June is a fabulous month for freshly-grown courgettes, as the growing season really gets into the swing around now. I’m always looking for creative ways to use these fabulous vegetables in our plant-based menu at the retreat and thought that it would be great to make a burger-type item: so here’s my courgette fritter recipe. The word “fritter” generally refers to a “fried” product, but as you know by reading our blog, we tend to avoid frying with oil here at the retreat, to reduce the amount of cooked oil and unnecessary added calories in our food. Instead we bake or grill to get a nice crispy fritter.
We use chia seeds in this recipe to help to bind all the ingredients together, sort of like an egg would do. Remember to soak the chia seeds for at least one hour before making the fritters. Soaking chia seeds in water makes them expand and go gloopy and thick. Stir them in gently for best effect. They also give an added nutritional boost, with added omega 3 fatty acids.
In this recipe I leave the skin of the courgette on, rather than peeling them first. It makes the recipe easier to prepare whilst also bringing a pale green colour to the fritters. We use fresh dill in this recipe, for a different flavour. If you don’t have it, not to worry, you can use dried dill or swap it for fresh parsley.
Cooking tip: You must squeeze out the juice from the grated courgettes, as they contain a high amount of water. I use a sieve and press the courgette down into the mesh, then finish by holding the grated courgette and squeezing. Removing as much juice as you can means that you don’t need to add as much flour to make the “fritter” dough. I find that flour can deaden the flavour of plant-based foods, so try to add as little flour as possible. Flour also increases the calories, so keeping to 1 or 2 tablespoons will keep the calorie count down. Additionally, you can drink the courgette juice!
Summer courgette fritter recipe
Serves: 8, makes around 20 fritters.
Calories: 568 total, 29 per fritter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 red onion, very finely chopped
2 tbsp lemon
4 large courgettes, grated
4 tsp cumin seeds
Handful fresh dill, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp turmeric
As needed: Few tbsp gluten-free flour (buckwheat, chickpea or other)
Soak the chia seeds in 2 tbsp water for one hour – they should become gloopy.
Cook the onion in a frying pan with the 2 tablespoons of lemon and some water for 8 minutes, until the onion is soft and starting to brown. Place to one side and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to medium (180°C / 350°F / Gas 4). Line a baking tray with grease-proof baking paper.
Meanwhile, place the grated courgette into a sieve and press out as much water as you can. Collect the courgette juice in a separate jug, so that you can drink it!
Place the grated courgette into a bowl, then add the cumin seeds, fresh dill and turmeric. Stir well. Add the cooked onion and the chia seeds into the mixture and continue to mix gently.
Add the gluten-free flour one tablespoon at a time to make the fritter mixture. If you have time, leave to stand for 15 minutes – this can help the “dough” to thicken.
Form the mixture into round fritter shapes, roughly 6cm wide, by pressing together between your palms. They will feel wet, but this helps to keep them moist during baking.
Lay each fritter onto the baking tray and bake for 20 mins or until firm to the touch and lightly golden. (You can also cook under the grill, but you will need to turn them half-way through cooking). The outside will be lightly golden and the inside lovely and moist.
Serve with a big leafy salad, topped with toasted nuts and pumpkin seeds, and a sesame vinaigrette dressing for a lovely fresh summer lunch.
You can also pack these fritters into your summer picnic to enjoy outdoors!
If you eat bread, you can serve these courgette fritters in the same way as you would a vegetarian or vegan burger – in a bun, with some crispy lettuce, sliced tomato and cucumber, perhaps with some homemade wholegrain mustard. Yum!
Vegan recipes on our blog
We publish a new plant-based recipe each month, you will find this courgette fritter recipe alongside many other vegan recipes on our health and wellbeing blog. Click on the box “food recipe” to see them all. You can also search for your favourite ingredients by typing in the ingredient into the search box.
If you love courgette and want more ideas of what to make with them, you might enjoy our article: five recipes for summer courgette.
There are two La Crisalida e-cookbooks available to purchase and download from our online shop: Summer Food, 30 delicious plant-based recipes and our new Souping for health, 40 stunning plant-based soup recipes.
Plant-based food at La Crisalida Retreat Spain
If you have enjoyed this recipe, consider coming to La Crisalida Retreats here in sunny Spain to enjoy our tasty plant-based menu. Each dish is freshly prepared by our talented team of chefs, and our menus are designed to bring lots of vitamins and minerals to your body.
Do let me know how you get on with this recipe, by leaving a comment below. You can also share this recipe with your friends on social media, using the buttons.
About the author
- Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).