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Frozen Meatballs
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My 3 y.o. son is super sensitive to texture and refuses all meat except hotdogs. I want to try again to introduce him to meat and was thinking that I might have the greatest success with ground beef. Are there any gluten-free frozen meatballs out there? I was thinking frozen because the texture is softer and fairly uniform, and I'm pretty sure that's why he will tolerate hotdogs.

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Meatballs are easy to make and freeze well. Try making your own.

I don't know of any gluten-free ones, frozen and premade.

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I learned that gyros are gluten-free on this site, and the meat is quite easy to make at home. It's not to difficult to make your own gluten-free meatballs (or loaf). Stick a piece of gluten-free bread in your mini food processor for 30-40 seconds, add meat of your choice (if you wanted to make it fish cakes, add safe tuna or salmon, or left over fish.)

Add 1 cup bread crumbs to a pound of meat, mix in chopped or minced onion (I like onion, I'd do a whole chopped onion), 1 egg. If you're going Italian, add a tsp. of oregeno. If you're going Indian, add 1/4 tsp. tumeric. You can vary by taste.

Form into balls or patties or loaf and cook until done. I like grape seed oil or avacado oil when I saute the fish cakes.

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Old post, buried deep in another unrelated topic.

For all of you that have been anxiously waiting, here is the answer to your questions about my balls.

Gluten Free Meatballs

The main recipe for meatballs calls for bread crumbs. We make these from Glutino Fiber Bread, but other gluten-free breads should work equally well. It is best for this purpose when it has been defrosted for at least a day, or that fresh bread is at least a day old. Tear it into pieces and then use the pulse setting on a blender or food processor until the desired consistency is achieved. Unused crumbs can be placed in a sealed container and stored in the freezer. If measuring frozen crumbs for a recipe, allow extra. We find 1 1/4 cups of frozen defrosts to about 1 cup.

Hmm, maybe this should be a secret recipe. It has eleven four different herbs and spices. :lol:

Preheat oven to 400F (200C)

15x10 inch pan, lightly greased (or use PAM)

Makes about 45-50 meatballs.

1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef (750g)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (see above) (250 ml)

1 tbsp dried parsley flakes (15 ml)

1 tbsp dried basil (15 ml)

1 tbsp dried oregano (15 ml)

1/4 tsp ground black pepper (1 ml)

You can use fresh instead of dried herbs by doubling the measure, that is, 2 tbsp or 30 ml.

In a large bowl, gently mix together beef, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, oregano and ground pepper. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place in single layer on prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center.

To Freeze: Cool slightly then freeze baked meatballs on the jelly roll pan. Once frozen, remove from the pan and place in a heavy-duty freezer bag. They won't stick together. Remove as needed and add directly to sauce, or microwave until just thawed before adding to sauce.

The picture was taken while cooling after baking and before freezing.

Bon appetit.

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I will probably have to make my own. Not opposed to it, was only thinking about frozen b/c I can't explain it but frozen meatballs have a different texture than homemade. More consistent, sometimes softer. My son is autistic and getting him to try new things can be a challenge. I want to maximize my chance of success here b/c him eliminating an entire food group makes meal planning a real challenge. I was also thinking that maybe if I use a fattier ground beef it might be softer. If I can get him open to meat, I can healthy it up later.

Thanks for all your responses!

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If you live near a Costco Warehouse they have gluten-free meatballs, patties, & sausages that are gluten-free.. Sorry I don't have any at present & I can't remember the name on the pkg...I think they are chicken meatballs. They are very good.. I also make my own beef ones & freeze them...

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This company is the one one of the other posters was talking about I think. Their products can be found in the refrigerated section of many grocery stores with the hot dogs etc. http://www.aidells.com/allergen

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I will probably have to make my own. Not opposed to it, was only thinking about frozen b/c I can't explain it but frozen meatballs have a different texture than homemade. More consistent, sometimes softer. My son is autistic and getting him to try new things can be a challenge. I want to maximize my chance of success here b/c him eliminating an entire food group makes meal planning a real challenge. I was also thinking that maybe if I use a fattier ground beef it might be softer. If I can get him open to meat, I can healthy it up later.

Thanks for all your responses!

All you have to do is grind the meat finer! In fact, I buy meat and then grind it in the food prosesser with all the extra's! Works great!

