From giant home grown monsters to finger-sized baby zucchini, this thin-skinned summer squash is available almost year round at markets. Zucchini is a dependable go-to, non-starchy green vegetable for your healthy diet. Here are 14 things to do with zucchini, plus the inside scoop on nutrition and buying them.
Loaded with plant chemicals called phytonutrients, eating vegetables like zucchini may prevent disease and keep our bodies running properly. Zucchini is a rich source of vitamins A, C, B6 and K, as well as magnesium, potassium and other minerals. Most of that nutrition is in the skin, so don’t peel your zucchini. Zucchini is a non-starchy vegetable, so eat up. A whole cup of sliced zucchini has less than 5 carbs if you are on a lower carb watching kind of plan.
A member of the squash, pumpkin, melon and cucumber family, zucchini is considered a summer squash. At the market, you will find dark to light green varieties, some with dotted skin and even golden yellow zucchini.
Choose size based upon use. Medium size work well for grilling and most dishes. Baby zucchini make for a nice presentation and something a little different to serve with a dip (like hummus). Larger ones are good for stuffing, but don’t go too big. The really huge ones can get very seedy inside. Look for smooth, glossy zucchini free of cuts, dark spots or bruises that feel heavy for their weight. Refrigerate for a few days.
14 Things To Do With Zucchini – Recipes and Ideas
- Zucchini Casserole with crunchy GF breadcrumb and Parmesan topping
- Stuffed Zucchini (use the quinoa and turkey stuffing recipe here for larger squash, hollow them out, fill and bake)
- Grate or chop raw zucchini to add to salad
- Use zucchini along side dips (like hummus) instead of chips for a healthy snack
- Use zucchini along with tomatoes and eggplant for a Provencal gratin, recipe from The Daniel Plan Cookbook
- Make a turkey Sloppy Joe mix to stuff hollowed out large zucchini, then bake, recipe from The Daniel Plan Cookbook
- Make Zucchini Roll Ups with Goat Cheese as an appetizer
- Slice zucchini into rounds and use as the base for appetizers instead of crackers or bread
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and granulate garlic, then grill until tender
- Combine with corn and red bell peppers for a summer mixed vegetable side dish
- Make zucchini ribbons for a terrific Zucchini Ribbon Salad with pesto
- Make a zucchini noodles with pasta and roasted tomatoes
- Make quick grilled zucchini as a terrific side dish
- Bake zucchini applesauce muffins as a breakfast or afternoon snack treat
- Slice the mini ones in half lengthwise and use for a vegetable platter
List of non-starchy vegetables, from Wikipedia
List of non-starchy vegetables, from The American Diabetes Association
What’s new and beneficial about summer squash, from WHFoods