The Zucchini are Coming!
Fresh Zucchini Recipes Bursting with Flavor and Nutrition
Hold on you may say: The zucchini are always in my grocery market. Yes the zucchini are always in my grocery market too, but seasonally, zucchini are soon to be harvested in climate zones 4 – 9. This includes Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri and more where the growing season is primarily May – September. Choosing locally grown zucchini, you will notice the more tender and flavorful qualities the vegetable offers.
Look for zucchini at your grocer from local farms. Find them at farmer’s markets. Grow your own zucchini. They are super easy and thrive in less than great soil. I pulled back landscaping river rock, cut the landscaping fabric, put a bag of decent soil on top of terrible sandy soil in a south and west exposure with full sun. Low and behold, zucchini and other squash love to grow there. If you haven't planted them yet, you’ll have to wait until next year to grow your own. They need about two and a half months of growing time from seed to fruit.
Tam’s favorite ways to enjoy zucchini:
Always choose tender and slim when possible (harvest early) to avoid the seeds and maximize the flavor.
1. With Breakfast: Zucchini is one of the best veggies to squeeze in your food life early in the day. The taste is sweet and smooth. Pop a few coin rounds and eat raw or put to the side of the skillet with eggs, bacon or sausage.
2. Add to every antipasto platter! Zucchini works great in lunch boxes or as a snack, served raw with or without a dip.
3. Pickling or fermenting zucchini is delicious plus you get the gut friendly benefits when fermenting. You’ll get to enjoy zucchini for months, because they come so fast from the garden you can't eat it all at once.
4. Stuffed and baked. When the zucchini get a little bigger, scoop out the seeds and stuff them with sauteed ground beef, chicken or lamb with diced onions and peppers. Top with grated cheese and bake until bubbly.
5. Zucchini bread. Use a banana bread recipe and substitute zucchini for the bananas. Try this gluten free paleo chocolate zucchini bread recipe from Elana’s Pantry.
6. Sauteed. In just a few minutes you can have a healthful tasty side dish with onions, other summer squash and any other veggies that strike your fancy.
7. Zoodles. Spirialize zucchini and serve with marinara sauce. You can freeze them too!
Zucchini Nutrition: A Fresh Way To Get Your Greens
- It’s low-calorie (with only 17 calories per 100 grams) and high in fiber, and has no unhealthy fats.
- It’s also rich in flavonoid antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, carotenes, and lutein, which play a significant role in slowing down aging and preventing diseases with their free radical-zapping properties.
- Zucchini is also a wonderful source of potassium, a heart-friendly nutrient that helps moderate your blood pressure levels and counters the effects of too much sodium.
- Zucchini is rich in B-complex vitamins, folate, B6, B1, B2, B3, and choline, as well as minerals like zinc and magnesium, which are all valuable in ensuring healthy blood sugar regulation – a definite advantage for diabetics. It also contains essential minerals such as iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
- Most zucchini varieties in the United States are genetically modified, so it’s best to purchase this vegetable organic.
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