A summer squash to love
This vegetable is part of the squash family and provides numerous nutrients; this green veggie is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, and potassium; it is high in antioxidants and promotes healthy digestion due to its high water content and fiber.
Buying and Storing
Choose firm, slender, bright green zucchini without wrinkles or soft spots.
Store zucchini unwashed in the refrigerator until just before using it; use within one week. To freeze zucchini, grate the zucchini and place in a freezer container or plastic freezer bag. One or two cups in an easy amount to thaw and us. Use within 6 months.
Preparing and Cooking
Wash well and cut off ends. Zucchini does not need to be peeled before it is eaten. Cut into rounds, half-rounds, or quarter rounds.
Heat 1 teaspoon of oil for each cup of zucchini. Cook 4 to 5 minutes. Keep stirring and turning the pieces so they cook quickly, but do not become soggy.
Bring about one inch of water to a boil. Put zucchini pieces in steaming basket and place over the water. Cook, loosely covered, for about 6 minutes or until just soft.
Cut zucchini into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange in a microwave-safe container. Add 3 Tablespoons of water and cover; cook 4 to 7 minutes, or until tender.
Ways to Enjoy
- Chop or grate zucchini and add to omelets or scrambled eggs.
- Add grated zucchini to muffins, quick breads, or cookies.
- Add sliced zucchini to stir fries.
- Add to soups, casseroles, or lasagna.
- Grill sliced zucchini. Top with spaghetti sauce and cheese for mini zucchini pizzas.
- Add to veggie quesadillas.
- Add to potato hash.
- Add to pasta and pasta salads.
- Make zoodles - zucchini noodles! Use a cheese grater, vegetable peeler, or knife to make long, thin strips of zucchini. Cook with oil or water until softened. Serve with spaghetti sauce.
- Make zucchini boats: Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Gently run a spoon down the middle to scoop out the center. Be careful not to scoop the spoon too deep or you will break the skin of the zucchini. The goal is to create a hollow space to put in filling. Fill with pizza-type fillings (tomato sauce, cheese, olives, mushrooms, basil, bell peppers, etc.). Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until tender.
Preheat oven to 350°F.Cut zucchini lengthwise and hollow out centers.Cook ground beef and drain fat. Add taco seasoningand water to beef and cook 2 minutes. Remove fromheat.Add pinto beans and onion to beef and mix.Stuff zucchini with mixture.Bake 20 minutes then remove zucchini from oven andsprinkle with cheese. Place zucchini back in oven and continue to bake for 5 minutes. Remove when zucchini is tender and to your liking.While zucchini bakes, make the crema by combining yogurt, lime juice, and salt in a bowl.When zucchini is done, remove from oven and top with crema and diced tomato.
Put everything into a large bowl. Mix. Cover and refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 24 hours.