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New Zealand beef mince with hidden pumpkin, carrot and chickpeas. Shaped into nuggets with a crunchy panko crumb that the whole family will enjoy.
• 330g (approx 21 piece pack)
• Store in the freezer below -18C.
• Ingredients: NZ Beef Mince (50%), Panko Breadcrumbs [Wheat flour, Sugar, Salt, Yeast], NZ Pumpkin (8%), Batter [Water, Cornflour], Chick Peas (6%), Carrot (6%), Tomato Paste, Onion, Canola Oil, Seasoning [Including Natural Vegetable Flavours], Garlic , Parsley.
• Contains: Gluten-containing cereals
• May Contain: Sesame
I've yet to meet a child who doesn't love nuggets! If my 4 year old had her way she would live on nuggets! The beef smugglers are made to be a way in which parents can sneakily pack more vegetables into their children's diets, pure genius really, however I must admit that I don't have trouble getting veges into Miss 4. but rather at enticing her to eat meat of the red variety, however she is slowly getting better at doing so! When I saw the beef smugglers up for review, I jumped at the chance to review these as SURELY Miss4 wouldn't be able to resist something that looked so similar to that of a chicken nugget!
RIght from the get-go you can see that this is a great food for children, not only do these beef nuggets come with lot's of hidden pumpkin, carrot and chickpeas inside them, but they are also dairy and egg free which makes them fantastic for children who suffer from missing out on what would be called 'treat foods' such as nuggets. Reading the ingredients list I was happy to see these contained real ingredients, mostly things which you would find in your own fridge or pantry at homes, they appeared not to have any hidden nasties, big thumbs upa nd best of all they are made right here in New Zealand.
The nuggets were easy to prepare given there cooking instructions by simply placing them in the oven and cooking for between 15 to 20 minutes and turning only once, SIMPLE!!! I must admit that I did try and cheat with cooking these the first time round in the actifry which wasn't the best idea as they ended up rather squashed together and the panko crumb had pretty much all fallen off unfortunately! So I suggest sticking to what the packaging says for this one!
Taste wise these were great! The nuggets were really meaty and I couldn't really pick up on any taste of the vegetables, nor could Miss 4 or my partner. The nuggets were meaty, well seasoned and nice and juicy, without many gristly bits in them. These worked great as a meat with a side of mashed potatoes and veges served alongside some sauce, but they also went down a treat on slider buns to create mini beef sliders topped with BBQ sauce, tomato, lettuce, cheese and mayonnaise. They were great served in wraps and also on top of a salad. I counted 20 nuggets in my box, which I thought was pretty good for the quality, and found that due to the beef and vegetable content they were rather filling so you only needed a few at a time, therefore a box goes a long way.
If you have children who are fussy and don't like eating vegetables I totally recommend giving Smugglers ago, I have since trying these suggested them to a friend who has the fussiest child I know and they have been a hit with him, these will now be a must in both of our freezers, thanks Smugglers for such a great product.
"I HATE VEGES!" is Mr8's war-cry when it comes to meal times, especially when it comes to REAL food. He'll eat almost anything if it comes in a branded junk-food container, but if it's home-cooked, we have the the founder of the Anti-Vege Brigade sitting at the table.
Playing on his love of [insert-animal]-nuggets, I thought these might be a way to get some vegetrition into him without him noticing... it kinda worked. He knew something was up, but because they clearly weren't McJunkies or Nugget-Kings, he attributed their "different" flavour to them simply not being his usual. Despite that, he happily polished off a plate-full (about a dozen) without comment, while happily sidetracked by the treat of being allowed to watch Lego Nexo Knights on YouTube.
I snuck a few myself, so that I could give my own perspective on them, and I have to say they were surprisingly good. There was a sweetness to them that I am not 100% sure about - but you should take into account I am a die-hard carnivore so while I know the benefits of veges, even like a few, and eat them as often as I can, I'm no huge fan of them either - but the meat flavour was definitely there enough to make them a "meat-nugget with veges" rather than a "vege-nugget with a bit of meat".
Simple to prepare, my only caution is to use a proper non-stick pan, and NOT attempt to cook them in a bench-top oven on an oiled tray. I found the oil - even though it was the barest smear - was enough to cause them to go a bit soggy during the cooking and when I started to flip them over, I lost a lot of the Panko crumb coating to the tray's embrace. Definitely a dry non-stick tray is the way to go.
These are a great innovation in the war against Anti-Vegism in our youth, and a tasty treat for any adult wanting to get a few more vege-benefits into their diet without the potential blandness of traditional non-roasted veges. Because I cook fairly healthy anyway, and don't usually brook any refusal to consume veges at my dinner table, these would be more of a "pseudo-treat food purchase" for the youngster, but I can easily see them becoming a staple in some households where the dining-room rebellion is dialled up to 12.
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