This recipe was inspired by my 2 year old, aka our current fussy eater at home.
It has been challenging to get my 2 year old son to eat recently. He is usually a great eater and willing to try almost all kinds of food. But lately, for some reason he has been extremely picky and only wants snacks for lunch and dinner!
After having some useful and positive conversations with my mom friends, I’ve decided not to give up on getting him to try new things. I’m going to keep offering him a variety of foods and be more creative, including changing the shapes, tastes, and forms of the food he used to like but doesn’t anymore (for whatever reason). My latest experiment is with zucchini. He used to like it, but changed his mind, so I thought I’d try disguising it as a French fry.
And the result? My son tried one piece and spit it out. Clearly I need to try again, maybe with a new form, shape, or taste! But although my picky little eater didn’t like my zucchini fries, I thought they tasted awesome! And they are super healthy because they contain no oil, and they’re ready in 10-12 minutes, with minimal preparation!
Learn from my mistakes and follow the tips below. It took me a while to figure out the secret to getting these fries crispy and delicious.
- You don’t need batter to get the coating to stick to the zucchini, because it has a high water content already, so the the dry ingredients stick pretty well as-is.
- Make sure that you remove the seeds, as they’re very high in water and can make the zucchini soggy.
- Do not miss the step of letting the zucchini strips rest in the dry ingredients. This makes the dry crumbs stick better and takes away some of the moisture.
Serve as a pre-dinner snacks or share between 2 as a side
- 2 medium zucchini, trimmed
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp polenta
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven with grill function with fan assist to 200C.
Combine all ingredients except zucchini in a shallow dish. Set aside.
Slice zucchini lengthwise and remove center core, including seeds. Cut into thumb-length strips similar to potato fries. Place strips in coating and toss well. Leave zucchini to sit in the mixture for 5-10 minutes, allowing the corn starch to absorb some of the moisture.
Prepare a baking rack with baking paper. (Your oven should come with one or two racks. If it doesn’t, just use a regular baking tray.) Use tongs to put zucchini strips on the racks or trays, leaving space between strips.
Place rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Bake in batches if you cannot fit all zucchini strips at once. Let cool for 3-5 minutes before serving. Serve warm with smetana or sour cream.
Serve warm with smetana or sour cream.