chef Instructor teaching 32 years of culinary arts. Blogging on creative foods by Chef Dave, featuring hot and spicy, chocolate, baking and Weight Watcher Smart Point friendly foods. Vegetable gardening, photography, and creative cooking is my passion.