You Can Make This: Vegan Potato Tots

There really seems to be a divide between the potato tot lover and the french fry aficionado. That divide is proven here at I Heart Veg, where Loren is soundly on the side of the tot, and Jeannie is all about the fry (but she is not picky about the cut- thick, ripple, whatever you got will do).

Jeannie has now added the tot to her potato love thanks to a great recipe from Cook’s Country for Crispy Potato Tots. Their easy to follow instructions were just the thing to get us into the kitchen and experimenting. Who knew you could make these delightful potato treats right at home? Jeannie always envisioned a special device that was secret to only the official tot makers. Now you can be that tot maker.

I know, it sounds taunting, but it really isn’t. The idea of it takes longer to absorb than the actually making of them. Just follow the instructions closely, and you’ll be sure to find success. See the photos below for our experience and twist on the recipe. Click on the photos for larger images.

There are a lot of frozen potato tots in the grocery store. There are some vegan ones, but many companies still try to throw in an egg or spray on beef fat for “flavor” or color. If you can find a vegan one, you’ll have to deal with hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils, and possibly high fructose. I recently picked up a package that had enough dairy, egg, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils, and high fructose on the label that potato was the last ingredient. ??? How does that happen?

We love that they can be made up and frozen for up to a month, so you can make up a mess of them and eat at your leisure. Additionally, you can add onions, different spices, and you’ve got endless variations of tots.

If you are gonna have a fried treat, these should be it. Now get off your bum and go make some tots. Now. Don’t keep looking at me.

Processed potatoes

We processed the potatoes per the recipe, and they came out just right.

Processed potato pieces

Process the potatoes until they are uniform tiny bits. Don’t forget your water and salt!

cheesecloth bowl

We lined a bowl with cheesecloth for draining the water off the potatoes.

Cheesecloth potato drainage

Just line your bowl with cheesecloth, and dump in your potatoes.

Draining potatoes in cheesecloth

Gather your cheesecloth, pick it up, keeping the potatoes inside, and you have drained potatoes. You might need to give it a squeeze or two.

Excess water

Removing the starch from the potatoes is essential to fluffy tots. We had just a little more excess water than the recipe anticipated.

potatoes microwaved

Drained potatoes go into a bowl or plate, and we cooked ours for 8 mins. in the microwave. If you don’t get your potatoes cooked, they’ll be raw in the middle when you fry them.

potatoes cooked

Don’t forget to add your flour and pepper when the potatoes come out of the microwave. The potatoes are sticky, very much like sushi rice. Spread them out for cooling.

potatoes ready for chilling

Gather the potatoes in the center of the foil, and place in an 8×8 pan. Pop it in the freezer. Check it after 30 mins. We needed to push the potatoes down for more compression so the tots would stick together and gave them another ten mins. in the freezer. Next, you’ll cut them up.

frying potatoes

A handy thermometer helps you keep on the right temperature while you fry the tots. The oil temperature will drop dramatically when you add the frozen tots.

homemade tots

These homemade tots barely made it to a plate, as they were quickly consumed. Golden brown tots.

homemade potato tots

Homemade potato tots and ketchup were made for one another.

We think you’ll find these tots worthy of a zippered pant pocket.

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