A lot of meatball recipes call for breadcrumbs. But breadcrumbs are not very healthy. So what is a healthy, delicious alternative to breadcrumbs? The answer is Oats! Oats are versatile and very healthy (think fiber, lower blood sugar, and low cholesterol) , and make awesome kid-friendly (and grownups-friendly too!) meatballs.
This has been a popular recipe in our household ever since Simone was 10 months old. I was looking for something small and savory that a toddler could pick up and eat. I came up with 2 recipes – one is turkey/chicken meatballs and the second is vegetarian “meatballs” (recipe to come later). I made the turkey meatballs over the weekend and she chowed them down. These meatballs are so versatile that you can use them as toddler finger food, as an appetizer for a grown-up party with different dipping sauces, and they make perfect meatballs for pasta,. You can either bake them in the oven or fry depending on the taste you want. Toddlers and adults alike love these meatballs!
Here’s how I made it:
1 1/3 lb of ground turkey (you can also use ground chicken)
½ large red onion or 1 medium red onion
1 small bunch cilantro
½ teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup quick oats
1 Dice the red onion into small pieces.
2 Cut the cilantro leaves and stems into small pieces.
3 Add the onions and the cilantro to the ground meat and mix.
4 Add the cumin powder, cinnamon, salt and oats and mix together.
5 Make small meat balls from the mixture.
6 Heat a pan on medium heat and add oil to fry the meatballs.
Optional: you can cut ½ jalapenoe into small pieces and add it to the mixture if you want meatballs ‘with a kick’.
Alternatively, if you want to bake these meatballs – bake them for 15 mins at 350F.
The verdict – I made this for dinner for Simone and I served the meatballs from the same mixture with jalapenos added as an appetizer at a dinner party later on in the evening. Everyone really liked them – so these meatballs are tasty for adults and a great finger food for toddlers and preschoolers.