Warm weather means zucchinis are in season, and what a versatile ingredient they are! The unique veggie lends itself to savory soups and stews, a fragrant addition to scrambles and stir-fries, you can even use them instead of noodles for summer pasta dishes, and they bake up incredibly well in muffins, cakes, and breads. But have you ever used them as a French fry alternative?
The zucchini's mellow flavor means it can take on virtually any role, with style. And this recipe makes them a lighter, more seasonal "fry" than heavy, wintery potatoes. Because they're baked, too, you don't lose any of the nutrients in the deep fryer.
And just what are those nutrients?
The super low-calorie zukes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which means they can help to lower your cholesterol (your heart thanks you). The vitamins (A, C, K, and folate) are potent antioxidants that may be beneficial in cancer prevention (sun bathing, anyone?), and the magnesium and potassium content can help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
What's more, the zucchini (and its cousin the yellow squash) grow abundantly over the summer, which means they're some of the most accessible and inexpensive foods of the season.
Serve these spiced zucchini fries up alongside a barbecue or picnic, or in addition to a light dinner. They're simple to prep and make—and make a lot—they won't last!
- 4 medium zucchini
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup your choice of flour (whole wheat, almond, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- ½ teaspoon dried cumin
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup tamari
- ¼ cup safflower oil (plus enough to grease a baking sheet)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large cookie or baking sheet.
Cut zucchini into fry-like strips. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together yeast, flour, cumin, chili and salt.In a large bowl, mix together water, tamari, oil, lemon juice, and ground flax seeds. Mix well.
In batches, drop the zucchini strips into the liquid. You can even marinade the strips in the liquid for a few hours for more flavor. (If doing this, you may need to double your liquid to cover all at once.)
Then take the wet zucchini and dredge it in the dry mixture so each piece is well coated.
Remove from oven and serve while still hot.
Serve with a side of spiced ketchup (add a ½ teaspoon of Sriracha to ¼ cup of ketchup for a nice spicy kick). Enjoy!Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger