I learned something new about Babyface this past weekend. I found out that growing up, he never had school lunch as we know it. Neither of us are sure if it’s a typical Canadian thing or just a Thunder Bay thing or just the schools he went to, but he never experienced lunch ladies, pale green plastic trays or greasy, droopy pizza. Weird, right? They just brought their lunches from home. It’s such a crazy concept to me. School lunch is a serious rite of passage, as far as I’m concerned.
Anyway, this came up because I made tater tots!
I’m not sure there are many foods out there that are more synonymous with school lunch than tater tots. I actually think the vast majority of my lunches during my sophomore year of high school consisted of a bag of tater tots, a Mountain Dew, and an Oatmeal Cream Pie. Or maybe a Star Crunch, if I was feeling a little crazy.
Nowadays, my diet has expanded a bit past deep-fried potatoes and Little Debbies. But sometimes, it’s fun to step back in time and try to make a classic junk food into something that fits better into a clean and healthy diet. Instead of deep-frying white potatoes, I baked up a flavorful sweet potato mixture. Sweet potatoes are one of nature’s greatest sources of vitamin A and by baking instead of frying, the tots get crunchy and tasty without the added fat and calories of oil.
These guys were so incredibly good. I honestly wasn’t expecting much, but the Panko outside gets all crunchy and crispy and the inside is soft, fluffy and sweet. The parmesan adds a really nice contrast to the sweet, earthy potatoes. We are big fans of these tots.
Baked Parmesan Sweet Potato Tots
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
- Cooking Spray
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded finely
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs, divided
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine shredded sweet potato, egg, 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumb, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
- On a plate, spread out remaining Panko into a thin layer.
- Using clean hand, form the sweet potato mixture into small tater tot shapes. Roll in Panko and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with rest of sweet potato mixture.
- Spray tops of tots with cooking spray. Bake in preheat oven for 30-35 minutes or until browned and crunchy.