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OK, sorry to keep asking all these questions about meatballs! Hopeless cook question ... to do the bread crumbs, I am going to do what I usually do - use Udi's bread heels and put them in the blender. For a pound of ground beef, how many pieces of bread (or how many cups of bread crumbs) do I use? How long do I bake them? They won't have sauce b/c his highness won't eat it if that matters.

How I got to be 40 years old and never made meatballs I will never know ...

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To adjust the batch size of the recipe I shared above, most ingredients get adjusted proportionately.

Using 1 lb instead of 1.5 lbs of beef:

2/3 cup of bread crumbs

2 tsp instead of 1 Tbsp of each herb

I wouldn't change the pepper or the egg.

Cooking time is the same regardless of the batch size.

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The meatballs my son likes are not gluten-free. Ok for him, not for me. They say they are made with beef, pork & Romano cheese. I might try Peter's recipe with some ground turkey Italian sausage , beef, Romano for part of the bread crumbs & some gluten-free bread crumbs.

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To adjust the batch size of the recipe I shared above, most ingredients get adjusted proportionately.

Using 1 lb instead of 1.5 lbs of beef:

2/3 cup of bread crumbs

2 tsp instead of 1 Tbsp of each herb

I wouldn't change the pepper or the egg.

Cooking time is the same regardless of the batch size.

Thanks, Peter!

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Ok, hubby is a meatball pro:

First, for SOFT meatballs try ground veal.

Hubs Recipe:

1 lb. Ground beef

2 eggs

Dried parsley

Salt

Pepper

Grated Parmesan - LOTS OF CHEESE

Italian breadcrumbs if you want, but not necessary (make your own)

Hubs fries them in a skillet, he doesn't bake them. Usually fried in sausage drippings....but any oil will do.

I swear it's technique that gives the texture and softness...and he makes bigger meatballs - palm of the hand size not small ones.

We fry them and place them in pasta sauce to cook for about 30 minutes at the end of the sauce cooking time.

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I find that adding a little water to the meatballs as I mix them can make them softer when cooked. Part of the reason to include bread crumbs is to absorb moisture. I like mine fried and crunchy on the outside, but if his highness likes soft meat then I recommend cooking them in a crockpot or in a pot in the oven. They will get crunchy on the outside even with these methods if cooked too long, but you can check occasionally to see if the centers are cooked through and stop them before they get dry on the outside. Another option is to make a meatloaf with the same mixture, because once you cut away the outside of it, all of the inside will be soft, as opposed to meatballs, each of which have an outside dry/crisp layer. Very small meatballs can also be cooked in broth or soup - just drop them in raw. That will keep them tender. And you can use any kind of ground meat, even chopping it yourself in the food processor.

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Costco carries Aidells, Coleman's and AmyLu - some are gluten-free some not depending on flavor but the labels are usually clear. They are all precooked and yummy.

During the holidays last year, AmyLu had some turkey, cranberry and jalepeno meatballs that were to die for, especially cooked with a sauce of jellied cranberries and chili sauce. Great in the crockpot for potlucks. Yum! I hope they have them again this year....I'm going to buy 20 packages!

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I will probably have to make my own. Not opposed to it, was only thinking about frozen b/c I can't explain it but frozen meatballs have a different texture than homemade. More consistent, sometimes softer. My son is autistic and getting him to try new things can be a challenge. I want to maximize my chance of success here b/c him eliminating an entire food group makes meal planning a real challenge. I was also thinking that maybe if I use a fattier ground beef it might be softer. If I can get him open to meat, I can healthy it up later.

Thanks for all your responses!

You might try a meatloaf with lots of vegetables in it. I can't use egg because I am allergic so I put baby food squash in there instead of egg. I use whatever veggies I have in the house such as onion, pepper, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots and celery. First I chop them finely in the food processor then I saute them until almost all of the moisture is gone. Let cool then add to the ground beef with some gluten-free oats that have also been whizzed to powder in the food processor and combined with some V8 or tomato juice. I also add in a lot of ketchup. I use Italian seasoning. If you can't use the oats you can use gluten-free bread crumbs.

I form this mixture into individual loaves. Top with chili sauce but ketchup works as well. Bake at 350 for about an hour and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. The texture is very tender.

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