Hey, Queenie–Got Zucchini?



Zucchini Latkes 2Perhaps you planted a zucchini start and didn’t realize it would spread 40 feet and produce a veritable mountain of squash. Perhaps your neighbor sneaked the zucchini they didn’t know what to do with onto your porch under the guise of being friendly. Or maybe you purchased a box of zucchini because they were such a great deal, you couldn’t resist.

Now what to do with all that zucchini?!

Zucchini latkes are one great, kid-friendly solution. It doesn’t have to be Hanukkah and you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this healthy take on traditional holiday fare. Your kids will have fun getting their hands messy making these little veggie pancakes–and when the pancakes come out of the frying pan and cool, kids can eat them as finger food. Fun!



– 4 large zucchini
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1 large egg, whisked
– 2 TBS. flour
– olive oil


Child — Help your grownup grate zucchini on the large side of a box grater. No need to peel it–the skin is delicious and nutritious!

Adult — You’ll probably end up doing most of the grating, but give your child a chance to try. Place all the grated zucchini in a strainer set over a large bowl in the kitchen sink; sprinkle with salt.

Child — Get your hands in the strainer and toss the zucchini to distribute the salt. (Your grownup can show you how.) Set the timer for 10 minutes and let the zucchini drain. After 10 minutes, get your hands in the strainer again and squeeze out as much of the water as you can.

Adult — Give the zucchini a final squeeze to get it as dry as possible.

Child — Crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk it till smooth.

Adult — Remove zucchini to large bowl and add the egg and flour.

Child — Go hands-on again and toss the mixture, making sure all the zucchini is coated with egg and flour.

Adult — Add a thin coating of oil in the bottom of a sauté pan over medium heat.

Child — Place a double sheet of paper towel on a plate next to the stove.

Adult — Using an ice cream scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, place the zucchini mixture in the oil and press down to form a flat circle.
 Cook latkes for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove to the paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Zucchini Latkes

Eat hot with a fork, or allow to cool enough for kids to eat as a finger food. They’re crisp outside, soft inside–and delicious!

Traditional latkes are made from potatoes and served with applesauce and sour cream. I think it’s a great way to eat zucchini latkes, too.

Yours hungrily,

Barbara Jean the Story Queen

Healthy Food

Zucchini recipe adapted with permission from Catherine McCord, weelicious.com. Photos used with permission, Catherine McCord, weelicious.com. Visit the weelicious website for other fabulous, kid-friendly recipes!



First, a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a chef. I’m not even a mom. What I know about healthy food and healthy eating I’ve learned by reading and doing, just like you.

What I am is a children’s book author. A Story Queen! My area of expertise is FUN. In the last dozen years, I’ve written a number of entertaining, award-winning picture books–about monsters, cats, Disney princesses–and veggies, of all things. 

I’m big on imagination. Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli encourages kids (the way my dad encouraged my siblings and me) to think of broccoli as crunchy, munchy, fun-to-eat trees. Once Upon a Parsnip is a fairytale rematch between Little Red Riding Hood (a vegetarian) and the Big Bad Wolf (NOT a vegetarian). Scary fun!

On the surface, neither of my veggie books is really about healthy eating–they’re just plain fun. But the fun is subversive: both books introduce and normalize the idea of eating healthy, fresh-from-the-garden vegetables. (Never underestimate the power of fun to get your kids to try something new!)

My goal in these pages is to find and share fun ways to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to children and to normalize healthy foods and healthy eating in their experience. My means is to expose them–through you, their parents and caregivers–to food-friendly books, videos, downloadable and printable posters and coloring pages, hands-on activities and kid-friendly recipes. Anything that equates healthy food and FUN!

I’m here for you–to help you make healthy eating feel as natural to your children as breathing.

Because healthy food and healthy fun make healthy kids. And that’s something all of us can get behind.


Barbara Jean Hicks, a.k.a. “The Story Queen”

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To purchase signed, personalized copies of my picture books, visit the “Books” page on my website.  To contact me about my well regarded young author presentations for schools, or for other enquiries, send an email from the “Contact” page at barbarajeanhicks.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

2 responses on “Hey, Queenie–Got Zucchini?

  1. John S Green says:

    Hmmm, yummmmy! I’m going to make these—of course, I’ll add some cayenne pepper or fresh jalepeno!

    • Barbara Hicks says:

      You are one hot papa! Jalapeño is too much for me. Have you served cayenne and jalapeño to kids and have them be okay with it, John?

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