by Patricia Chuey Msc. RD FDC.
Eating with a seasonal focus, such as featuring the in-season greens in these fritters in the springtime, almost always results in more delicious and nutritious food being consumed.
Spring Green Veggie Fritters
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups grated or finely chopped green vegetables (try asparagus, spinach, zucchini and/or various spring herbs)
- 6 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add salt, pepper, cheese and flour. Stir to combine.
- Mix in the chopped vegetables and green onion.
- Heat about 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the canola oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Measure about 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the fritter batter into the pan and press down to flatten. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until bottom is golden. Flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add more oil to the pan as needed to panfry the remaining fritters. Remove from pan to a cooling rack or paper towel-lined plate.
Canola produces small black seeds that are crushed to release a heart-healthy cooking oil that is used around the world. It contains very high levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and help control blood glucose.
Canola is grown across Canada, but predominantly in the Prairie provinces, and is one of the best sources of nectar and pollen for honey bees and other pollinators.
Did you know that canola is truly a made in Canada crop? Researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the University of Manitoba used traditional breeding techniques in the 1970s to improve rapeseed to become what we know today as canola.
Further innovations in plant breeding have led to the development of new varieties such as herbicide-tolerant canola. An herbicide is a type of pesticide and herbicide-tolerant canola has been improved so that a farmer can spray the crop with an herbicide to control weeds that might compete with the crop for water and nutrients while the plant is growing. The pesticide will not kill the crop because the tolerance has been bred into the plant. Farmers used to have to plough the land to control weeds. Now they practice no-till or conservation tillage which reduces soil erosion, improves soil quality, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and cuts water use.
Herbicide-tolerant canola allows farmers to increase their yields on existing farmland, which helps to preserve biodiversity. Farmers would need 91 per cent more land or more than 19 million acres to grow the same amount of canola they do today without pesticides and plant biotechnology. That’s the equivalent of more than 14 million football fields or twice as much canola.