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Do your kids eat zucchini? Mine will not (or at least my five year old won’t) if it is any form that resembles this green cylindrical summer squash.
My oldest swears that there are three vegetables that he will never eat: asparagus, mushrooms, and zucchini. Well, in my house, we do not say “never” about anything! So, always up for a good challenge, I faced his threat head on (without him knowing I was about to be in a head-to-head battle with him) and I decided to attempt to find a way to get him to eat these three nutritionally valuable vegetables without him even realizing it.
I tackled the zucchini first. This small summer squash (botanically a fruit, but considered a vegetable in gastronomic terms) contains Vitamin C, lutein, useful amounts of folate, potassium, and Vitamin A. It is one of my favorite vegetables. I love to roast it in the oven with a little olive oil, Italian seasonings, and sea salt or to saute it with tomatoes, lots of garlic, and sea salt.
Since Mr. Swears-He-Will-Never-Eat-It will not even touch it in either of these preparations (it is a total texture thing), I had to come up with a way to get around the consistency of it. What better way than to grate them, season them up a bit, and then saute them in olive oil?
I turned them into fritters and guess what? It worked! Not having any idea of what he was eating, he asked for three more “Latkes” after he finished his first. He still does not know that he ate nearly half of a zucchini the other night. I may tell him one day soon, but for now, I will keep my secret and know that the next time I am in the mood for this green squash, I have my go-to recipe for us all to enjoy it! I bet you can get your kids to eat it too! This is such a quick and easy vegetable recipe and will be devoured by even the pickiest of palates!
Stay tuned, by the way, for my attempts at the mushrooms and asparagus! I cannot guarantee that either will be as successful as our zucchini adventure! I am not even sure why I am so determined to partake in this caper since this is a child who will eat most ANY other vegetable and EVERY green leaf (spinach, kale, chard, mustard greens, arugula). I think that just the mere fact that he puts his foot down so adamantly on these three, is what is fairly amusing to me.
But now that I have begun, I will continue my efforts until I have gone three-for-three!
Okay, get out your graters and give your families a bit of squash goodness tonight!
Zucchini Fritters – Gluten-Free
(and easily adapted to Dairy-Free and Egg-Free)
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 1/2 teaspoons celtic sea salt
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1 egg, beaten (For Egg Free Version: replace egg with 1 1/2 teaspoon Ener G Egg Replacer and 2 Tablespoons water or rice milk and then beat lightly till foamy)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated (For Dairy Free Version: replace with grated Daiya Vegan Cheese or just omit all together)
- 1/3 cup gluten-free all purpose flour blend (any gluten free flour will work just fine)
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1. Grate the zucchini into a colander in the sink. Add the sea salt and toss with the zucchini. Then let the colander sit in the sink while the salt helps to draw the moisture out for about ten minutes. Then squeeze any extra moisture out.
2. Place a paper towel in the bowl you will be mixing the remaining ingredients in and place the zucchini on top of the paper towel (in the bowl) to absorb any more moisture. After a couple of more minutes, remove the paper towel, then add: shallots, oregano, dill, egg (or egg replacer), Parmesan (or dairy replacement-or omit), and flour. Gently mix all of the ingredients together
3. Heat the coconut oil in your pan and then drop spoonfuls of the mixture in to the heated oil (about a tablespoon or so each). Flatten each with a spatula, cook about 3-4 minutes per each side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with salt, to taste.
Do you have any secrets up your sleeve to get your kids (or even husband) to eat a particular food? If so share it here! I am always looking for new ideas and maybe someone else will like your idea and have success in their own family!!