When I hear fritter I think of some morsel of food that’s been covered in a batter and deep fried. Think of corn fritters, hush puppies or apple fritters and the word healthy doesn’t come to mind. However, fritters can also be pan fried with a little healthy fat and made up of any number of vegetables. My aim is to find recipes that are good for you, taste great and are simple to make. This recipe fits the bill. It has just 9 ingredients that should be readily available at most stores or could be substituted. These vegetable fitters are versatile and are even good cold the next day for lunch, so double the recipe and have plenty left over. Pair them with a kale salad and you have a nutritious complete meal.
Potential Health Benefits
There’s lots of healthy goodness in this meal. The ingredients contain antioxidants, nutrients, essential fatty acids, and minerals that boast numerous health benefits. As a result your brain, skin, eyes, joints, gut and heart will thank you. In addition, a dinner like this can speed up your metabolism, increase your energy and improve your memory.
Zucchini is low in calories and high in anti-inflammatory properties. Essential nutrients like potassium and manganese are high in zucchini. In addition, it has a high water content that makes you feel full.
I grew up watching commercials for Chia Pets, and was surprised when chia seeds became a popular superfood. There are a number of reported health benefits to adding nutrient dense chia seeds into your diet. Studies have shown that they can improve heart and digestive health, boost your energy and metabolism, help you build muscle and lose weight, and prevent premature aging of the skin. They are versatile and can be added to many recipes. I’ve use them in our morning smoothies, breads and pancakes, on yogurt with granola and in these fritters. There is some evidence that soaking them in water for 30 minutes makes them easier to digest and makes the nutrients more readily available.
The list of health benefits for coconut oil goes on and on. From reducing inflammation to improving memory in addition to boosting the immune system and increasing energy and endurance it has an impressive line-up of benefits when used both orally and topically. It is important to buy cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil and avoid the refined or processed oil to ensure that you get the greatest health benefits.
These vegetable fritters are so easy to make especially if you have a food processor. My Cuisinart is about 25 years old and still running strong. It makes quick work of prepping vegetables, making hummus, chopping nuts and making smooth salad dressings. I keep mine readily available on a shelf in my pantry so that deciding to use it is a no brainer. If your useful kitchen tools and small appliances are buried in a cupboard behind other things you won’t use them. At least that is my experience, because a knife or grater is easier to grab than getting down on your knees and pulling things out to get to the food processor. Alternatively, you can use a box grater if you don’t have a food processor.
Carrots & Zucchini
You’ll want about 2 cups of grated vegetables for this recipe. You can see that I have a heaping 2 cups from 1 large zucchini and 2 large carrots. I had extra grated carrots that I then used in the kale salad. The zucchini has a high water content, so it helps to squeeze or press some of the moisture out of it before adding it to the other ingredients. After grating the zucchini put it into a colander with small holes or a mesh sieve, sprinkle a little salt on it and let it sit while you prepare the carrots and onion. Then just push the zucchini down and let the excess water drain out. Alternatively you can squeeze it with your hands. You could also use sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, or butternut squash.
Dice half an onion to equal about 1/2 cup. Onions add immense flavor to savory recipes.
Add Flax & Chia
Put the carrots, zucchini, and onion into a bowl and add 1/3 cup of flax meal and 3 teaspoons of chia seeds.
Break two eggs into a smaller bowl and give them a quick whisk with a fork.
You can make this a vegan meal by replacing the eggs with chia seeds.
Next add a 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan pink, sea or kosher salt and 3 grinds of pepper from a pepper mill. Mix it all together.
Kale Salad to Complete the Meal
This is a simple kale salad to serve along with the fritters. Plus the ingredients add to the nutritional bang of this meal. I like to use Lacinato (dinosaur) kale in salads, but I had curly kale, so I used it. There are just 7 ingredients in this salad. Wash, de-stem and chop the kale. Put the kale, the extra grated carrots, and 2 tablespoons each of pepitas and goji berries into a bowl. Drizzle the juice of a lemon and a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top with a pinch or two of salt and toss to combine. When I make a kale or cabbage salad I like to make it first and let it sit while I prepare the rest of the meal. This helps to soften the kale and the flavors have time to mingle and create a more flavorful salad.
After the salad sits for 10 minutes give it a taste test and add more lemon juice or salt if you think it needs it. If you don’t have any more lemon juice then apple cider vinegar works as well.
Cooking the Fritters
Heat a griddle pan or skillet on medium heat and melt 1/2 a tsp of coconut oil on the hot surface. I love this griddle pan from Al Clad. It covers two burners and allows me to fry more fritters at a time. Measure about a 1/4 -1/3 cup of fritter batter onto the hot skillet and let them cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the fritters and brown on the other side. Make sure you keep mixing the eggs back into the batter. They tend to puddle in the bottom of the bowl and you want them to cook with the fritters.
These fritters smell delicious as they are cooking and get a nice golden brown crunch on them. You’ll want to sneak bites as they come hot off the griddle.
Dinner is Ready
Plate 2-3 fritters along side the kale salad and get ready to enjoy. Save any leftover fritters for tomorrow’s lunch. One of the nice things about using kale in a salad instead of lettuce is that the leftovers don’t get limp or slimy by the next day. You can enjoy leftover salad tomorrow as well.
