When life gives you a giant zucchini, you count your blessings and make some zucchini and corn fritters! Am I right or am I right? I’m right, of course.
Even my son and his cute little pudgy finger agree. This stack of zucchini and corn fritters is to die for, and parents should definitely not waste time taking photos of it, when instead we could all be eating it. He’s not wrong.
We’ve used homegrown zucchini to make these fritters
We’re growing corn, zucchini, peas, capsicum, tomatoes and strawberries in our little garden this year. The kids and I have also sprouted some beautiful herbs, veggies and flowers from seed but unfortunately they didn’t survive as the pots into which they were replanted didn’t receive enough water. Our garden beds have drips, which is a must here in Australia, where our little contintent is in the middle of one of the worst droughts.
Zucchini and corn are going crazy and are both looking very healthy. The kids and I were impressed at how quickly the zucchini especially have grown. We could swear that last week all we had was zucchini flowers and this week we could already spot, among the leaves, perhaps 5 growing zucchini! One in particular was clearly ready to be picked, a giant zucchini which weighed nearly 750g! Check it our yourself in the image below – isn’t that a stunner!
Gardening with kids
Do you garden with your kids? Our twins are 5.5 years old now and we have been growing fruit and veggies for about three years. We don’t grow all of our food by any stretch of the imagination but we try and grow veggies which we like and which we know will get used.
We only use compost, made from fruit and veggie scraps, and don’t use any chemicals on our produce whatsoever. This means that sometimes we lose a plant to snails or, if we forget to cover our cherry tree when the cherries are turning pink, to birds, but that’s all part of the game.
We give the kids tasks which they can manage, like help with planting and picking the produce. Since the watering is automatic and my husband does the mulching, there is not much for them to do. However, even this limited contact gives them the important things – contact with soil, understanding where the food they eat comes from, ability to distinguish real food from processed food, and the joy of eating unwashed veggies and fruit right off the plants or trees which is a lovely part of childhood.
Zucchini and corn fritters for the win
I have to admit that I haven’t always been a big fan of veggie fritters. Even when the kids were little and I would make them a zucchini slice, truthfully I would think it was quite bland. However, these fritters have changed my mind. They are not spicy and they do not include complex flavours, but they are very flavourful.
We’ve had them warm and we’ve had them cold and they are perfect both ways. They don’t have any nuts in them so will be a perfect addition to the kids’ lunch box, once school resumes in February.
To me, the distinguishing factor is the quality of the ingredients. Even if you don’t have any homegrown zucchini or corn, use fresh quality ingredients, rather than sad looking veggies from the back of your fridge, if at all possible, and they will shine through.
Baked not fried
The other healthier aspect of this recipe (apart from the fact that it is mostly plant based and nicely ups your veggie consumption for the day) is that these fritters are not fried but are baked in the oven.
You may notice two things from the photo above – firstly, all the fritters get baked at once, so you don’t need to stand at the stove for half an hour, frying up and turning these little patties and, secondly, although it doesn’t look at first glance that the mixture will ever stick together, it will. Just you wait. This also means the portioning is not terribly difficult, as you simply use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the mixture into patties – no rolling or forming the patties required.
Just pop them into the oven, let them bake for about 20 minutes and then flip them over (once) and bake for another 10 minutes. And then – tadaaa! See, super easy and gorgeous colour, without much effort at all. My kind of cooking.
What to serve with your fritters
It is really up to you. They would be great with just a drizzle of yoghurt sauce or by themselves, as a simple lunch or a snack. We served these zucchini and corn fritters with delicious homemade baked beans and “green mush”, just because we love the contrasting colours, flavours and textures.
The whole thing together is a work of art, believe me, and for that reason I will post the recipe for the homemade baked beans next week, so that you can make all of the components and eat them together.
Zucchini and corn fritters [oven-baked, not fried]
- 2 medium zucchini (or 1 giant zucchini, approximately 750g), peeled and grated
- fresh corn kernels, sliced off 6 corn cobettes weighing approximately 425g (or use tinned or frozen corn)
- 3 spring onions, finely chopped (all of the white part as well as about a third to a half of the green part)
- a handful of fresh mint, chopped finely
- 120 g wholemeal flour (plain)
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 tsp garlic paste (or minced garlic)
- a handful of tasty shredded cheese
- a pinch of salt and black pepper (each)
- a pinch of paprika and/or red chilli flakes (optional, to be added if you're not feeding kids)
- Pre-heat your oven to 220C. Line two cookie baking sheets with baking paper.
- After peeling and grating the zucchini, squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can – by either squeezing handfuls of the grated zucchini in your hands over a sink or an empty bowl, or squeezing the whole lot in a clean tea towel or some paper towels (you may need several) – or try both methods.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.
- Using an ice cream scoop (mine is about 40ml in volume, just under 1/4 cup), scoop out little mounds of the mixture and, gently rounding them into flattish discs in your hands/with your fingers, place them onto the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake for 20 minutes until set and the edges are looking slightly golden.
- Take the trays out of the oven, flip the fritters over to the other side and bake at the same temperature (220C) for another 10 minutes.
- Take out of the oven, let cool slightly and enjoy!
This recipe makes approximately 12 fritters, using a 40ml (a little less than 1/4 cup) ice cream scoop to dollop them out onto the baking tray. I have this oxo good grips ice cream scoop.
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