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With football season right around the corner chances are you’ll soon be reaching for your favorite crowd-pleasing game day snacks. I’m right there with you! Getting together with friends and family is one of my favorite things about the transition into fall but it’s easy to leave your healthy eating habits in shambles if you’re not careful. Preparing easy, whole foods based appetizers for these get-togethers is not out of reach. With a few minutes of planning you can turn your September weekends into ones that keep your healthy eating on track.

Zucchini and sweet potato fritters are an unconventional way to incorporate more vegetables into the diet, and can be modified to please the palate. Zucchini is a win-win vegetable, high in nutrients and low in calories and low on the glycemic index (won’t raise blood sugar levels!). It boasts 56% of your daily vitamin C intake, followed by multiple B vitamins, manganese, potassium, and vitamin K1. Vitamin C boosts immune function and antioxidant activity in the body helping fight off oxidative stress and inflammation. Much of the antioxidant content of the zucchini is held in the skin, so eating it with skin intact is best.  These fritters don’t have to wait for a game day gathering though, enjoy them in the morning topped with a fried egg and avocado, or a probiotic rich sauerkraut.  Enjoy!

Zucchini Fritters with Garlic Herb Yogurt Sauce

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Garlic Herb Yogurt Sauce

·       ½ cup plain Greek yogurt

·       2 teaspoons chopped parsley

·       1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint

·       2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

·       1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

·       1 teaspoon raw honey

·       1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic

·       Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Fritters

·       2 cups shredded zucchini (2 small or 1 large zucchini)

·       1 cup shredded sweet potato (1 small, peeled)

·       1/3 cup finely chopped onion

·       1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

·       2 large eggs

·       1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic

·       2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

·       2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint

·       1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

·       ⅓ cup cornmeal (Arrowhead Mills brand is a good organic, non-GMO option)

·       1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder

·       1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil

Directions:

1.     Make the yogurt sauce by whisking all of the yogurt sauce ingredients together except for the salt and pepper. Taste, then add salt/pepper to your taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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2.     Make the fritters: Place the shredded zucchini, sweet potato, and onion in a large strainer. Top with 1 teaspoon salt and mix it around with a large wooden spoon. Press down with your hands to begin draining some of the water from the vegetables. Let that sit in the sink for a few minutes. Meanwhile, line a large bowl with paper towels or a clean dish towel (easier to use a towel!). Place the vegetable mixture in the bowl and top with more paper towels or fold over the dish towel. Begin pressing down; you need to get out as much liquid as possible. Grab more paper towels or a new dish towel as needed. Note: you can also simply wring out the vegetables in the dish towel over the sink. Just keep wringing! Let the vegetables sit in the towels for 45 minutes, then press again. The goal is to remove as much moisture as possible. Otherwise, the fritters will be soggy. You will be amazed how much water you wring out!

3.     Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl. Once beaten, whisk in the garlic, parsley, mint, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Fold in the vegetables, then add the cornmeal and arrowroot powder until everything is combined.

4.     Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, use a fork to scoop up around 2 Tablespoons of the zucchini mixture (eyeball the amount). There may be liquid pooling in the bottom of the bowl, so make sure you use a fork so the excess liquid isn't in your fritter. Place the mixture onto the hot skillet and flatten with a spatula. Repeat with a few more, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate until finished.

5.     Serve warm fritters with yogurt sauce.

6.     Make ahead tip: These fritters are best cooked and eaten right away. They make great leftovers stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat by placing on a lined baking sheet under the broiler for a couple minutes. Freeze fritters for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as directed before.