Bet you may have a little extra zucchini around about now. Check this out.
Most of us know that fried foods contain more fat and calories than we should eat on a daily basis, but they taste so good. There is no need to avoid all fat to have a healthy diet. Adults and children need some fat for proper growth and development. The goal is to eat healthy fats in moderation.
Fat enhances the flavor and texture of food and helps you feel full longer. Because we develop lifelong preferences for foods in childhood, now is a great time to expose children to the taste of some lightened-up versions of traditionally fried foods.
Children enjoy fried foods (French fries, potato and corn chips, donuts, chicken nuggets, etc.), as much as adults do. Providing them with a healthier version of some of their favorite fried foods might feel challenging. Introducing new foods will require some cooperation on your child’s part and experimentation on your part to find the oven-fried foods the family will enjoy. To increase cooperation and acceptance, make children part of a taste test panel in your house, as you find the healthier version of foods you love.
Baked Zucchini Fries
- 2-3 small zucchini, sliced into fry shapes
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs (I like to use Panko bread crumbs)
- Non-stick vegetable spray
- Preheat oven to 420 degrees F.
- Lightly spray a cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray. Place on a baking tray.
- Put flour and spices in one bowl, buttermilk in another and breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
- Toss each zucchini piece in flour mixture, then dip in buttermilk and finally roll in breadcrumbs.
- Place coated zucchini on the cooling rack.
- Mist zucchini with cooking spray.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, or until desired crispiness is reached.
By Sheila Gains, Family & Consumer Science Agent, Arapahoe County