Baked Chickpea and Zucchini Fingers

This is a healthy alternative to fried fritters, and a very good way to get children, and adults to eat vegetables. 

I have used fresh chickpeas and corn on the cob instead of tins, as they have a much nicer taste and no additives.  Chickpeas need to be soaked before cooking, and sweet corn can be cooked in the microwave, and the corn shredded off with a sharp knife.

Once you have used fresh corn, you will never go back to the tins of it!

I have served these fingers with rocket, sour cream, and some mango chutney, however they could be served with any salad or even chips baked in the oven.

All the flavours went well together in this recipe to make a delicious meal!

I originally made it as a vegetarian meal, however, at the last moment decided I wanted to add some bacon with it.  For those who are not vegetarians, this complemented the flavours of the vegetables.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes plus cooking fresh ingredients if required
Makes: 13 medium fingers

Ingredients
200 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, or tinned chickpeas
¼ cup reduced-fat milk
1 egg
Just under ½ cup self-raising flour
½ large zucchini, grated
160 g corn kernels
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint
2 small spring onions, thinly sliced
Salad leaves, chutney, sour cream (optional)
Bacon pieces, cooked (optional)

Instructions
If baking, as against frying, pre heat the oven to 170°C/150³ fan forced.

If you are using dried chickpeas, soak in plenty of water for 8 hours, or even overnight.

Cook these chickpeas for about an hour in clean water.

Meanwhile if using fresh corn on the cob, cook these for about 15 minutes.  It is worth the extra work as they taste quite different to the tinned corn kernels.

Cut down the sides of the corn cobs to remove the actual corn, and then separate them.

Break up these strips so they form normal corn kernels.

Drain the chickpeas and roughly process in a blender or similar.

Whisk the milk and eggs together.  Place the flour in a bowl.  Gradually add the milk mixture to the flour, mixing until it is smooth.

Stir in the chickpeas, grated zucchini, corn, mint and spring onion.

Put this mixture into a small baking oval dish lined with baking paper, and add a bit of grated cheese on the top.  Cook for about 15 minutes.

Cut them into fingers and serve - they can be eaten hot or cold and are great in lunch boxes.

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