Zucchini fries. Not even close to a french fry. Much more succulent. Almost hollow with a tender bite of deliciousness. While these babies are fried in a lot of oil, they are still filled with protien (lots of nuts, coconut flour), and the perfect snack when you want chips or fries, but, like me, can’t eat either!
And, if you are wondering how something fried can be “healthy”, well, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and all of life, there is yin and yang. Heavy and light. So, a little fry mixed with some raw or light (maybe a veggie soup, grilled fish, etc) is perfectly fine in my worldview! These guys are low-carb, and Paleo, gluten-free and SCD friendly as well.
I started with a bag of mini-zucchini from Trader Joes. You can use bigger zucchini, just cut them in half to make the pieces smaller and then slice them into strips a bit bigger than matchsticks. This will accomodate about a pound (3 medium) zucchini or about a pound of baby zucchini. If you use baby zucchini, its a lot faster and less cutting, plus they are adorable and sweeter!
***note: you can make breaded cauliflower that is off-the-hook with exactly the same method as described below!***
- 1 lb baby zucchini with the stems removed and then cut lengthwise. (or about 3 medium-sized zucchini cut as described above ( sliced in half to create two ends of zucchini, and then into strips lengthwise to create “fries”) You want the pieces small enough to look like fries and to fry easily.
- peanut oil, canola oil or another high temp oil (do not use extra virgin olive oil!) to fry.
- coconut flour (about 1/2 cup). if you do not have coconut flour, you can try using all almond meal, though the coconut flour works great here and does not taste like coconut)
- almond meal or almond flour (I get mine at Trader Joe’s) (about a cup)
- seasoning for almond meal: I used— 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp smoked paprika, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. You can use an Italian season blend (about 1 1/2 tsp) or any other spices you prefer to create your own flavor profile.
- 2 eggs, well beaten.
- A pot (a stock/soup sized pot) for frying.
- Metal tongs (preferred) that you can get at a kitchen store or grocery for preparing and frying more safely.
Fill the bottom of your pot with about 2 inches of oil. Yes, its a lot of oil. You are frying.
I place this on a back burner of my stove on low heat and let it heat up gradually as I get everything together. From the moment you turn on the oil, do not leave your kitchen! If this is your first time frying, wait until you have everything prepared before turning on the oil.
Slice up your zucchini and put them on a plate.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs well.
In another bowl, add the coconut flour. If you are using more almond meal/flour, leave it plain in this bowl.
In a third bowl add the almond flour that will now be seasoned as you wish & well-blended!
Create an assembly line:
*Coconut flour (or plain almond flour) * then egg * then seasoned almond meal.
Take one extra plate and line it with paper towel for the finished pieces to drain. Keep it nearby.
I hold the plate of sliced zucchini in one hand and, using metal tongs, take each piece and drop it into the coconut flour. I shake off the excess coconut flour so they are just finely “dusted”, then dip them into into the egg. Let the excess egg drip off into its bowl. Finally, roll the piece in the “almond spice crumbs”.
Now, carefully lower it into the hot oil.
I start with one piece. When I see that this piece is floating and sizzling gently, I know the oil is ready to roll. Keep the heat very low on the oil. And keep your assembly line going. I manage about 8 to 10 zucchini in my pot at a time. I watch them roll around and float until they are brown.
Pluck them out with your metal tongs and place on the paper-towel-lined plate. Then load in your next batch. It takes three to four batches to finish all the frying to golden brown. If you oil starts getting smoky or too hot, lower it immediately.
Very important: Do not leave this unattended. I would also caution against doing it with kids or animals nearby, as you have very hot oil in motion.
Surprisingly, in a deep pot with just a few inches of oil, this is much easier than I intially suspected!
Once they are all drained on their paper-towel tray: you are ready to serve & eat!
I whipped up an easy lemon mayo dipping sauce for the side. You may want to have with salsa or as-is, but the mayo is “awesome” and can be used for anything else this week that you’d like to make.
DIY Mayo (you can use this on anything, and it is incredible!)
In a blender:
- add one fresh raw egg (room temp is best)
- the juice of one medium lemon (about a tsp)
- a tsp of dijon mustard (SCD people-use an approved mustard or skip it!)
- 1/4 tsp (* a decent pinch) of sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (or black pepper)
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or skip it, ir you prefer)
- And about 1/2 tsp of honey
- 1 cup of your favorite oil
Turn on the blender, removing the center piece from the top. Slowly-very- pour in one cup of your favorite oil in a steady stream. You’ll watch mayo happen right before your eyes!
You can store this in the refrigerator in a covered container for about a week.
Serve on the side. Or with anything you want!
& Enjoy! xoxo Dana
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This looks delish!
yummy! so going to try this
The Paleo diet does not use peanut or canola oil, and once you know how canola oil is made and that most of it is GMO you won’t want to use either. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe and frying it in Organic Palm Shortening though.
Jennnifer, thank you for the clarification! I need to brush up on my Paleo— just when I thought I had it down. I’m Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and its like super-strict Paleo… but there are very important nuances! I am going to do some oil research now, too, in general. Thanks again & I hope you enjoy! xxx