My kids used to love eating tater tots. And who doesn’t? I used to sneak in a few tots myself before I served them to my kids. But then one day I checked out the ingredients on the bag and was shocked.
POTATOES, VEGETABLE OIL (SUNFLOWER, COTTONSEED, SOYBEAN, AND/OR CANOLA), SALT, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, ONIONS, DEXTROSE, DISODIUM DIHYDROGEN PYROPHOSPHATE, NATURAL FLAVORING.1
First of all, vegetable oil (particularly soybean and canola) should be a cause for concern. These oils are inflammatory in the body and can cause a lot of health issues. Read more about the dangers of soybean oil. They are also heavily refined and derived from GMO sources.
Dextrose is another name for sugar but most dextrose in the US is derived from GMO corn and heavily refined.
Disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate is a food additive often used in packaged tater tots, french fries and hash browns to prevent color change and oxidation. It also lengthens the shelf life of packaged foods.2 I couldn’t find much else about this additive, which makes me want to avoid it more.
And finally, the “natural flavoring” in a package of tater tots is anyone’s guess.
Then, I thought I’d buy tater tots from natural brands instead. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find anything in my local health food store that didn’t have dextrose, vegetable oils or other ingredients I wanted to avoid.
So I decided to make my own homemade tater tots. And the results were addictively delicious. Serve these Gluten Free Tater Tots with my Homemade Ketchup.
Where to Get Kitchen Pantry Essentials
I get my other kitchen pantry supplies like sea salt, black pepper, spices, coconut oil, and other essentials either on Amazon or my local health food store usually. But then I got a Thrive membership. If you don’t already have one – it’s awesome! It’s like Whole Foods meets Costco. Bob’s Red Mill baking soda, for instance, is about $3 at my local health food store and $6 on Amazon. But it’s only $2.03 (YES!) on Thrive Market. Great deal right? And the raw honey?! Don’t even get me started how much that costs at the health food store. But on Thrive Market it’s just $5.45 for a 10.5 oz jar of raw honey.
Sign up for a Thrive Market membership and get 2 months free and 10% off your first order.
You would think tater tots are naturally gluten-free since they’re basically made from potatoes. But there are actually a lot of tater tot recipes with wheat flour and other gluten derivatives.
This version is not only gluten free, it’s free of dextrose and other additives and preservatives. It’s made with real food, wholesome ingredients that you’ll feel good about feeding to your family.
- 4 large organic, Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/2 organic yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, fined chopped
- 3 tbsp lard (or organic expeller-expressed coconut oil - find it HERE)
- 1/2 cup organic Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1.5 tbsp arrowroot powder (find it HERE)
- Celtic sea salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Organic paprika to taste (find it HERE)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss lard or with potatoes, onion and garlic.
- Add potato mixture to a large baking pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are soft (don’t overcook). Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Add potato mixture to a food processor and pulse 7-8 times or until diced chunks are the size of small pebbles or chunky. Don’t pulse too long – you don’t want mashed potatoes.
- Return mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add Parmesan, arrowroot powder, salt, pepper and paprika. Use a spatula to mix well. Again, don’t mash the mixture.
- You have two options here to form the tater tots. You could also hand roll each tot but it takes longer.
- Spoon about 1 cup of the mixture onto parchment paper (cut out about 8? x 8?). Use parchment paper like a sushi roller and roll the potato mixture to about 1-inch in thickness. Unroll to show long tube of mixture. Cut in 1-2-inch tots and set aside.
- Line a large baking pan (make sure it fits in your freezer) with parchment paper. Spoon all of the mixture into the baking pan. Mixture should be about 1-inch thick. Freeze for about 20-30 minutes to firm up mixture. Remove from freezer and cut into tot-sized shapes. Set aside.
- At this point you can freeze the tots for later use. I recommend setting out on a baking pan or cutting board about 1 inch apart and freeze for 20-30 minutes (if you did the freeze and shape style to form the tot, you could skip this step). Then transfer the tots to a freezer-safe container and use as needed. Bake according to step 8 when ready to cook.
- To cook, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper (reuse the parchment paper used to form the tots earlier). Line tots about 1 inch apart in the baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
p.s. Looking for tips to transition to a real food or healthy gluten-free lifestyle? Check out my free Real Food Guide email course and e-book.
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