Summer Vegetable Pancakes

This recipe is a variation of my zucchini pancake recipe. I have created several variations, which may be prepared during different times of the year–depending on what’s available and/or in season. This recipe–and its variations–is always a hit!

Ingredients

3 cups shredded or grated summer squash (drain squash if it is very watery)
½ cup fresh corn kernels
½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup chickpea flour
1-2 tsp. curry powder (or to taste—some curry powders are hotter than others)
1 tsp. salt
Optional: 1-2 tsp. fresh chopped cilantro
Olive oil or your favorite oil for cooking

Put vegetables into a medium-size mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well with your hands until all of the ingredients are well combined. Heat a non-stick skillet. Add to the skillet a little coconut oil—or any good quality oil that you like to cook with—enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Form vegetable mixture into 3-4 inch patties. When oil is hot, but not smoking add patties. Slowly cook on one side over medium heat until golden brown. Do not cook too fast otherwise vegetables will not cook through. Turn over and cook on other side until golden brown. When done, remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with Curry Mayo, Tomato Chutney, Tamarind Chutney or Sour Cream. Makes about 10 pancakes.

Curry Mayo

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1-2 tsp. curry powder

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well. Serve with pancakes or as a spread for sandwiches, salads, veggies. etc. 

Health Benefits of Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour, also known as besan, garbanzo flour or gram flour — not graham — is a wheat-free flour alternative made from lightly roasted, dried and ground garbanzo beans or chickpeas. Indian markets and/or health food stores are the best places to find this legume-based flour. It is high in carbohydrates and protein, contains some fat and is gluten-free. This nutrient-rich flour is a food source of many vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber.

Ethnic cuisines worldwide, from India to the Middle East to Italy to Provence, France, use chickpea flour. It is extremely versatile, in addition to being a nutrient powerhouse.

Basic Nutrition Value

Chickpea flour is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is particularly high in folate or vitamin B9, thiamin or vitamin B1, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, copper and manganese. It is a good food source of other micronutrients, such as vitamin K and zinc. Few other flour substitutes, with the exception of soy flour, are more nutrient-rich.

Minerals and Dietary Fiber

A 100 g serving of besan meets 41.5 percent of the DV for magnesium; 24 percent for potassium; 32 percent for phosphorus; 27 percent for iron and 19 percent for zinc. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that children, adolescents and adults in the US do not consume enough magnesium-potassium- and fiber-rich foods. The minerals are important for maintaining strong bones, regulating blood pressure, aiding in energy metabolism and muscle contraction. Dietary fiber promotes regular bowel movements. In addition, iron and zinc may be deficient in the diets of older Americans. Iron plays a role in transporting oxygen throughout the bloodstream. Both nutrients support a healthy immune system and zinc helps regulate blood sugar, promotes wound healing and performs other functions.

Uses Worldwide

Indian cuisine incorporates chickpea flour into more dishes than other cultures. It is used as a thickener and to make pancakes and fritters, such as chilla, an Indian “street” or fast food. In the Middle East, chickpea flour is an important ingredient for making falafel, deep-fried chickpea ‘balls.’ French Provençal chefs use chickpea flour to make socca, a pancake popular in Nice. Liguria, Italy is known for ‘panissa,’ a chickpea flour-based polenta. For vegan recipes, you can replace eggs with equal parts chickpea flour and water. If you do not eat it, you can wear it, literally. Indian women make a paste composed of besan and water or yogurt and apply it to their face as an exfoliant.

 

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