Trying to make healthy zucchini fritters? Use this recipe and prepare for deliciousness overload!
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Every summer I look forward to the moment I sit in the Napoleon Taverna in Ierapetra on the beautiful island of Crete. I take a deep breath of fresh sea water in and hear the sounds of the waves swaying in the evening breeze.
And then I order “κολοκυθοκεφτέδες” (say: kolokithokeftedes): hold the cheese and eggs, extra lemon.
Those zucchini fritters are such a treat and no matter how much I try to imitate them I just don’t get them right. Buuuuut- I did figure out a recipe that is mouthwatering nonetheless.
Close your eyes and dream of a Greek island at sunset when you take a bite from these vegan, baked, healthy zucchini fritters.
I buy the Vegan Tzatziki from Trader Joe’s when I do not have the time to make my own vegan tzatziki from scratch.
Mouthwatering, healthy zucchini fritters – Greek kolokithokeftedes
Grated & Chopped Ingredients
- 5 medium zucchinis grated
- 4 large carrots grated
- 2 large sweet potatoes grated
- 1 small golden potatoes grated
- 2 large sweet onions finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 green onion finely chopped, optional
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped, optional
Herbs & Aromatics
- 2 TBSP olive oil, cold-pressed, virgin optional
- 4 Oz Vegan tzatziki dip Trader Joe's
- ½ lemon
Prepare the Zucchini
- Start of by grating the zucchini. Use the large grate size. Mix in the Himalaya or sea salt. Place the cheese cloth (or paper towel) in the colander and put it on top of a large bowl. Now fill the grated zucchini in there. Let it rest for about 30 minutes to drain the water.5 medium zucchinis, 1 tsp Himalaya or sea salt
Grate & Chop
- While the zucchini is resting grate the carrots, sweet potatoes and golden potatoes on a large grate and combine in a large bowl. Chop the onions, garlic and if using shallots and scallions and add to the mix.4 large carrots, 2 large sweet potatoes, 1 small golden potatoes, 2 large sweet onions, 4 cloves garlic, 3 green onion, 1 medium shallot
- Finely chop up parsley, dill and the oregano (if using fresh oregano). Add to the mix.¼ cup fresh parsley, ¼ cup fresh dill, 2 tsp Greek oregano
- If using a cheese cloth you can give the zucchini a good squeeze to drain out some more water. (Paper towels don't do well with that). Then add the zucchini into the mix.
- Add nutritional yeast (may use 1-2 tablespoons more if you want some extra umami flavor) and the vegetable bouillon powder.3 TBSP nutritional yeast, 3 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
Prepare Egg Replacer
- In a separate small bowl prepare the vegan egg replacer (follow box instructions on how to mix with water) or alternatively 2 TBSP of flaxseed meal mixed with 5 TBSP of hot water. Add the kala namak to this mix. Whisk well.Alternatively: You could also use more flour than described above and omit the egg replacer.If using the egg replacer: add into the mix now.2 vegan egg equivalent or flaxseed meal + water, 1 tsp kala namak
Finish the Mass
- Add in the regular flour and the chickpea flour. If you want to make these gluten free use only chickpea flour. Chickpea flour is higher in protein but if you don't have it available you may also use just replace the chickpea flour with regular flour.1 cup flour, 1 cup chickpea flour
- Gently mix the mass. It will not be very sticky but should hold up some shape when placed on a flat surface. Add in additional flour if needed until you reach that consistency.
Form the Fritters
- With a large spoon scoop out from the mass and place it on the baking sheet on your pan. Give it a bit of a round shape with your spoon.
- Optional: Brush some olive oil on top of each fritter.2 TBSP olive oil, cold-pressed, virgin
- Baking times may vary based on your oven, so check in regularly. You want golden brown fritters.For me this works: 410℉ for 45 minutesAfter 30-35 minutes turn the fritters around. They might be frail, so be careful.
Serve & Enjoy!
- Serve with vegan tzatziki and fresh dill or parsley. Squueze some lemon juice on top if you'd like. I love to make my own tzatziki from scratch but I think that the Trader Joe's Vegan Tzatziki spread is even better than mine (probably the best I have had). Kali Orexi!½ lemon, 4 Oz Vegan tzatziki dip
Vegan food in greece
On a side note: it is much easier to find vegan foods in Greece than you might think.
Greeks are very traditional and the Orthodox church is deeply engrained in the society. The church has many days of mandatory “fasting” (nisteia) in the calendar. (Every Wednesday and Friday, several days surrounding Easter, Pentecost, St. Mary’s Nameday, Christmas etc.) When you add these days up they amount to almost 6 months out of the year. “Fasting” here means: no eggs, dairy, meat, poultry, fish, butter. So this is pretty close to a vegan diet. They do allow invertebrate seafood, FYI.
Because the Greek fasting is so prominent everyone knows the rules and there are MANY products made for fasting. You can always ask if this is “nistisima”, most people know to tell you. They have lots of non-dairy, vegan beverages, cheese-like products, desserts etc. Almost all coffee shops with have a plant-based milk. Most bakeries have plant-based goodies, especially during fasting times.
Additionally, the mediterranean diet is traditionally very plant-heavy and there are so many foods that are already vegan. All the tavernas carry those. You always want to double check to ensure they didn’t make anything “with a twist”. Many times they can also leave certain ingredients out and voila the dish is vegan. Some examples:
Fava = a yellow lentil paste (oh so yummy)
Dolmadakia = mini rice rolls in grape leave
Giemista = stuffed zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers
Briam = oven baked potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant
Kolokithokeftedes = zucchini fritters, MUST ask: some have eggs or cheese
Fasolakia = delicious lentil stew
Spanakopita = small spinach pies, sometimes made with cheese
I love exploring the multitude of vegan options in Greece!
If you are wondering “Why go vegan” then check out this post.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of the mediterranean diet, click here.