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2 cups grated carrots and zucchini (about two large carrots and one large zucchini)
2 eggs; whisked (organic and/or free-range if possible)
1/3 cup flax meal
3 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
3 grinds on a pepper mill
1-2 tsp coconut oil
THE KALE SALAD:
2 cups of chopped kale
1 cup of grated carrots (you can use what is left from the carrots grated for the fritters)
2 TBS pepitas
2TBS goji berries (could replace with raisins, dried cherries, or dried blueberries)
Juice from 1 lemon
1-2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Add all of the salad ingredients to a bowl and toss to combine. Let the salad sit while you make the fritters. This will give the kale time to soften.
To make the fritters combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Heat the coconut oil in a hot skillet.
Spoon about 1/3 cup of the fritter batter onto skillet and flatten out like little pancakes. Fit as many as you can onto the cooking surface.
Let the fritters fry for about 4 minutes until brown underneath.
Turn them and let them brown on the other side.
Serve the fritters with the kale salad and enjoy!
Zucchini has a high water content and it is best to drain some out before adding it to the other ingredients. After grating the zucchini put it into a colander with small holes or a mesh sieve, sprinkle a little salt on it and let it sit while you prepare the carrots and onion. Then just push the zucchini down and let the excess water drain out. Alternatively you can squeeze it with your hands.
You can make this a vegan meal by substituting the eggs for more chia seeds, 1 TBS/egg) that have been soaked in water for about 30 minutes or so. You can used ground chia or flax seeds as an egg substitute as well.
I want to share my recipe for a pre-run “cookie” that I like to make. When I go on a run in the morning I need to eat something that will give me energy but not bog me down with a full stomach. I’ve always had a sensitive tummy in the mornings, but I can’t run on an empty stomach. I’ve come up with a recipe for a pre-run cookie that solves my problem. One or two of these with water gives me sustained energy and doesn’t upset my stomach. They are filled with good for you ingredients and are easy to make. They are also gluten, soy and dairy-free. It’s like eating a store bought protein bar without the added ingredients you don’t want. I firmly believe that the foods we eat should be as close to their natural state as possible and not be filled with preservatives or artificial ingredients.
JUST ANOTHER RUN IN THE RAIN
It was stormy weekend in Portland with lots of rain and wind in the forecast. Saturday was one of those weekend mornings when my husband and I look at each other and say, “Are we running today?” Of course we are! We can’t let the weather get in our way. If we did, this time of year, our runs would be few and far between. However, when you are warm and dry inside, and it’s looking rather nasty outside it takes extra will power to commit.
The next question is, “Where do you want to run?” As you may know, I love to run on trails, and we have some amazing forest trails in and around Portland. However, with a high wind warning it probably isn’t smart to run on a muddy trail in a forest. We decided to go into town and run a loop on the bike path along the Willamette River.
In my last post I said that I’ve never finished a run and wished I hadn’t gone. This one was no different. It really wasn’t that bad, and we weren’t the only ones out in the rain. Rob tells me that Sunday is a six mile run day. Sigh. Just another morning to get motivated and go outside, and I bet I will be so happy that I did. Thankfully I have my Pre-run energy cookies already made.
You can use any of the links above to find out more from Dr. Axe on the health benefits of the ingredients in my recipe.
Stir it all up real good and then let it sit and cool for a while. While waiting whisk four eggs in a separate bowl. When the oatmeal mixture has cooled enough, about 20 minutes, so that it won’t cook the eggs or melt the chocolate stir the eggs into it. Then add a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 8oz of dried cherries. I like the tart cherriesfrom Trader Joes. When I’m buying dried fruit I always make sure it is free of sulfur dioxide and added sulfites. They upset my stomach, so I avoid them. I use these chocolate chips from Enjoy Life because they are soy free. I’m also soy intolerant, so I read a lot of labels. These can easily be made without the chocolate chips if you prefer.
When everything is mixed up real good use the quarter cup as a scoop and drop scoops of the oatmeal mixture onto a lined baking sheet.
Now pop the tray into a 350 degree oven for fifteen minutes. The recipe will make about 16 of these yummy, energy packed, pre-run cookies. I usually warm up two of these and eat them with a glass of water before a morning run.
This is my first attempt at food photography and posting a recipe. Please bear with me as I practice and learn all the ins and outs. This post contains affiliate links to products that I like and use. If you choose to click on product link it will not change the price, but I will receive a small commission from what you purchase.
Rob says I need a catchy name for these energy cookies. What would you name them? Do you have a go to pre-workout snack that gives you energy and doesn’t bog you down? Please leave a comment below, and remember to share this on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Thank you!
Bring oats and water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. let it cook, stirring every 5 minutes or so, for 20 minutes until most of the water is absorbed.
Transfer to a bowl to start cooling and add the coconut oil, cinnamon, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and salt. Stir them all together and let sit for 20 minutes to cool.
Lightly beat the eggs and stir them into the cooled oatmeal mixture
Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips
Scoop in 1/4 cup portions onto a lined baking sheet. Flatten them out just a little to an even thickness.
Bake for 15 minutes
Cool on a wire rack.
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer. I like to warm mine up just a little before eating.
I am not a nutritionist. The recipes and experiences I share on my blog are based on what works for me, my own experiences with food, and what I have learned from reading about health and nutrition. If you are in need of specific nutritional advice please consult with a health professional.