Summer Snapshots and Byron-Inspired Zucchini & Sweet Corn Fritters

Byron Bay over New Years was perfect in so many ways. It’s a place where music just sounds better and drinks slide down more easily. People laugh harder and they smile bigger; they share experiences and ideas that aren’t limited to the one small city they come from or the single state of mind they filter their own world through. They think more and they see more. The beaches feel sacred even though you know they’re touched and the sticky air hums with a vibe that’s simply at ease with itself. It makes you at ease with yourself. The atmosphere is so intrinsically happy that you feel at home in streets you’ve never walked through, hostels you’ve never slept in with people you’ve never met. You know every little thing is better in Byron, just because it is. If you try to explain why, you’ll only ruin it for yourself.
I guess that’s why some people love to travel so much: they have an uncontainable itch to experience those places first hand, the places that no great storyteller, elaborate travel blog or perfectly filtered photo could ever do justice to.

IMG_2330IMG_4158IMG_2238IMG_4153 IMG_4138 IMG_2988IMG_4173IMG_4166IMG_1595IMG_4238IMG_4149IMG_4148IMG_3582IMG_4139IMG_2892IMG_4157IMG_4162IMG_4152IMG_4140IMG_4151IMG_3013IMG_4150IMG_4134IMG_4163IMG_4161IMG_4171 IMG_2032 IMG_4154 IMG_4146 IMG_4241 IMG_4235  IMG_2626 IMG_4133 IMG_4236 IMG_4242 IMG_4172 IMG_2336 IMG_2684 IMG_2741 IMG_4237 IMG_4239

I was planning on writing one blog post to celebrate my glorious week at Byron Bay over New Years (presumably in early January after my return), and another to mourn the devastating death of another Australian summer (presumably in early March after the sunny season’s decease in February). I clearly failed to deliver either post, because April is nearly upon us. Let’s just say that with two part-time jobs and a manic schedule at a new Uni, I’m lucky to fit a shower into my weekly schedule, let alone a blog post. Tear, tear.

But right now, I’ve got seven hours worth of lecture recordings to catch up on, hundreds of pages worth of academic papers to read (skim over), two research assignments to write (begin researching for) and several online tests to complete (attempt). Despite all this and my truest intentions to make a dent in it this afternoon, I’ve chosen to sit in the university library, sippin’ on chai tea with Asics-encased feet up on the couch (I don’t even put shoes on the couches at home, but I’m allowed to here because the chick next to me is doing it and the guy opposite is resting his shoes on the table like a footrest, and it’s worth noting that they look respectable, so shoe-furniture contact is therefore totally acceptable here) and I’m writing this blog post on a recipe which honours both my brazen Byron adventure, and another all-too few and far between summer season. Priorities, I tell ya! I’ve so got my life sorted.

So here we go…

 Being the well-documented scab that I am, I always have to taste every meal ordered by each person I’m out with, often when I haven’t even tasted my own dish yet. If ever they object, I justify my request by pulling out the “poor Ashlyn with fructose issues” card, whereby they’re reminded (yet again) in a high-pitched whine that I can’t actually order restaurant dishes as tasty as theirs, and that denying me the simple human pleasure of tasting toothsome delights would be inhumanly cruel.

My mum almost always opts for the ‘zucchini and sweet corn fritter’ option if it’s available on a brunch menu, so you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ve tasted around 95% of the zucchini fritters offered around Melbourne. Of course, some are lovely and tasty and lovely, and some are not so. The reason I never actually order my own is because I’m yet to come across a zucchini fritter on a Melbourne menu that isn’t either full of onion or made with refined wheat flour. Given this frustration, it’s a wonder why I haven’t tried to come up with my own version before. Thankfully, a vibrant little gem in Byron Bay known as Manna Haven gave me all the inspiration I needed.

