This is the best year yet for yellow squash and zucchini in our garden, so I have been working on a LOT of recipes using them, especially those that are low carb and keto. I’ve been looking for a substitute for fries or Tator-tots to serve with burgers and hotdogs, and this is one is it! These flavorful little nuggets make a great side dish but are ideal for a snack too, and will hold up well in the fridge for a day or two.
The recipe is super simple, but there is an important must-not-skip-step. I used my food processor to shred my zucchini (in seconds by the way). As long as I had it set up, I went ahead and shredded several larger zucchinis and then packed the extra in freezer bags in 2 cup increments for later use. FYI: for larger zucchinis, split them lengthwise, and then scrape the seeds out with a spoon. No need to peel.
With the 2 cups for this recipe, I spread it out in a medium bowl, then sprinkled with about 1 teaspoon of salt, stirred it around, and then let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes. Every few minutes, I’d give it a quick press with the back of the spoon and stir again. When I was ready to proceed, I scraped it all together into a ball and placed it in the center of a clean cloth, gathered up the corners and squeezed to get most of the liquid out.
Long ago, I had picked up a package of white men’s cotton handkerchief from Walmart to use for straining in the kitchen. I use them for straining and filtering vegetables, berries, yogurt and homemade cheese and homemade wine. Well worth the few bucks for a package of three.
Zucchini Nugget Bites
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium or 1 extra-large)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (or 1 teaspoon paprika)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray (or 24-cup mini-muffin pan).
- In a medium-sized bowl, toss shredded zucchini with the salt. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible, draining the juice. (I use a white handkerchief to put the zucchini shreds in, twist the corners together and squeeze tightly multiple times until very little liquid is left)
- Slowly stir the coconut flour into the zucchini and stir well to coat the shreds.
- Add the eggs, cheddar cheese, chopped onion and seasoning (Italian Seasoning or Paprika), stirring until evenly mixed. Note: if it doesn’t feel dry enough, I’ll add a spoonful of almond flour.
- Put 1 heaping tablespoon of the zucchini mix onto the lightly greased baking sheet (or into each muffin cup).
- Bake for 15 -17 minutes, or until golden brown. (If using a mini muffin pan, with a butter knife, immediately circle around each tot to loosen. Let cool for a few minutes to set and then remove them from the pan)