Power Ingredient #2: Zucchini
Why zucchini nutritionally should be included and creative ways to do so!
When I first started this blog, I was excited to do a power ingredient series. And then I forgot. The first one was about fiber sources. This one is about...
Not only is it a fun word to say, but it's a really versatile ingredient substitute.
One cup of raw, chopped zucchini has 25 calories, 3.1 net carbs to account for the 1.5 grams of fiber, most of it is natural sugar because it is a starchier vegetable.
It also contains a little variety of B vitamins, 20% of your daily B6, 13% of Vitamin A, and 35% of your Vitamin C! Whoa.
For minerals, it's got a little copper, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium, but also has 15% of your daily needs of potassium. That's worth noticing. It's hard to get enough potassium!
So what can you do with all that zucchini your garden keeps spitting out (except for mine this year.... ugh), especially those GIGANTIC ones?
1. Zucchini bread
2. Zucchini muffins
3. Zucchini cake
4. Zucchini brownies
5. Zucchini boats
6. Baked zucchini chips in the oven
7. Zucchini chunks on skewers as kabobs
8. Grilled zucchini slices
9. Zucchini boats
10. Zucchini fries in the oven or air fryer
11. Zoodles as pasta (that's a fun word too)
12. Zucchini savory pancakes or fritters, made just like potato pancakes
13. Zucchini casserole
14. Zucchini omelet or frittata
15. Apparently you can bake zucchini into pies and ice cream...
So I can obviously go on and on. Why is this large, oddly-shaped vegetable so versatile?
When baked, it has a way of holding onto water to add extra moisture into any kind of baked good. It tastes really decadent when baked into things.
It has the consistency similar to a potato when shredded or chunked, but won't fall apart when grilled, so it's easy to substitute in.
The mild flavor won't make it noticable in a lot of dishes. AND, it's really easy to add in whatever kind of seasoning you need for the dish. From savory spice blends, to pie spices, you can't really mess it up.
-In baked recipes, use a grater or food processor and be sure to SQUEEZE and DRAIN the extra water. Seriously don't skip this step.
- Especially with large zucchini, make sure the seeds are really gone. They're a weird find in bread, etc.
- The larger the zucchini, the tougher the skin. While the skin is loaded with nutrients, it might be weird to try to eat in a kabob.
- Zoodles now come in frozen packages, which is a super healthy replacement for pasta.