My babies are growing up fast and prefer getting their hands messy than puree these days. It’s time to come up with some new homemade delights… I wanted to make something that’s easy to pick up but still packed with the goodness they’ve been getting from their favorite veg purees. These kid friendly spiced vegetable croquettes have been a real hit, and are perfect for batch cooking and storing in the freezer.
I wanted to offer the Twins something more exciting than just vegetables, and keep introducing them to interesting flavors through spices. I came up these Indian inspired croquettes which are packed with all the good stuff and flavored with cumin, coriander and turmeric, which was one of my baby superfood ingredients. Totally delicious for adults too, although you may want to sneak in a little more salt for the grown ups!
Veggie Content in Spiced Vegetable Croquettes
The croquettes are packed with a mixture of vegetables and are a perfect way to sneak veggies into your kids. You can use any vegetables you like, I often just dig around in the fridge and use what we have. The vegetables I’ve listed in the recipe are those I choose if I’m buying from scratch. You need something you can mash to hold it all together and I’d recommend white potato over sweet potato because it’s stickier in texture.
Making the Croquettes
Get ready to get your hands messy! Once all the veggies are cooked, mixed and spiced, you’re going to roll and form the croquette shapes in your hands. Don’t be too precious with the shape, they look prettier once breaded! I find keeping my hands moist helps with sticky overload. I’ll rinse my hands every so often during the process to make it easier.
Baking the Croquettes
I fully cook the spiced vegetable croquettes, even if I’m going to freeze. I have experimented with freezing before the final bake but they are too soft and require the crispy breaded casing to hold together until frozen. I pre-brown the breadcrumbs in a pan to get the lovely golden color but this will depend if you opt for panko, homemade or classic ready-made breadcrumbs.
- 2 large potatoes
- ¼ cup milk (ish)
- 3 tbs butter
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots
- ½ a shallot
- 3 mushrooms
- 3-5 broccoli florets
- ½ tsp tumeric
- ¼ tsp corriander
- ¼ tsp cumin
- 2 tbs olive oil (optional for the golden crispy look)
- 1-2 eggs (I just about made do with one large)
- 1¼ cups panko bread crumbs
- Peel and chop the potatoes into large pieces and boil for around 15mins until soft enough to mash. Mash the potatoes together with a little milk and butter (1tbs).
- Finely chop all the vegetables. You may want to grate harder veg such as the carrot or broccoli stalks if you want the croquettes to be super mushy. My boys are ready for a little texture so I chopped to no bigger than a pea. Saute the chopped veg in the remaining butter (2tbs) for 5-8mins until it softens.
- Mash the veg in with the potato and add the spices.
- Once cool enough to handle, take heaped tbs sized balls and roll into cylinders the size of a fat thumb. You should be able to make around 20 croquettes that size but you can make them any size or shape you like. I found rinsing my hands every 4-5 croquettes made the sticky mix easier to handle.
- Put the croquettes in the freezer for 20mins to firm up a little and make the breading process easier.
- Toast the panko breadcrumbs in a pan with a little olive oil. This step is optional but does give the breadcrumbs that lovely golden color. Otherwise, you can fry the croquettes instead of oven baking, or use whole wheat panko which are darker in color. Baby will also unlikely care if you bake the white breadcrumbs just as they are, it's only us adults that expect breadcrumbs to be golden!
- Remove your 'fat thumbs' from the freezer, dip in a egg and roll in the breadcrumbs to complete each croquette.
- Bake for 20mins on a tray lined with parchment paper, turning at half time.
- Wait for them to cool before serving to those hungry babies! I fed them cold to my boys straight from the fridge the following day and froze the rest for another time.
The spiced vegetable croquettes are a little labor intensive, but they freeze so well, I highly recommend making loads. I then just reheat from frozen on a baking tray… it’s good to know I always have something healthy I know the Twins will eat in the freezer. I’ve been freezing in the pint-sized Ball jars (check the labeling as to which jars are freezer friendly) which make a good batch size for heating up.
I’ve made these so many times now I can do it with my eyes closed, they are totally worth the work!