It’s been a few years since I first started reducing the number of packaged and processed food items in my house, and overall my family has been enthusiastic and very supportive. For the most part. There have been a few items that have been harder to skip or replace than I would have suspected.
For us, one of the tough ones has been tater tots. Little did I know that store bought tater tots were considered a real treat by my children. So a challenge was issued… if I want to continue depriving my sweet little kids (high schoolers for the record) then it was up to me to figure out how to make decent homemade tater tots to satisfy my family demands.
So I did. It was much easier once I decided that my version of tater tots were not going to be the traditional shape, the little log rolls that are so familiar. Trying to achieve that shape seemed to call for some kind of binding agent, probably flour or some other ingredient that I likely find either useless or maybe even detrimental.
I wasn’t happy adding flour to my potatoes, or many of the other ingredients that I found online when looking for recipes for tater tots. But I did like the idea of a straight forward recipe, keeping it simple, with real food and a lack of added chemicals and preservatives.
As an unexpected bonus, as part of figuring out how to best prepare the potatoes for my tater tots, I found a method that uses my Vitamix to shred the potatoes. If I pour roughly 6 cups of water in my Vitamix, then I can add two potatoes, quartered, and they’ll float a little bit, so that I can turn my Vitamix on a very low speed, just 1 or 2, and it will completely shred the potatoes very quickly. After that, all I need to do is drain the water, squeeze the shredded potatoes as much as possible, and mix in the rest of the ingredients. If I want, I can even add a shallot in with the potatoes, and it will come out completely diced!
After draining the water from the Vitamix, rinsing the potatoes a bit, and then squeezing them dry in a flour cloth, it’s just a matter of mixing all of the ingredients together, and baking them up. Because I decided not to go with the traditional hand shaping of my soon to be oven baked tater tots, I went with a mini-cupcake tray, and simply packed the potato mixture into each cavity.
After a little non-stick spray, I use a tablespoon to fill each space in the muffin tin, trying to evenly spread the potatoes across the 24 cups. Amazingly, and with a little luck, two good sized potatoes produces almost exactly 24 tater tots.
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 1 shallot
- 2 tablespoons butter - melted
- 2 eggs
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 400
- Shred your potatoes however you see fit, I used the wet chop method with my Vitamix
- Squeeze any extra moisture out of your potatoes
- Mix with the rest of the ingredients
- Spread mixture evenly into mini-cupcake tray
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until they look brown enough for your tastes
- Pop out of the tray and eat warm
- Feel free to try a variety of ingredients, such as bacon and / or cheese!
With quite a few other recipes that I’ve posted on this site, getting an accurate idea of what the nutritional breakdown of the recipe was very difficult due to discrepancies in measuring serving sizes. However, with this recipe, it couldn’t be much more straight forward, there were 24 mini muffin cups, so there are 24 tater tots. I understand that your potatoes might be a little bigger or smaller than mine, but it should still make four servings of six tater tots, and these values should be pretty close.