Broccoli tots (with cheddar) via www.clairekcreations.com

Happy cheese week! Ok so it’s not officially cheese week but I have declared it so over on Facebook. I’ve been sharing all my favourite cheese recipes like carrot, corn and cheddar muffins, cheddar and poppy seed crackers and homemade ricotta.

Cheese is definitely one of my favourite foods and ingredients.

I missed Brie more than anything when I was pregnant with both boys and it was the one thing I asked to be brought up to me in hospital.

Just between you and me I (too) often find myself eating brie and crackers for lunch. Oops.

Broccoli tots (with cheddar) via www.clairekcreations.com

But it’s not just brie, I love all cheese except for maybe the really really stinky ones but let’s be honest, I’d probably still eat them too.

Today it’s about good old cheddar. That and attempting to get Ollie to eat more vegetables.

I made cauliflower tots a while back and loved them (Ollie sadly did not) so when I ordered a few too many heads of broccoli last week, I thought I’d have a go at the broc version.

One word – delicious. I loved these. They don’t taste all that much like broccoli, just baked little bites of deliciousness.

Ollie tried them which is all I ever ask of him with new foods and he did go back for a few more bites which I count as a win.

They’re really easy to make and pretty healthy too. I’ve been eating them for lunch all week with leftover meatballs I made from excess mixture from Monday night’s mince wellington.

Broccoli tots (with cheddar) via www.clairekcreations.com

A few tips:

  • You can use a food processor to chop the broccoli but you do run the risk of turning it into baby food. I chose not to waste two cups of broccoli and cut it all by hand in just a couple of minutes.
  • If you don’t have panko crumbs, I’m sure they would be just fine with all regular bread crumbs or even finely-crushed cornflakes for a gluten-free version.
  • I found it easier to get my hands in there and squelch all the ingredients together rather than using a spoon. If you don’t like the feel then use some gloves.
  • You can also press the mixture into a greased mini muffin tin if you don’t want to roll it into balls.
  • These taste just as good reheated the next day. I tried them in the oven and microwave and both were really good. I’d say they’d freeze pretty well too.
  • Cheese tip – I always buy a big block of cheddar and grate it myself. It’s so much less expensive than buying it pre-grated and because you can grate it much more finely than store-bought it lasts longer too.

Enjoy!

So what about you? What’s your favourite type of cheese?

More cauliflower recipes for kids here.

Broccoli tots (with cheddar) via www.clairekcreations.com
Broccoli tots (with cheddar)

Broccoli tots (with cheddar)

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw or frozen broccoli
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • ¼ cup finely chopped brown onion
  • ⅓ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp parsley (or coriander, rosemary or thyme) dried or fresh
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175C / 347F fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper or grease it.
  2. Boil the kettle.
  3. Pop the broccoli in a large saucepan on the stove and pour the boiled water over the top then immediately turn on the stove.
  4. Boil it up for 1 minute then drain the water, fill the pot with ice, stir the broccoli around and then pour it all out into a strainer. You are doing this to stop the broccoli cooking any further so you don’t want it to be even a little bit warm. If it still is, run under cold water.
  5. Chop the broccoli as finely as you can.
  6. Place the chopped broccoli, egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper into a bowl then mix all the ingredients together.
  7. Using about a tablespoon of mixture at a time, shape it into little cylinders then place on the lined/greased tray.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes then turn them all over and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. The original recipe serves these with sauce but I liked them just on their own.