One of the best things my Jewish husband introduced into my life is the food of his culture when he was growing up. Sure, there are some things I can never get around to liking – carrot tzimmes (too sweet), schmaltz (yucks) and gelfilte fish (fish that looks like brains? No way). But there are plenty others that I just can’t get enough of, like latkes.
The first time I made zucchini pancakes, my husband immediately exclaimed “Yay, we’re having vegetable latkes!” I didn’t even know what they were at that time (although I knew of the potato version); I do now but have yet to try a true Jewish vegetable latke. And if they taste anything like zucchini pancakes, I’m sure to love them.
Zucchini pancakes are one of the “superfoods” that I like feeding my kids. These pancakes are my family’s superfood because they are made up of mostly shredded zucchini, which makes them a great vehicle for getting veggies into my kids. They also contain a fair amount of eggs to hold the mixture together, which makes them a great way to naturally get iron and a complete protein into my daughter, who refuses to eat eggs and meat and from what initially started as a mere toddler picky fad burgeoned into a way of life that she doesn’t even know the reason for anymore. It is senseless and it is impossible to argue with a wilful toddler, but I have moved on and accepted it.
I have made zucchini pancakes before using another recipe; they were good, but I have to say that these zucchini pancakes by Ina Garten take the cake. They held their shape, were not mushy, and tasted deliciously grassy due to the high ratio of grated zucchini to the rest of the ingredients. For this recipe and as with any other pancake recipe that I try, I always replace the flour with a whole wheat spelt version (you really cannot taste the difference here because the amount of flour called for is so little) and add a couple tablespoonfuls of ground flaxseed to boost the nutrition value.
And it is just another bonus that my kids happen to love anything in pancake form.