I couldn’t have been more in my element in Byron. Everywhere I turned my eager little head was a pretty sign pointing me to the nearest organic feasts, açai bowls, green smoothies, frozen coconut yoghurt bars and raw treats. Of all the wonderful cafes and stores, however, Manna Haven stood out. The Haven’s set up is charmingly quaint, the menu sublime and their service unmatched. The waiter looked totally unphased as I timidly informed him of my fructose issues. As usual, I interpreted this as him having no knowledge about fructose. When I tried again, this time asking if there was anything on the menu he thought I might be able to have, he simply said:
“Of course there is, choose anything you like!” Did he not get that I couldn’t eat half of the ingredients in every single menu item except for the herbal teas? I clearly needed to get more specific. I asked him if there was onion in their ‘Flipping Fritters’, and told him I was aware that there’d already be garlic and /or onion in the tzatziki and quinoa tabbouleh the fritters were served with, and asked if I could have a simple side salad instead. “There certainly is, but if I tell you what goes into each component, you tell me what you can’t have, and the chef will make it all from scratch!”

***angelic heaven-worshipping sound effect***

Within 20 minutes, I had a fabulous plate of zucchini and sweetcorn fritters before me, complete with a side of quinoa tabbouleh, tzatziki and a green smoothie made with ingredients of my choice to wash it all down with. I savoured every mouthful and knew that I had to make my own inspired version once I got home. It only took me over two months, but it’s finally here: my Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Feta Fritters. With gluten and dairy free substitutions, there’s an option for almost anyone (sorry my lovely vegans, this recipe calls for eggs. You’re welcome to try it without them and use a little coconut milk instead. If it doesn’t work, don’t blame me – I’m pro-eggie!)

These patties are wonderful served with eggs for breakfast, as a lunch meal with smoked salmon, avocado salsa, lemon and rocket or as a snack with pumpkin seed butter. You can even wrap them up and snack on them cold while you’re on the go.

IMG_4159 IMG_4142 IMG_4145 IMG_4143 IMG_4147 IMG_4160 IMG_4144IMG_4216IMG_4220IMG_4222IMG_4221IMG_4219IMG_4223

 

Zucchini, Sweet Corn & Feta Fritters

Makes about 15 fritters (serves 5)

Dietary info: vegetarian, fructose friendly, low FODMAP*, refined sugar free, dairy free option, gluten free option. Contains nuts (almonds).

Ingredients

  • 700g zucchini, grated
  • 8 spring onions (green part only), chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 420g can corn kernels* (unsweetened and no or salt)
  • 3 organic free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup whole meal spelt flour** (see notes for GF alternatives)
  • 150g Persian/Bulgarian/Danish feta (optional – omit if dairy free)

Method

  1. Place the grated zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Toss with your hands to distribute the salt amongst the zucchini. Place the colander in a large bowl (to catch the water from the zucchini), cover and leave for 1 hour or longer, if possible. Refrigerate if leaving for a longer period of time. During this time, the salt will help to suck the moisture out of the zucchini so you’re not left with soggy patties.
  2. In the meantime, combine the sweet corn, spring onion, herbs, lemon rind and eggs. Add the almond meal and half of the spelt flour. Combine well.
  3. When the zucchini is ready, grab handfuls and squeeze out any excess water before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Crumble the feta into chunks if using and mix well but carefully, so as to not to break it up totally – little chunks of feta are best.
  5. At this stage, you can assess the consistency of the batter. You’ll most likely need to add the rest of the spelt flour, but this will depend on how well the zucchini has drained. If the mixture seems too wet, add more spelt or almond meal, mixing well between additions, until the mixture is moist enough to all hold together, able to be formed into patty shapes.
  6. Take small amounts of the batter and form into patty shapes with your hands. The first few I made were quite thick and turned out a little soggy in the middle, but then I made a thinner round and they turned out much lighter, crispier and cooked quicker (win, win, win!)
  7. Cook the patties in a little coconut or macadamia nut oil over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through and lovely and golden (cooking times will always vary depending on your stove, pan and patty thickness).
  8. Serve warm with eggs to kick start your day, or with avocado salsa (smashed avo, chopped cherry tomatoes, coriander, lemon and chives), smoked salmon and rocket for a wholesome lunch.

Notes:

* I can tolerate large amounts of sweet corn, thought I know some people with fructose malabsorption have issues with it. The commonly tolerable amount is the equivalent to at least 1/2 cob or 1/4 cup of kernels, and there’s less than that in each serving in this recipe. Always assess your own tolerance levels.

