Zucchini fritters are low calorie appetizers | VailDaily.com

Zucchini fritters are low calorie appetizers

Take advantage of the last of the fall harvest and make this easy dish

Tracy Miller Colorful Cooking

Zucchini is abundant this time of year and if you find you still have some in your garden, this fritter recipe is simple and will help you use up the remainder of that crop.

Zucchini is healthy and contains zero fat. When it is cooked properly, it melts in your mouth like butter. People often act surprised when I serve these fritters because they are so creamy it’s hard to believe they’re low in fat. When making the fritters, I add flour (rice flour can be substituted to make it gluten-free), eggs, salt and pepper. Once prepped, they are sautéed in oil and topped with a dollop of lemon basil aioli (Stonewall Kitchen is my favorite but you can easily make your own by blending mayonnaise, basil and lemon rind).

Needless to say, if adding aioli or mayonnaise, this will not be a zero-fat dish but it will certainly be very low in fat and calories. Zucchini contains significant amounts of vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate and vitamin K. It also contains minerals like potassium and manganese. Vitamins A and C are found in zucchini skin so don’t peel it when making this dish. Plus, the vibrant green skin gives the fritter some color. Some vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K) are fat-soluble so it’s not only delicious but smart to have a little fat with your vegetables because these vitamins need fat to be absorbed for healthy use.

Trying to loose fat? Zucchini contains zero fat. It is high in water and fiber, which makes it great for digestion and as a diet food. You’ll notice all the water in this squash when you prep it for the fritters. I actually squeeze the water out of the shredded zucchini with my hands before mixing in the other ingredients, and once mixed, I usually place the mixture in a colander while I’m cooking the first batch. You can form the fritter to the size you prefer. As an appetizer 1-inch balls are perfect, bite-sized portions. As a side dish for dinner, I would do a 3-inch patty. The smaller version is a great snack if you’re dieting because it is delicious and filling.

An easy way to boost your immunity and reduce inflammation is to include zucchini in your diet. Zucchini is a good source of health-protecting antioxidants and phytonutrients, including beta-carotene, manganese, zeaxanthin and lutein. Zucchini is tasty and so good for you. Enjoy it this fall while it’s at its best.

Zucchini Fritters

3 cups shredded zucchini

1 egg, beaten

¾ to 1 cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup olive oil

Shred zucchini and squeeze out all juices. Mix all ingredients together. Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Form fritters into one-inch small balls and place them in the pan when it is hot. You should hear the sizzle when you put the patty down. Cook over medium, five minutes each side. Top with a dollop of lemon basil aioli. Makes about 40 pieces.

Tracy Miller is a personal chef and caterer. She includes fruits and vegetables in all her meals. You can contact her at Tracy@colorfulcooking.com or log onto ColorfulCooking.com.