My solution to getting my kid to eat lots of dark leafy greens? GREEN MONSTER FRITTERS!!!
Let me first admit that I am not scared of green leafy veggies. Quite the opposite I love them and get weirdly excited to try new ones! So needless to say I will eat leafy greens easily without any trouble.
I also am a firm proponent of dark leafy greens based on the loads and loads of nutrient, vitamins and health benefits they provide.
With that said, this is NOT AN EXCLUSIVE KID RECIPE. Really guys! I was totally eating these before having a kid. They are fabulous for adults and little munchkins alike!
My mama mission is to add lots of green stuff into baby’s diet. When she was a bit younger, I would simply puree greens and mix them with fruit, sweet potatoes or butternut squash to add sweetness and mask any bitterness. But now that Poppy is 13 months, and loves chewing her food, I had to get a bit more creative.
Aside from packing a serious nutritional punch, these fritters are so easy and versatile! The greens are pretty much interchangeable based on what you have on hand or want to use. Then it is just a matter of quickly blanching (boiling greens), blitzing in the food processor or blender, and frying up.
These fritters actually remind me of some I grew up eating. My mom use to make Tortitas de Espinacas or spinach cakes. They were so good! Even as a kid I remember loving them. My dad loved them too! My Green Monster Fritters are an updated version of my mom’s recipe.
My favorite green combination is: Kale, Swiss Chard, spinach, chives, and parsley. But I have added radish greens, mustard greens, and cilantro too. If you use different greens, just make sure your measurements are about the same as in the recipe directions. Also if you use spinach, blanch them for about 2 minutes. I like to just dump the spinach into the already boiling pot of greens when there are 2 minutes left.
Due to the different greens, spices and of course cheese, these fritters are tasty and surprisingly easy to eat. I can eat 4-5 of these no problem. And they are super soft so no chewing needed for the little ones.
Added bonus, as if these fritters needed another bonus, is these little green guys save beautifully in the freezer! I like to wrap 2 at a time in the freezer. Then just thaw and re-heat when Poppy or I want to eat one.
Green Monster Fritters are the best, #1 or shall I say Gold Medalists when it comes to an easy nutrient packed side! Perfect for the whole family including your little ones (7 months+). Make them ahead of time and then just pop’em out of the freezer when you need some good stuff in your system.
Green Monster Fritters
Notes: The FDA warns nitrates in kale and other dark, leafy green vegetables can make babies sick under 7 months old. Also because kale and spinach are on the Dirty Dozen list for being frequently contaminated with insecticides toxic to humans, I would recommend buying organic if possible
- A large bushel or 2-3 cups of greens, stems removed (kale, Swiss chard, mustard, spinach or radish greens also work)
- 1/2 chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup chives (basil or cilantro work too)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 large eggs
- 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese (1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
- Olive oil
- Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, to dollop (optional)
- A squirt of fresh lemon juice (for serving)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add greens and simmer for 5 minutes. If using spinach, add it into the water 2 minutes before time is up. Remove greens from pot and drain well, patting leaves dry with a paper or kitchen towel.
Place greens in food processor with herbs, salt, pepper, flour, garlic and eggs. Pulse until well blended. Fold in feta and parmesan.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Spoon in 1 large tablespoon of the fritter mixture. I cook about 3 on my large saute pan. Press down gently on fritters with a spatula to flatten. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Cook up another batch until finished. Serve up hot. I serve mine with a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream and a squirt of lemon.