An Italian delicacy beloved by adults and children alike, these balls are typically deep fried but can be baked. This version is also more nutritious than the original because it uses brown rice in place of the traditional Arborio and features spinach. Chop these balls in half for young toddlers, or serve whole for older children with more teeth.
Variation: These rice balls were made for dipping! Marinara sauce is a traditional, tasty choice, but Spinach Pesto is just as delicious and doubles the leafy greens in this recipe. Or simply serve with a side of veggie puree.
Baked Mini Rice Balls
Superfood - Nut Free - Vegetarian
Makes 20 Rice Balls
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 - 16 minutes
1cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup cooked brown rice
⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped spinach
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs in three separate small bowls.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the rice, cheese, and spinach.
4. Scoop up about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball using your hands. Roll the ball in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining rice mixture.
5. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes; turn over and bake for 5 to 8 minutes more.
Storage: Leftover balls can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Recipe from Fast & Fresh Baby Food, by Jacqueline Burt Cote