Dinner Tonight: Zucchini Pancakes

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zucchini-pancakesIn our family, the pancake is not just a breakfast food. Maybe it’s because we top them with local maple syrup, but pancakes are always a hit in this house. This is why I also try to make them as nutritionally dense as possible… from beet pancakes to pumpkin pancakes, there are a lot of delicious additions you can make to regular pancake batter. Get creative!

Zucchini is one of my favorites things to add to pancakes. It is a light-tasting vegetable that belongs in the squash family and is a late summer crop. Luckily, we have had a mild fall, so there are still some lingering in local gardens.

Zucchini has a range of nutrients including vitamins B6 and C, potassium and manganese, and with a medium-size zucchini containing only 30 calories, it is great for those who need to watch their calorie intake.

This recipe combines grated zucchini with ricotta for a high-protein meal that can be enjoyed any time of day.

Zucchini Pancakes

2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp coconut sugar (or raw sugar)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup whole grain flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1tbsp coconut oil

Place the grated zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt. The excess water will drip out (so you avoid soggy pancakes). Let it sit while you prepare the batter.

In a large bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a separate bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda and salt. Gently stir the flour mixture into the cheese mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs whites until soft peaks form. Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the ricotta mixture and then fold in the remaining egg whites. This is important because it makes the pancakes very fluffy!

Squeeze the excess water from the grated zucchini and then fold the zucchini into the batter.

Let the batter sit for a few minutes. Over medium heat, add coconut oil to a hot skillet and drop about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake onto the skillet. The pancakes take about 2 minutes on each side.

Serve warm, topped with berries and maple syrup.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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October 2015
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