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I don’t have kids yet. However, I very much want them soon, and on some days I very much want to be one of them again. I loved kid food when I was a kid. Chicken nuggets, fruit snacks, and mac and cheese were most of my diet, and it showed as I got older and sicker. Though I’m not a parent myself, and can’t imagine how hard it must be to keep your kids away from these foods 100% of the time, I believe that there are was to make real food based kid friendly swaps to make everyone happy, including your inner child 😉 Because let’s be real, sometimes I really want to eat like a kid again! After some really long hard days, I’d rather just have comfort food than roasted veggies. So, I decided to marry real food with comfort food with these baked veggie nuggets that are paleo, gluten free, grain free, dairy free and autoimmune paleo friendly!
Paleo Baked Veggie Nuggets
My favorite thing about these veggie nuggets is that they’re egg free! Not only do we all need egg free recipes on the AIP, but I know tons of kiddos who are egg free these days. It’s one of the most common allergies with little alternatives when we look at processed foods. When I was just gluten free and not AIP yet, almost every store-bought gluten free processed food had eggs in it. As I realized how much egg whites were harming my gut and my health, I needed alternatives fast. These nuggets have a gelatin egg in place of a real egg, and the tapioca starch also really helps bind them!
Aside from being egg free, they’re veggie packed with tons of veggies that I know I don’t always get every day! They feature…
- Green onion
When I was a kid, I wouldn’t come within 10 feet of zucchini. Even as an adult, it takes a lot of work to separately prep all of these veggies. So, I love that these nuggets are packed full of all of these nutrient dense veggies! It’s recommended that we consume 8-9 cups of veggies a day, and these nuggets have 2.5 cups in total! Not bad for a nugget, huh?
As for dipping, I ate these nuggets with an easy AIP guacamole, and couldn’t stop! However, they’d also taste amazing with a compliant ketchup or ranch dressing. I’m drooling just thinking of having these with either! My husband actually eats them with mustard. It sounded weird to me at first, but he swears by it! He says it makes it taste like a corndog 😛 Honestly, a bit of a stretch in my opinion, but it makes him eat more veggies!
Paleo Baked Veggie Nuggets (Gluten Free, Dairy Free & AIP)
- 1 cup zucchini (shredded and squeezed to remove excess liquid)
- 1 cup cauliflower, riced (squeeze to remove excess liquid)
- 1/2 carrots, shredded
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp finely sliced green onion
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the gelatin egg (or sub 1 regular egg):
- 1 tbsp gelatin ( like this )
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly grease a parchment lined baking sheet with coconut oil
- Add the shredded veggies, coconut flour, and tapioca starch to a mixing bowl and thoroughly combine
- Next, add in the coconut oil and seasonings, and combine
- For the gelatin egg, add the water to a small sauce pot and slowly pour over the gelatin
- Allow it to bloom over 2-3 minutes
- Place the pot on the stove and turn in on low heat
- Slowly melt the the gelatin (this will take just a few minutes) and remove from heat
- Vigorously whisk the gelatin egg until it becomes frothy
- Add the gelatin egg to the mixture immediately and combine
- Start forming patties and place them onto the baking sheet (you should have about a dozen)
- Bake for 25 minutes
- Very carefully flip them over and bake for another 5-10 minutes (depending on how crispy you like them)
- OPTIONAL: To crisp further, put until the broiler for 1-2 minutes
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool
- Serve with guacamole, compliant ranch dressing, compliant ketchup , or mustard (not AIP but very good combination)
Paleo Baked Veggie Nuggets (Gluten Free, Dairy Free & AIP)
They’re best fresh out the oven, and I don’t love putting them in the microwave. If you choose to reheat them, I recommend going for the broiler. It’ll help them crisp up without drying them out!
I hope you love these little nuggets just as much as my husband and I do! And that they make the less enthusiast veggie eaters in your family eat more veggies 😉
Are you a snack food fan? SAME. I’m not a football fan, but I am definitely a snack day fan. Super bowl Sunday is pretty synonymous with both, so it’s always a perfect time to pull out the game day snacks. All too often that can mean processed junk, soda, and delivery pizza, so I decided to turn game day snacking on it’s head with these squeaky clean Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers!