** For a gluten free version, replace the spelt flour with another suitable flour. Buckwheat or brown rice flour should work!

 

Happy Nourishing!
Ax
Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Summer Snapshots and Byron-Inspired Zucchini & Sweet Corn Fritters

  1. Wow! Such a detailed reply, thank you so much!

    I’m from Sydney and have only been to Melbourne once when I was 16 so wasn’t really able to go out for a drink. Now I’m really keen to explore as an adult because people are always telling me how great the city is!

    As we are only there for the weekend I want to make sure we go to all the best spots and I will definitely be taking your recommendations into account.

    Once again, love love looooveee your blog/insty. I am currently interning at Gourmet Traveller in Sydney and will hopefully be working in editorial for delicious. mag in the near future so obviously food is a massive passion of mine as well!

    You seem like such a lovely girl and if we pop into pressed juices and your there I will totally be fan girling! haha

    Thanks again Ashlyn xxxx

    Like

  2. Hey Olivia!

    Thanks a million for the amazing feedback! It makes me SO super happy to hear that you love my blog enough to have it on your bookmarks bar! You’ve made my day haha!

    Where are you and your friends from? Ok so Top Paddock in Richmond is a must. Melbourne’s CBD and the outer suburbs are FULL of hidden gems, sometimes the best thing is to just go exploring and stumble across places. But I’d definitely say that the following are must dos:

    Restaurants/cafes: Top Paddock (Richmond), Chin Chin (CBD), Red Spice Road (one of my fave restaurants in the CBD – not exactly healthy but every dish is an absolute flavour sensation so it’s a must – the pork belly and lamb ribs are out of this world), Gingerboy (CBD), Mamasita (amaaaaazing Mexican in the CBD with classic choices as well as super healthy alternatives), restaurants along the Yarra River at South Bank (CBD), Yong Green Food (Fitzroy), Veggie Bar (Fitzroy) but that’s just to name a few…

    Like anything, shopping spots depend totally on your budget! Shopping along Chapel St is amazing, as are all the bars there (check out Lucky Coq on a Friday or Saturday night – it’s a great place to hang out and drink at before you head out to dance), shopping is best in all the little alley ways around the CBD and Australia’s first H&M just opened there!

    Also, try to get to the markets that are all around on weekends (South Melbourne, Prahran, Northcote)

    And in terms of bars, they’re everywhere you turn in Melbourne. I love the bars along Brunswick St in Fitzroy and along Chapel St, but the CBD is full of popular clubs and the type of clubs you go to really depends on the kind of night, music and scene you’re after haha! Melbournians are a verrrry diverse bunch! So I’m hesitant to send you to the clubs I frequent because I don’t usually go to your typically “popular” and “classy” clubs, as I don’t like the pretentious crowd or mainstream music at them, although they are popular! But there are literally hundreds to choose from and you’re guarranteed a good night ANYWHERE in Melbourne so long as you’re in good company.

    Hope that helps! Oh and you MUST visit Pressed Juices! There’s 6 stores around Melbourne and I work part time at the Collins St store! X

    Like

  3. Hi Ashlyn, absolutely love your blog, I even have it on my bookmarks bar! Your pics, recipes and overall writing style is very beautiful and professional. I am yet to try any of your recipes but definitely have my eyes on the banana bread and paleo choc brownies! Anyway, this is a little off topic but me and my friends are coming to Melbourne (from Syd) in May and I was just wondering if there are any restaurants, bars, shops, etc that you would recommend are a MUST DO! I really want to go to Top Paddock, but not sure what else would be good. I really value your opinion as you are such an inspiration to me and a gorgeous girl inside and out 🙂 Sorry if this seems really creepy haha. Looking forward to your reply, Liv xx

    Like

  4. These were amazing! Just made them for brunch with friends and everyone raved about them! Even the guys! They couldn’t believe they were healthy and delicious! Thanks!

    Like

  5. These were amazing! Just made them for a brunch with friends and everyone raved about them! Even the guys – they were shocked that they were healthy and delicious. Thanks! 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s