Grain-Free Oven Baked Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets: the American staple of childhood just got a little healthier. And tastier.....if I do say so myself.
For some reason, most children go gaga over chicken nuggets. I don't know exactly what it is, but I can speculate that it has something to do with their adorable, bite-sized, dunk-in-whatever-sauce-they-fancy ways. However, the kind of chicken nuggets you buy at the grocery store or that are served at restaurants are often full of sodium and additives. Perhaps worst yet is that these commercially prepared chicken nuggets are made with the ground up leftovers from the chicken butchering process....the part that no body else wants. I don't know about you, but the last thing that I want to be serving my family is something is made from the throw-away parts of chicken that have been "seasoned" with preservatives and other chemicals that enhance the flavor, but certainly not the nutritional value of the chicken.
If all you mamas and papas are starting to freak out because your fussy eaters put up force fields around themselves when they see something OTHER than those processed chicken nuggets being served at dinner time, take a deep breath and keep reading. Homemade chicken nuggets are ridiciulously easy to make. Not only that, but they freeze beautifully so that you can stock yourself up on rainy Saturday afternoon and have a stash of healthy chicken nuggets to call upon when an emergency dinner is needed.
There are many ways to make homemade chicken nuggets, but they often call for bread crumbs or wheat flour. With many people opting or needing to omit grains entirely from their diet these days or others who are just trying to scale back on how many they consume (like my family), the universe seemed to be calling to me to to create a grain-free (and dairy-free) chicken nugget recipe that was not only healthy, but so tasty that those picky eaters would drop their guard and get on the healthy-chicken-nugget train.
Here is what I came up with. They go GREAT with my Homemade Ketchup, by the way!
- 1 pound skinless chicken breasts (I strongly recommend buying organic, local, and/or pasture raised if possible)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (check to be sure it is gluten free. Here is a gluten free brand)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- In one small bowl, crack open the egg and beat it.
- In another small bowl, combine the almond meal, nutritional yeast, garlic powder paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to evenly mix everything.
- Toss a few of the chicken pieces in the egg and then transfer them over to the almond meal "breading" mixture, tossing again to evenly coat them with the pieces pieces and flours. Place on lined baking sheet. Continue this processes until all of the chicken has been "breaded."
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy warm or store leftovers in fridge for up to 5 days or in freezer for a month.
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