Fried foods certainly have their appeal, but they aren’t exactly healthy or easy to make.
In an effort to make healthier versions of popular snacks like fries and tater tots, many moms nationwide have opted for frozen oven-baked alternatives.
Unfortunately, these treats are filled with preservatives, flavor enhancers, and even coloring agents. Hence, sometimes it’s better to just heat up your oil and do things the old-fashioned way.
To make these snacks healthier, swap out the canola oil for brain-boosting coconut oil and trade the high-heat deep fryer for a large stainless steel or cast iron pan. You can also lower the calorie count by replacing potatoes with flavorful zucchini.
Zucchini is by far one of the most popular and best-known squashes.
The gourd is full or vitamin A, which is essential for eye and cartilage health, while also containing phytochemicals called cucurbitacins, which fight cancer (1,2).
Plus, this delicious summer veggie is chock-full of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 (3).
According to the American Heart Association, potassium can help control blood pressure by protecting your body from the harmful effects of salt. In turn, it also prevents heart disease and stroke (4). Vitamin C is also great for heart and artery health.
Magnesium, on the other hand, prevents muscles spasms, fights headaches, transmits nerve impulses, and plays a role in metabolism. It’s so important that your body stores magnesium for future use. In fact, that Medical News Today states that “over 50 percent of that magnesium is stored in the skeletal system, and the rest is found in muscle, soft tissues, and bodily fluids.”
Best of all, zucchini is delicious and versatile: try it steamed, boiled, spiralized, or fried! You can even eat it raw!
Zucchini Fritters Recipe
To make these even healthier, bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes.
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 organic eggs
- ¼ cup gluten-free flour
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- Grate zucchini using a large-holed cheesegrater.
- Place zucchini in a strainer, toss with ½ teaspoon of salt, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a few layers of paper towel and wring out extra moisture.
- Place zuchinni in large bowl and gently mix in egg, garlic, basil, oregano, lemon zest, onion powder, salt and pepper.
- Mix well and slowly add flour, stirring well to avoid clumps.
- Heat 2 tablespoons ofcoconut oil or olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until the oil sizzles when you drop a small amount of zucchini mixture into the pan.
- Carefully drop about 2 tablespoons zucchini mixture into pan.
- Repeat, spacing fritters a few inches apart.
- Cook fritters until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Lower heat to medium, turn fritters, and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer fritters to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.
- Cook remaining zucchini mixture, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
To make the dip, prepare 1 ripe avocado and blend with ½ teaspoon of onion powder and ½ teaspoon of mayonnaise. Fold in ½ cup finely chopped dill and add a squirt of lime to prevent it from going brown.
For a more colorful plate, batter up a few zucchini blossoms and fry them up too!