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Squash & Bean Fritters

By Nicole Fetterly, RD

Nothing says fall like squash and pumpkin! These hearty vegetables are packed with fibre and complex carbohydrates to give you lasting energy, not to mention vitamin A, calcium and other key nutrients. They grow abundantly in BC and are so versatile in soups, stews, curries, baking, smoothies, risotto and of course, fritters, which could be eaten for any meal of the day. Roast halved, seeded squash in its skin for simplicity then scoop out the flesh, or in a pinch, use canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling which has lots of added sugar). You can also save the seeds to roast—just rinse off the stringy bits, lay them in an even layer on a baking sheet until dry then drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and roast at 325F for 10-15 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally.

Serves 4

1 medium-sized squash (e.g. acorn, butternut, sugar pumpkin) or 1 can (199 mL) canned pumpkin

1 tsp olive oil

1 can (14 oz/398 mL) white beans, drained and rinsed

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup chickpea, ground oat or whole wheat flour

¼ tsp cardamom

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp chili powder

2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Set seeds aside for roasting if desired. Place squash halves skin side down on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool. This step can be done up to 2 days in advance (keep cooked squash in the fridge).

Meanwhile, place beans in bowl and mash, then add lemon juice, flour, salt and spices. Scoop the squash out of the skin and add to the bowl, mashing it up. Stir it all together to combine well.

Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil. Scoop approximately 1.5 tablespoons of squash mixture into the pan and flatten slightly into a fritter. Repeat forming another 9 small fritters. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan to a paper-towel lined plate and keep warm in the oven.

Add remaining 1 Tbsp of oil to pan and cook remaining 10 fritters. Serve warm with a yogurt dipping sauce if desired or if eating for breakfast, a light drizzle of maple syrup.