Per request, I am including a recipe for these broccoli balls I've been making for the kids. I love hearing that you guys actually make the things in this series and find it helpful. I know this kind of stuff is for a niche handful of you, but I get a lot of messages for these posts so I hope it's a another tool for getting a few more servings of vegetables into your kids. I think I've mentioned before that neither of my kids are ones to go after a crudite platter, so I have to get creative. Veggie burgers and balls and vegetables packed into frittatas or smoothies are my best bet. Cleo (1) can't use a utensil and Curran (almost 3) prefers not to anyway, so anything I can make hand-held is best for everyone. These nuggets have become my answer to breakfast, lunch, dinner, or in a rush because they have protein, fat, veggies, carbs. Think frittata with extra broccoli. They can be whatever you need them to be. Even if you don't have kids, I still think these are an awesome.
Broccoli Balls // Makes 20
These are pretty flexible and you can make modifications based on any allergies. Can't have eggs? Add in a small mashed sweet potato and double the panko. No gluten? Sub in some coarse ground oats but you'll need that cheese and egg to help bind them. No dairy? Add a drizzle of olive oil, and grind in a handful of walnuts when you pulse the broccoli so they have some fat in there. They can take a bit of cooked quinoa or rice if you're looking to bulk them up too.
3 crowns of broccoli (a generous 1 lb. of florets)
2 cloves garlic
sea salt and pepper
1 cup grated cheese (mexican blend, white cheddar, fontina etc.)
2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Cut up the broccoli into large chunks, some stem is ok, and steam it for 2-3 minutes. It should start to turn bright green but still have it's crunch. Let it cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray or rub a little olive or coconut oil.
Into a food processor, whiz up the garlic and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Add the cooled broccoli and pulse until it's in rice like pieces. Not pureed, but something small enough to roll into balls.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together. Add the broccoli bits, grated cheese, parmesan and panko and stir to combine. It should loosely stick together. Add a sprinkle of panko if they need more "glue".
Roll balls with a scant 2 Tbsp. of the mixture. Place them on the lined baking sheet and bake them for 10-12 minutes in the upper third of the oven. They should still be slightly tender when you pull them out.
Like any reasonable mother would do, I give them to my kids with ketchup because it's a novelty but they really don't need anything.