Updated: May 20
Do you LOVE fried zucchini as much as I do?? Ever feel like you can't have it because it's way too carby and oily??
Then you may appreciate a quick backstory.
When I was eating the "Standard American Diet" I would regularly order fried zucchini whenever we went out to eat. In the past several years I knew that foods like this weren't going to help me meet my health and weight goals. So I ordered it much less often and picked off the majority of the breading (which is usually cornmeal-based) before I'd eat it.
That tactic worked, I felt like I was still able to indulge a bit, but over time my knowledge of unhealthy oils increased and I decided it was time to make it at home. Oven recipes were okay...but I was unable to get the crunchiness of the breading that it needed.
Fast forward to a few months ago when I made some in the air fryer I borrowed from my mother-in-law (shout out to Lori!).
Oh. My. Gosh. Life changing, you guys.
When my toaster oven died, I got my air fryer oven. It's been the absolute BEST investment I've made on a kitchen gadget since my Instant Pot. I mean, who could pass these up?!
It actually takes up less room on my counter top, functions as a regular oven, a toaster, an air fryer, can rotisserie a small chicken, can simply reheat food...you name it. Even better: It came with all the accessories to do these things!!
Many of you are living a lower carb or keto lifestyle. This recipe drastically reduces the overall carb count because the breading is a combo of pork rinds, Parmesan and some almond flour. For the entire batch of breading--I didn't calculate the zucchini because, well, I didn't weigh mine lol--it's only 3.5g of net carbs!
I've played around with some recipes and this one turned out pretty darn tasty. Drop me a line and let me know what you think!
**CLICK HERE OR ON ANY IMAGE FOR A PRINTABLE VERSION!!**
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By Krista Smith, FNTP
With just under 4g net carbs per serving (breading + coconut flour calculation only) you can enjoy this lower carb version of a classic favorite.
cooking spray (avocado oil spray is my fave)
1-2 medium zucchinis, sliced lengthwise and cut in half in long wedges (try to keep them all uniform in size)
2 T coconut flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large egg, beaten
¼ C grated Parmesan cheese
1/3C finely crushed pork rinds (original)
½C blanched almond flour
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika
Spray an air fryer basket with cooking spray (I like Chosen Foods avocado oil spray).
Set up 3 dishes for breading the zucchini. In one, put the coconut flour and salt and pepper. In the second dish, add the beaten egg. The Parmesan, crushed pork rinds, almond flour and seasonings go in the last one. **NOTE: You will likely have extra breading mix. Add just a bit at a time to this last dish as needed so you can save any leftover for next time**
Using one hand for the dry ingredients, the other for the wet (egg), begin by dredging the zucchini spears, a few at a time, in the coconut flour mixture. Shake off any excess.
Next place the zucchini in the egg and gently coat until it is wet all over.
Finally, gently place the zucchini in the breading mixture and press to evenly coat. Place into the air fryer basket.
Continue until all of the zucchini pieces are breaded. Be careful not to crowd the fryer basket. If you have too many pieces to cook, set them aside and make another batch.
Lightly spray the top of the zucchini with cooking spray.
For an air fryer oven, set to “fries” if you have presets. Otherwise, manually set it for 430 degrees for 20 minutes. Watch to ensure they do not burn. Remove when the breading is golden brown and the zucchini pieces are tender-crisp.
Add more salt, if desired. Also great with ranch dressing!
Approximate Macros (entire batch of breading mix + coconut flour only)