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Zucchini and Squash Blossom Pancakes

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Zucchini and Squash Blossom Pancakes are one of my favorite recipes that I love to make when I have an abundance of zucchini and squash blossoms from my garden. This recipe is so versatile that it can be had for breakfast, lunch, or even packed for your lunchbox.

These courgette pancakes are vegan and made using gluten-free gram flour / Chickpea flour/ besan along with a few spices. These protein-rich pancakes can be made in as little as 10-15 minutes from start to finish. One can enjoy them as is with a hot cuppa or with some homemade tomato ketchup on the side.

Though I would prefer them piping hot for my breakfast, I would not mind packing them for picnics too. This can be made big or small in size or one can even deep fry them and make fritters or pakoda. Toddlers would love them as finger food and kids would love to have them in their lunch boxes. A healthy delicious party snack or an after-school snack for sure.

Why Zucchini and Squash Blossom Pancakes

I have a surplus of zucchini from my garden. And not just zucchini, the blossoms too. So needless to say, I need an excuse to use that up. I do not like to waste any food and especially when it is you grow and it is your hard work. I always threw up the blossoms in many of my recipes just on the go. As most of the time, I get 1-2 and not more.

But this time with 3 zucchini plants, and 4-5 pumpkin and butternut squash plants I had an abundance of squash blossoms too. So I thought of using these bright flowers and giving my pancakes an appealing look as well as adding to the health portion.

Full bloom squash blossom seen in the pic.
Full bloom squash blossom.

Squash flower’s health benefits

Yes, pumpkin, zucchini, or butternut squash flowers are considered to be a rich source of iron and essential vitamins and minerals.

Recipes with Squash Flowers

Making these pancakes is really easy. I always add some or the other kind of veggies to my Vegan Chickpea Tomato Omelette. It depends on what I have in my fridge or garden.

They can be added to salads, and stir-fries or one can make fritters, etc from this. The most common recipe used is to stuff them with cheese and fry them. I have tried that once, but it is too oily and also too many calories. Though I tried squash pakoda too with it and it turned out good. Will try to share the recipe next year now. I have made vinegar out of these squash flowers too, just need to click pics and share the recipe.

Shelf life of Squash flowers

Squash flowers have a very short life. They will wilt in 24-48 hours after picking. So pick them only when you need them. They even wilt or die soon after they are in full bloom. So you would really need to keep an eye on the squash flowers when you want to use them.

Squash Blossoms arranged in a line on a chopping board.
Squash Blossoms

How to use the squash flowers in recipes

The first thing is we need to clean it thoroughly. I like to remove the spiny leaves around the flowers and even the pistil and stamen. Many do eat it, but I do not like it so I simply remove it. I then soak them in salt water and get rid of any dirt or bugs. Then I give them a thorough rinse. Pat it dry and use it as required.

One can make these pancakes only with zucchini or only with squash flowers. I added both to add more texture to the pancakes or chila. I have made this using gram flour or besan. Next, I simply added some spices like cumin, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt.

Are these Vegan and Gluten-free

These pancakes are vegan. They are gluten-free depending on if you use asafoetida or not and which one. I do add asafoetida in my gram flour pancakes as that helps in digestion. I do use gluten-free asafoetida or asafoetida in rock form which is naturally gluten-free. So these pancakes are gluten-free, however, if you are using store-bought asafoetida powder it has gluten in it in the form of wheat. So if you are allergic to gluten either skip asafoetida completely or use gluten-free asafoetida.

Can we make the batter ahead of time?

The batter can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for 2-3 days. However, add the squash flowers only when making pancakes. Zucchini is fine to add, but it might release some water. You might need to keep the consistency too thick when making ahead of time.

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Zucchini Coconut Lemon Muffins are fresh and moist muffins bursting with lemon and coconut flavor and a perfect way to use the fresh garden zucchini.
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Zucchini and Squash Blossom Pancakes in grey plate with tomato ketchup and seen are some squash flowers.

Zucchini and Squash Blossom Pancakes

Zucchini and Squash Blossom Pancakes are easy protein-rich pancakes made using zucchini and squash blossoms, perfect for breakfast or lunch.
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Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Edible Flowers, Garden Harvest Recipes, Lunch Box, Vegetables, Zucchini
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 Pancakes
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Equipment

Cast Iron Pan – Or a non stick pan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Besan -Chickpea flour/ gram flour
  • 1 Cup zucchini grated
  • 5-6 Squash blossoms chopped or torn into pieces
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped -Optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder -as per taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • salt as per taste
  • Water
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • ¼ teaspoon Gluten-Free Asafoetida -Read below for Gluten-free

Instructions

Cleaning Squash Flowers

  • Clean the squash blossoms. Remove the green stems and stamen if you are not using it.
    Squash Blossoms arranged in a line on a chopping board.
  • Dip them in salt water for 30 minutes to get rid of impurities.
  • Once done, rinse again and pat dry.
  • Chop it or tear it into bite size pieces.

Making of Pancakes

  • In a large bowl, sift the flour.
  • Add all the grated zucchini and chopped squash blossoms.
  • Add all the spices and give it a quick mix.
  • Slowly add the water and keep on mixing. Do not add all the water in one go or you would have a hard time removing the lumps from the batter.
  • Make a smooth batter. The batter should not be too watery and not too thick. Dropping consistency.
    The batter for protein-rich pancakes.
  • Keep the mixture aside for 10 minutes. This helps the gram flour hydrate.
  • Heat a non-stick pan or a cast iron Tawa. Apply a little bit of oil to the pan.
  • Once the pan is hot, Spread a spoon full of batter on the pan. Spread it in the shape of a dosa. Thickness may vary as per your needs. I do not make it thin and not too thick.
    Zucchini and Squash Blossoms chila spread on a cast iron tava.
  • Cover and let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
    Zucchini and Squash Blossoms Pancakes getting cooked on one side.
  • Once you see the top is cooked, the raw besan is no longer seen, drizzle 3-4 drops of oil on the side and on the top.
    Zucchini and Squash Blossoms Pancakes getting cooked on other side.
  • Flip and let it cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes.
  • Yummy Zucchini and Squash Blossom Pancakes are ready.
    A stack of pancakes.

Notes

  • With the same batter, one can make pakoda or fritters.
  • Gram flour can be replaced with plain all-purpose flour too. In that case, it would not be gluten-free at all.
  • Asafoetida (Hing) powder available in shops contains wheat and is not gluten-free. Gluten intolerant people can either skip it completely or opt for Gluten Free Asafoetida (Hing).
  • All types of Squash blossoms can be used. I have used flowers from zucchini, pumpkin, and butternut squash.
 
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