Whether you’re entertaining, settling in to watch your favorite show/the big game, or just want to palate-please your little one, this recipe’s for you!
I love incorporating zucchini into meals, gaining the benefit of its antioxidant powers including the carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that assist in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and also help your immune system battle infections. These antioxidants also protect the eye, so add zucchini to your grocery list right up there with well-known eye supporter, the carrot. The skin is nutrient dense (and you’ll want to keep the skin on when you cook zucchini), so make sure when you make your purchase you are opting for organic in order to avoid toxins from pesticides, herbicides, etc. which concentrate in the skin.
So let’s get to the steps to crunchy antioxidant heaven…
Quarter and slice organic zucchini into pieces around 2 ½ “ long. Since baby zucchini has fewer seeds, they make the ideal choice for these fries.
Gather the ingredients.
Next, arrange your coating station, placing sprouted spelt flour mixed with spices into the first bowl, 1 egg beaten in the second bowl and panko breadcrumbs in a third bowl. (I like to use panko in recipes such as these, since it offers an amazing crunchy outside complementing the tender zucchini inside.)
I deliberately used organic sprouted spelt flour for a few reasons:
1) Sprouted flour is easier to digest. Sprouted flour increases the bioavailability of nutrients that would otherwise lay dormant in the grain. Sprouted flour typically has increased levels of Vitamin C, B Vitamins, Carotene and Enzymes.
3) Spelt is an ancient grain that has higher water solubility, which make it easier to digest than other grains. It is significantly higher in protein content than its wheat counterpart. Spelt is also high in B vitamins, specifically Niacin which aids in energy metabolism, improves circulation and reduces cholesterol in the blood.
Begin dipping each stick one at a time from flour to egg to panko. You will be tempted to throw a few in each mixture at a time, but try to refrain. Rushing through may result in the egg station getting quickly muddy with flour and the panko sticking to itself from the excessive egg. When your egg bowl is near the bottom, dump the excess, rinse the bowl and beat another egg. Add more panko to your bowl as needed.
Arrange the completed sticks on top of a pre-greased* cooling rack sitting on a baking sheet. Once finished, you can lift the cooling rack and empty any panko that fell to the baking sheet so the crumbs do not burn.
*I don’t care for cooking sprays as there are often other nasties included in the aerosol can. Take this ingredient label from Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray for example. While my gut would tell me to trust an olive oil spray over a GMO-laden canola, this olive oil spray also includes lecithin from GMO Soybeans as well as other additives. Instead what I recommend is to grab your organic extra virgin olive oil, pour a small amount on a clean paper towel and brush the rack. Easy and safe!
Pull off a garlic clove with the skin on and sneak it on the side of your baking sheet when you place your fries in the preheated 425 degree oven. You’ll see where I’m going with this in a little bit. Bake the fries for approximately 20-25 minutes until crispy and golden brown. You may want to rotate your baking sheet mid-bake in case you notice your oven doesn’t brown them all evenly.
As the sticks are cooking to perfection, prepare your aioli by mixing 1/3 cup of mayo, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, a handful of chopped parsley together, and drizzles of olive oil until your desired perfect dip consistency is achieved.
When the fries are ready, you should be ready to eat them. They will cool off quickly so get your mouth ready for these delicious bites. Grab the clove you snuck in the side of your baking sheet, peel the paper skin off, mash with a fork and mix in with your already prepped aioli. Arrange the zucchini fries on a plate, serve with your aioli and you are ready to party!
Hope you enjoy this recipe!!!
Crunchy Baked Zucchini Fries with Roasted Garlic Herb Aioli
Crunchy Baked Zucchini Fries
- 2 large or 4 small organic zucchinis
- ½ cup organic sprouted spelt flour
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup panko
- Olive oil
Roasted Garlic Herb Aioli
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Handful of parsley chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste and create desired dip consistency
- Preheat oven to bake at 425° F.
- Place cooling rack on baking tray and lightly grease by rubbing with olive oil on a paper towel.
- Wash zucchini, cut off the ends, and begin quartering and cutting into ~2 ½“long pieces.
- Assemble your coating stations by mixing flour and spices in one bowl, a beaten egg in another bowl, and panko in a third bowl.
- Begin dipping zucchini sticks one at a time in flour first, shake off excess, coat in egg mixture, and then cover with panko. (Refresh egg mixture when low, by dumping and rinsing the bowl and re-beating an additional egg. Refresh your panko bowl if necessary if too much egg is present to coat the sticks properly.)
- Place each completed fry on the baking rack.
- Once finished lift the baking rack and empty any excess panko that has fallen to avoid oven burn of the crumbs.
- Place cooling rack back on baking sheet, grab a garlic clove with paper skin still on and include on the side of the rack.
- Place baking sheet into the oven and bake zucchini sticks until crispy and golden brown (~20-25 min). Rotate baking sheet if necessary to ensure all fries brown evenly.
- While baking, prepare your aioli by mixing mayo, lemon juice, chopped parsley, and olive oil in a small bowl.
- After fries are done baking, remove from oven.
- Take roasted garlic clove, remove skin, mash with fork and mix in with the aioli.
- Arrange the zucchini fries on a plate with the aioli bowl and serve immediately.