11 Jul 2013
Sometimes I recall the kind of sweets I ate as a child and my teeth chatter. I mean, white toast dipped in white sugar? Bowls full of Cocoa cereal (sometimes without the milk)? Large-sized bags of fruit-flavored candy in rainbow colors? Straight spoonfuls of canned (and entirely artificial) frosting? In addition, my mom was a great from-scratch baker, so we always had fresh baked goods in our house. No wonder I grew up obsessed with desserts.
When I switched to a healthy, vegan and gluten-free diet in my 30s, my first foray in the kitchen was trying to recreate all my favorite confections, this time as vegan desserts. I still do love me a good ice cream sundae, S’mores bar, oatmeal raisin cookie, or truffle (albeit a healthier version these days). But I knew I had really become a grown-up with a real adult palate when I finally began experimenting with savory dishes in the kitchen.
Suddenly, I found myself intrigued by veggie-based dishes, main courses, appetizers and dips. I made hummus for the first time and then tried out every variation I could think of. Savory stews, salads, creamed spinach, pastas galore, chilis—you name it, I tried to make it.
Nowadays, I still adore sweets, but my menus are a little more balanced. I know the value (and deliciousness) of healthy foods, and I prefer them to any of the junk foods I used to eat. Although breakfast is by far my favorite meal, I’m able to enjoy many a savory pancake, too, just as much as a sweet one.
These gluten-free zucchini corn “fritters” are a perfect example. Ideal as the main dish at a brunch or light dinner, they also work well made in miniature size as a delightful appetizer at a buffet table or party tray.
The combination of corn and zucchini topped with creamy dill “sour cream” will appeal to your discerning adult taste buds; yet on their own, the fritters make a great dish for kids, too, encouraging them to give grown-up food a try… so much better than sugar-dipped toast.
Zucchini Corn Fritters with Dilled Cashew “Sour Cream”
YIELD: Makes 12 large fritters or 30-35 appetizer (two-bite) fritters.
DIETARY TYPE: Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
- 2 small zucchini, trimmed and grated on medium holes of box
grater (about 3 cups unpacked, shredded zucchini, or 320 g)
- 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned corn kernels, preferably organic
(reserve liquid if using canned)
- 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, to taste
- 2 cups Erewhon Corn Flakes cereal
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup liquid (use reserved zucchini liquid, liquid from canned
corn, or water–see instructions)
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Grate the zucchini and toss with the salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to a colander set over the bowl; allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, squeeze out any excess moisture from the zucchini, allowing the liquid to run into the bowl (you can use your hands, or place the zucchini in a clean, white tea towel and wring it out over the bowl). Pour the liquid from the zucchini into a large glass measuring cup, then add enough water or other liquid (I used the liquid from the drained corn kernels) to reach one cup of liquid in total. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, process the corn flakes, chickpea flour, baking powder and baking soda until powdery (it’s okay if there is still a bit of crumbly texture from the corn flakes). Add the reserved zucchini liquid and the lemon juice and process until combined. Remove the processor blade and gently stir in the shredded zucchini and corn kernels by hand; do not process again.
Heat a large nonstick frypan over medium-high heat. Brush the hot pan with oil or spray with nonstick spray.
Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop the batter into the pan and flatten slightly to create pancakes. (Alternately, use a tablespoon to create mini, appetizer-sized fritters). Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the bottoms are nicely browned, then gently flip and cook another 3-4 minutes on the other side. Eat as-is, or keep warm while you prepare the “sour cream” (if using). Serve warm or at room temperature.
For the Dilled Cashew “Sour Cream”
- 1-1/4 cups raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 5 drops plain liquid stevia
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
- 3/4 cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill
Combine all ingredients except dill in a high-powered blender until smooth. (If using a regular blender, blend the cashews and water in small batches until smooth; add remaining ingredients except dill and blend again). Turn into a bowl and stir in the dill. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Drizzle over warm fritters, or dip miniature fritters into the sour cream.
RickiCheck out my latest posts here