Tots great fresh but no so much frozen

I am working on a low carb tot recipe and they where amazing fresh but we froze them the second time cooked they came out lacking. These are made with half zucchini and cauliflower. I tried to squeeze out as much water out of the zucchini as I could. And cauliflower I riced and cooked until starting to brown. Than I mixed in another equal part parmesan cheese, one egg and salt and pepper. When I cooked them fresh the outside was crunchy but the inside was soft and almost creamy. But when I tested them frozen the outside never got that crunchy and inside wasn't as creamy. I'm am thinking either still too much moisture before I froze them or the egg. Any ideas?

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7 Comments

Lori T. July 15, 2019
Salting does help draw out excess water from veggies. It also helps not to cook them in water, but to steam cook them. I actually prefer to cook cauliflower in a microwave, using just a couple spoons of water and a cover. I also like to use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture. A salad spinner is actually a really convenient way to remove water from lots of things- not just lettuce. Mine will spin seeds out of canned tomatos, and extra water from pasta. When I make veggie tots, I use it to spin the extra water out of my veggies as well.
 
kantill July 15, 2019
I did salt the zucchini before I pressed them, but I never cooked any of the veggies in water. I pan fried the cauliflower to cook out the moisture and the zucchini was raw but salted and squeezed.
 
Smaug July 15, 2019
Freezing can cause cell walls to explode, releasing a good deal of moisture and breaking down the structure of a vegetable- I'd guess that's your problem.
 
kantill July 15, 2019
So what di you think would fix the issue? Getting more of the moisture out of the plants or not adding the egg?
 
Smaug July 15, 2019
I can't guarantee that it's fixable- freezing usually has consequences- but if you use salt to draw out the moisture (common in zucchini fritters and things of that type) it would improve your chances. This actually draws moisture out through the cell walls. Unfortunately it also tends to leave your vegetables very salty- you can rinse quickly after you drain off the salty water, it won't be reabsorbed into the cells, but either way it's going to need to be dried before you use it.
 
kantill July 15, 2019
Thanks, I'm now thinking to fry them first than freeze them.
 
Nancy July 15, 2019
Kantill - I second Smaug's suggestion that the problem (how to freeze cooked vegetable tots so they have same texture as when freshly made) may not be solvable.
But if you're looking for a way to have the ingredients on hand for short-prep-time meals, maybe split them...freeze the prepared raw vegetables in one-recipe-size boxes and the parmesan-egg-s and p in a second presumably smaller container.
Defrost overnight, combine, cook.
 
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