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This low carb recipe idea was born when I was eating a bowl of the Cheesy Cauliflower Puree from last week and I had some leftovers. Since the cauliflower was so like potatoes in texture, I thought it might work the same way as potatoes in other low carb cauliflower recipes. So I decided to try and make low carb & gluten free “tater” tots out of them.
Well my first attempt was a disaster! I heated some oil in a pan and piped the cauliflower puree out of a pastry bag – but within a few seconds they disintegrated into the oil. Right away it was clear that frying them this way wouldn’t work.
I mulled it over the rest of the day, and the next day I had a brainstorm.I cooked a new batch of cauliflower but for half as long as I do for the puree. I then ran them through my magic bullet with some cream, butter and cheese but only on pulse until I had a partly chunky consistency. Then I whipped a few egg whites and folded the cauliflower mixture into it to give it some body. I put that mixture into a pastry bag and piped it into one inch lengths onto a greased cookie sheet. This time I baked them for about 10 minutes to dry them out and firm them up -THEN I pan fried them!
It worked! You can skip the frying because they are good right out of the oven, but the frying definitely adds a more authentic feel to them.
Now a brief disclaimer. If you eat one of these low carb cauliflower tots, and then a real tater tot or hash brown, it’s going to be different. You can’t get quite that same crunch as a potato out of it–though they are crunchy to a degree. If you are someone who has decided to eliminate potatoes and other starches from your diet though and you miss eating french fries, tater tots, or anything with a crispy fried coating, then these cauliflower tots are going to taste like heaven to you! They did to me and I’d only been eating low carb for a week! Even my four year old ate some, and he’s very picky.
Great as a low carb side dish for dinner, they also work well with breakfast. Try them alongside these other low carb favorites: Cream Cheese Pancakes, Spinach, Goat Cheese & Chorizo Omelette, or Eggs in a Cloud.
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ⅓ cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 4 egg whites
- salt & pepper to taste
- oil for frying
- Clean and trim the cauliflower, adding the florets to a microwave safe bowl. Add the cream and butter to the bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower and cheese to a magic bullet or food processor and blend until still chunky - kind of like a cooked oatmeal consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
- Chill for at least half an hour.
- Whip the egg whites to a stiff peak. Fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the cauliflower mixture to lighten it up. Then fold the cauliflower mixture into the rest of the egg whites and gently mix until combined.
- For best results, chill for another half hour or they won't hold their shape as well.
- Fit a pastry bag with a round or star tube with about a ¾ inch opening. Spray the inside of the bag with nonstick spray. Gently squeeze out 1 inch sections onto a greased cookie sheet, cutting with a butter knife as you go.
- When finished, bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes (or longer if you're skipping the frying) until puffed and slightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and serve - or heat ¼ inch of oil in a saute pan and when it's very hot add the tots. It doesn't need long, a minute per side to turn them golden brown and crispy.
- Serve immediately.
Regarding nutrition info on these, I will give you the info per batch of tot mix but depending on how large you make them, etc, I have no idea what the breakdown would be per tot. Also, I don't know how many calories would be added by frying them after baking since it's hard to quantify how much oil would be absorbed. To lower the calories, use half and half instead of heavy cream, and substitute a lowfat cheddar.
Download your copy of The Gluten Free Low Carber Cookbook today, to get the recipe for version 2.0 of these cauliflower tots! The flavor and texture are better, they are easier to make, and they are baked in the oven, no frying necessary to get this beautiful crispy exterior! You guys are going to love these!
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