Two weeks to go and I'm getting a little nervous (if you haven't read my last few newsletters, surprise, there's a new bun in the oven!). I'm really keen to have a natural birth, so have been doing all I can in the naturopathy, nutrition, herbs, yoga, positions, aromatherapy, acupuncture and massage departments to give myself the best chances of that eventuating. Nevertheless, it's fairly daunting knowing the last two of my friends to have bubs both ended up having to have C-sections, something that I'd really rather not experience! There's also quite a bit of evidence showing that babies born naturally have stronger immunity levels, and trigger higher levels of prolactin in the mother (a special post-natal hormone which helps to produce milk). So I'm trying to stay calm and relaxed, while at the same time feeling pretty darn excited - it's a strange oxymoronic concoction of emotions.
Needless to say, the simple, quick and easy recipes that I harped on about last week are even more in need right now, with baby prep and last-minute antenatal classes piling on top of my regular (rather busy) schedule. These simple Zucchini, Herb and Chickpea fritters fit the bill perfectly. They're a recipe I've been making versions of for a number of years now, and are one of my top three favourite fritter combos alongside my Spiced Cauliflower Fritters, and my Corn, Capsicum and Chilli Fritters. If you're trying to eat more plant-based meals (then first off you're awesome), you definitely need to get a good fritter under your belt. Luckily they are a cinch to make, require only one bowl and pan, and can be done in under 20 minutes.
Zucchini are in high season right now in our New Zealand summer, and if you've got a garden they're probably growing into all sorts of gigantic marrow looking monstrosities. If you don't then fret not, they'll be super cheap at your local farmers market or organic produce store! The key to adding them to fritters is to grate them not blend as you still definitely want some texture in there. If you blend you'll end up with a watery goop which won't properly set in the pan. Don't worry, if you grate you'll be fine.
Zucchinis are one of those veges I abhorred as a child. They always seem to turn out sloppy and slimy, right up there with mushrooms (at the time). Now I can't get enough - they are so versatile, both raw in salads (slice thinly with a potato peeler or a spiraliser), panfried in stir-fries, lightly sauteed, or grilled on the BBQ. They have a very high water content so great for rehydration, and this also means they're low in energy density or calories. Don't let this fool you however, as they make up for it in the vitamin and mineral department. Zuchinnis have 7% potassium (helps control blood pressure), 20% vitamin C (enhances the immune system and is an antioxidant that offsets cellular aging) and 10% vitamin B6 (helps with energy conversion). It comes in both green and yellow varieties (you won't see the yellow ones at supermarkets, but organic markets or gardens yes), and is also referred to as a courgette, summer squash or Italian squash.
Once again these fritters are highly adaptable, using whatever herbs you have on hand. If you don't have fresh herbs you can use dried, or you could even switch the herbs for a spice blend of cumin, chilli, curry, corainder or garam masala. As for toppings, I'm a big proponent of the creamy + sweet/salty/tangy + crunchy formula. So layer some avocado, guacamole, my Creamy Cashew Aioli, or white or black tahini; dollop some relish or chutney; then sprinkle some nutritional yeast, my Cashew Parmesan, or sunflower/sesame/pumpkin seeds on top. A squeeze of lemon or lime on the side makes it a little fancy, and then partner with whatever seasonal salad you like.
Would love to see your delicious creations over on Instagram, so make sure you tag your shots with @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics - I'll be sharing the most amazing images on my Be Good Organics page. Wishing you a wonderful relaxing weekend, Southern Hemispherers enjoy that sun (with protection of course), and Northern Hemispherers - come visit us in NZ!
PS If you like this recipe, I'd love you to share it on Pinterest (hover over any of the images and click Pin It), Instagram (regram or make your own), Facebook or Twitter (hit the buttons up top). Thank you!
Zucchini, Herb & Chickpea Fritters
Serves 2-3 (makes 10 fritters)
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
3 cloves garlic
2 1/2 c zucchini (grated and packed, ~3 zucchini)
1c chickpea (besan) flour*
3/4 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley, chives, rosemary)
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
* You can make your own chickpea flour by simply blending up chickpeas in a high powered food processor until they're the consistency of flour
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon