Maybe I should have called them “Eggless Meatball Wonders,” or “Guiltless Meatballs,” because there are several nutritious ingredients cleverly hidden inside, and you cannot even tell!
Ever since I started experimenting with “flax eggs,” I have become increasingly impressed with the results in most of my experiments. So much so, I have found myself buried in excess eggs that I have delivered in my CSA box each week! That’s okay though, I have some quiche to get working on for the Gluten-Free Quiche Challenge over at The Gluten Free Homemaker!
Flaxseeds are a good source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Manganese, Dietary Fiber, Magnesium, and Folate (I highly recommend checking out the World’s Healthiest Foods website, there is a lot of great information on it, especially for people like me who do not have a degree in nutrition!).
I was inspired to seek out a recipe for eggless meatballs for a friend who has a child with an egg allergy and I finally settled on a “rough” recipe from another mom’s post on the Spiffy Moms forum. Tamika’s recipe hooked me because of the oats. Growing up, my mom always made meatloaf with oats instead of breadcrumbs, which I really like because it is much more moist than the breadcrumb version of meatloaf. Using Tamika’s ingredients as a guideline, I made my own adaptation which also included shredded carrots and zucchini.
There is a trick to making the shredded veggies work though, which I highly recommend to avoid any “texture” issues! Once you compile all the ingredients, throw everything in a food processor and pulse until combined. The oats and veggies get pulverized into microscopic bits and you cannot tell they are in there! My boys LOVE these!!
Meatballs (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free and Soy-Free)
1 lb. Ground Beef, Bison, Lamb, Chicken or Turkey (or use a combination of meats for an added depth of flavor)
1/2 cup Gluten-Free Oats (Update: I no longer use oats, instead, I make the meatballs grain-free by replacing the GF oats with almond flour)
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (omit for dairy-free)
1 Flax Egg or Chia Egg
2 Tbs. Milk (or Dairy-Free Milk Substitute, So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk is my personal favorite)
1 tsp. Plain Vivagave Inulin Powder (totally optional, I used Vivagave because it is gluten-free, has zero taste and texture issues, plus a full serving size (1 Tbs.) contains a whopping 10 grams of fiber!)
Assorted Seasonings (Feel free to experiment but I just used 1 Tbs. dried Italian Seasoning, 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic and a pinch of salt, as I am a low-salt person, so adjust according to your taste preferences. Just keep in mind that whatever sauce you use will have salt and seasonings too).
1/2 cup shredded Carrots
1/2 cup shredded Zucchini
1 – 2 Tbs. Olive or Coconut Oil for cooking
1). Combine all ingredients (except for the oil) and put in a food processor and pulse until combined, it will somewhat resemble a paste.
2). Pinch of small pieces and roll to form meatballs.
3). Cook in a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat until cooked through.
I like to make these in large quantities and freeze them. This way, I can just grab what I need and toss into some pasta sauce as it is cooking for an almost effortless gluten-free meal!
Please forgive my dark photos, we had tinting placed on all our windows last week as the sun is really intense here in the high desert! I am going to have to figure something out, but until then… bare with me
I start by making the flax egg first:
Click here for a guide to internal cooking temperatures, beef is 160° F., turkey is 165° F. I cannot recommend getting a good cooking thermometer enough! I recently bought a new one at my local Restaurant Supply Store for around $25, and so far I am very impressed (my OXO didn’t last but a few months).
Once the meatballs are done cooking, I drain them on a paper towel. I then place the meatballs on a cookie sheet, uncovered, and place in my deep freezer for a couple of hours until they are frozen solid. I store them in a Freezer Ziploc bag and usually use them within a month (at most). Mike has been enjoying meatball subs again and Sam and Luke like to stick the cupcake picks in the meatballs and just have them for lunch. They are even coming up to me and asking, “Mom, may we please have “appetizers” for lunch?” LOL!
Sam wanted me to show his creation… the tree is from the Monster Truck Cake I made a few weeks ago and he stuck it in his meatball. Love it!
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