Stack them up and high! Fritters are now a staple on cafe brunch menus for around $15* or more for a stack of three, perhaps with a side of tomato or onion relish and maybe a rocket salad. While the occasional dine-outs are great ways to catch up with friends and family (minus the washing up), see just how quick, cheap and easy it is to make your very own nutritious stack in the comfort of your home! Read on to find out how…
“C” the veggie possibilities
You’ll notice the name of this recipe is quite a mouthful. I supposed could have named it “Spiced Chickpea Fritters”, but considering the list of beautifully orange and golden veggies that star in this recipe I felt that they needed some credit. As well as chickpeas, you’ll see carrots, corn and capsicum – giving this dish a triple-C punch of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that our body transforms into vitamin A for healing, an immunity boost and eye health. Of course, the beauty of fritters is that you can swap out these C’s for any other veggie combo – see my Notes in the recipe for suggestions.
Chickpea for plant protein!
Using legumes such as chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are a budget-friendly, nutritious and simple way of upping the protein, fibre and micronutrient content of your meal. They also provide a great source of slow-release, longer-lasting carbs. All these benefits means that you stay fuller for longer, keep your gut and bowels happy and regular, and finish the meal with a happy wallet. I’m in!
A 400g can of chickpeas could be $2 at major supermarkets, and this can is enough for 2-4 serves. Compared to red meats and other forms of animal protein, legumes like chickpeas make cheaper alternatives of protein (+ carbs) that you can add to your weekly meal routine. By making our fritters with part-chickpea-part-wholemeal-flour, we simultaneously tick off protein and carbohydrate sources.
Canned, or not canned?
Canned beans are friendly time-savers and just as nutritious as home-cooked versions. The soaking and cooking processes used in making canned beans don’t affect the protein, fibre and mineral contents. Some differences include some loss of B vitamins and texture – canned beans will be softer than if you can cook them at home to your liking.
This is the fancy, and proper, name for the liquid you drain off canned chickpeas. It might look like “just murky water” but it has been marvelled as a great vegan-friendly substitute for egg whites for pavlova and meringues. Worth a shot?
Serves: 12 fritters (or 24 mini fritters)
Costs: $5.94 ($0.50 per fritter / $1.48 per serve of 3 fritters)
Cooking time: 35 mins
- 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp paprika (see Notes)
- 1 small red capsicum, finely diced
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
- 400g canned chickpeas, drained and roughly mashed (keep the liquid from the tin!)
- 1 cup corn kernels and/or peas, drained (see Notes)
- 1 cup carrot, skin intact and grated
- Olive oil spray
- Fresh coriander leaves, Greek yoghurt and guacamole to serve (optional)
- Mix salad, to serve (optional)
Let’s get cooking:
- Heat a frypan over medium heat and spray with oil. Add onion and cook for 3-4 mins or until soft. Add garlic, paprika and capsicum and cook, stirring for 2-3 mins. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool down. Wipe pan clean with a damp paper towel.
- Whisk eggs and flour in a large bowl. Stir in mashed chickpeas, corns, peas (if using), carrot and cooled capsicum mixture. Season with black pepper and combined well. If the mixture is too dry, stir in a few tablespoons of the reserved chickpea liquid. Consistency should be similar to a thick porridge or a thick curry. If the mixture is too runny, add more tablespoons of flour.
- Heat frypan over medium heat and spray with oil. Dollop 1/4 cup of the mixture per fritter (or 2 tablespoons for mini fritters) into the pan. Cook for 3 mins on each side or until golden. Transfer cooked fritters to a wire rack lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 12 fritters (or 24 mini fritters).
- Serve with fresh coriander, dollops of yoghurt and guacamole. Amp up the meal with a colourful side salad.
- Regular paprika can be replaced with smoked paprika, which gives the fritters a smoky bacon flavour (if you’re into that).
- I used a can of mixed corn kernels and peas for some green colour (so there’s actually more than just C-veggies in these fritters), but the recipe works just as well with corn only.
- Don’t have the 3-C veggies? Jazz it up with any veggie in the kitchen – try baby spinach, diced mushroom and tomatoes; broccoli, grated pumpkin and crumbled goats cheese (not a veggie, but it works well… and starts with C too).
- “Grate” cheese combos? Try grated parmesan, cheddar, crumbled feta or torn bocconcini Mozzarella cheese.
A serve of three fritters (or 6 mini fritters) provides 3.5 serves of veggies, 90% of your day’s vitamin A and over 100% of your day’s vitamin C.
|Per serve (3 fritters)|
|Total fat (g)||5.8|
|– Saturated fat (g)||1.0|
|– Sugars (g)||7.4|
|Vitamin A (μg)||636|
|Vitamin C (mg)||102|
* based on some Sydney cafe menus and by all means not a comprehensive analysis. Meant to be an estimate guide only .