These chicken poppers are gluten free, paleo, AIP, and egg free, while still being delicious enough to fool anyone who regularly eats otherwise!
Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers Are the Healthy Comfort Food You’ve Been Looking For…
Let me tell you a little story… This is a story about a girl named, Lucky (Brittney, anyone 😉 ) who literally ate zero animal protein until she was about 20 that wasn’t in chicken nugget form. She was so unhealthy and out of touch with her bodies innate intelligence to eat real food that she would gag at any protein that wasn’t a nugget. She did not discriminate when it came to nuggets… dinosaur shaped, fast food, frozen, they were all gucci. Until she grew up, was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and leaky gut, and actually got a grip and realized that those nuggets were not the best choice. So… clearly I’m talking about myself here. Maybe dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets weren’t my friend then or now, but these chicken poppers are the real food, adult version of the chicken nuggets that I loved for years!
When I first made these and got a whiff of them cooking in the oven, it seriously smelled like any game day snack that you’d find in a sports bar or at any party. My mouth was water the second they came out of the oven! The smell, the texture, and the nostalgic feel that I was eating chicken nuggets makes these little dudes the perfect healthy comfort food.
Here’s why they’re good for you…
- They’re veggie packed with green onion and sweet potato which provide vitamins, nutrients, and flavor
- These guys feature coconut flour which is a grain free, healthy flour, and coconut oil which is an amazing healthy fat
- I suggest using pasture raised chicken (no, not just organic, pasture raised) as these chickens were raised humanely and ate a natural diet making the chicken packed with healthy protein and nutrients! Organic chicken was not necessarily fed a proper diet and can be harmful than good for you!
- They’re paleo and Whole 30 friendly, and even strict autoimmune protocol friendly for all of my fellow autoimmune healers out there!
Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers Are Perfect For…
Seriously, it makes these a great dish to bring along to your upcoming party, or super bowl Sunday gathering to ensure that you have something healthy to eat for yourself, while still having something delicious to share. Don’t be that guy that brings kale chips… be the guy that brings sweet potato chicken poppers 😉 These guys are perfect for…
- Party appetizers
- Super Bowl or game day snacks
- Finger food for picky eater kiddos
- Fun weeknight dinner
Plus, they are the perfect food for dipping! I may or may not have already nicknamed this “dippy chicken” (because I’m mature), but really… it’s the perfect size for finger food and tastes great dipped in a big bowl of AIP guacamole!
Feel free to use a different sauce that is compliant to you own needs, like maybe a clean buffalo sauce, or even a ranch dip. But rest assured that they go great with this guac!
I also have to shout out a similar recipe, chicken and zucchini poppers from One Lovely Life! These are another great option if you’re looking for something lower in starch.
Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers (Paleo & AIP)
- 1 lb ground chicken (uncooked, preferably pastured)
- 2 cups raw (not cooked) sweet potato, finely grated (I used a wide cheese grated like this or you can use your food processor)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tsp for greasing the baking sheet
- 2 tbsp coconut flour (I recommend this brand )
- 2-3 sprigs green onion, chopped fine
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Optional : 1 tsp paprika or chili powder (not AIP but adds a kick!)
- Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly grease a lined baking sheet with coconut oil
- Take the raw sweet potato and squeeze it with a paper towel or cheese cloth to remove any excess liquid
- Then, combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and thoroughly combine
- Begin rolling the mixture into small, slightly flattened poppers about one inch in diameter (you'll have about 20-22 poppers) and place them on the cooking sheet
- Place in the oven for 25-28 minutes, flipping half way through
- Crisp further in a pan or place under the broiler if desired for 1-2 minutes to crisp further
- Remove from the oven when thoroughly cooked through
- Allow to cool and serve with your favorite sauce! These are made for dipping so pair them with guacamole, ketchup, mustard, etc!
I hope you absolutely love these poppers are much as we do here at the Hoover household!
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