Do you struggle to get your kids to eat their veggies? I do. Sometimes. Not all the time. The kids are generally pretty good. It’s just some vegetables. Like zucchini. To make things trickier for me in the kitchen – they both like and hate exactly the opposite things. Sassy loves tomatoes, Dylan hates them. Dylan will eat kale by the salad-ful, and Sassy won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. They are generally great with the usual stuff – broccoli, bok choy, beans, potatoes, pumpkin, carrots. But give them roasted eggplant, capsicum, mushrooms or zucchini and they will freak out like you’re force-feeding them frog’s liver. To be honest, Sassy is not too bad with zucchini. But Dylan. My goodness. Torture. Thus my search for the best baked zucchini recipes out there. 

They say children’s tastes’ change as they grow. That you should persevere and continue offering a wide variety of things to encourage them to explore their palates. When Dylan was a toddler he ate everything I offered him (including all the things he dislikes now) – avocado, pureed squash, brussel sprouts, capsicum, eggplant. EVERYTHING. I loved making baby food and watching him down everything in sight and ask for more. His tastes started changing when he was around 4. Then began the refusal of all things good that he used to easily eat. He’s now 11 and I’m slowly working my way through. Capsicum (red only) – check. Mushrooms (but only some types and depending how it’s cooked) – check. And now zucchini – finally, CHECK!

I’ve been persevering with zucchini for ages. I mean it’s not horrible tasting as far as veggies go – it’s pretty much low hanging fruit right? But for him it’s the texture. He hates slimy veggies (aka tomatoes, eggplant) and has even started turning down cucumber (!).

He once attended a birthday party hosted at a cooking school. The kids were treated to a cooking lesson and got to make their own lunch. He came home with wonderful tales of how he cut, dipped, baked AND ate all his zucchini sticks and chicken fingers. I’ve been trying to replicate those zucchini sticks over the years without much success. They all end up in a soggy mess and after one bite he refuses.

Well, I’ve finally found the answer. The perfectly crispy baked zucchini chip.

They won’t last a day (and no they shouldn’t because they will be soggy anyway), are easy to make and taste good. Get the kids in the kitchen and make up a batch for movie night or throw them on a plate with fish or chicken fingers for an easy finger food dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini (around 500g / 1 pound roughly)
  • Cooking spray (I use whatever I have on hand, this time it was avocado oil spray)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 230C (450F). Get your baking trays ready with baking paper or lightly spray with cooking spray. 
  2. Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch thick circles. Dry them on paper towels or tea towels to get the excess moisture out. 
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a tsp of water to thin it out. 
  4. In another small bowl, combine the parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper. 
  5. Dip each dried zucchini chip in the egg white, then the parmesan mix. Make sure you let the excess egg white drip off before you dip into the crumbs. 
  6. Place each chip on your baking tray. Bake each tray until they are browned and crispy – around 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through baking. Because my oven is hotter in some parts, I moved the chips from the outside into the centre to keep them burning, and vice versa giving the inside ones more heat. 

They’re done when they are golden. Cool for a bit then serve them up and watch the kids gobble them down. 

Original recipe comes from The Smitten Kitchen’s zucchini parmesan crisps.

What’s the worst tasting vegetable your kids won’t eat?

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