Zucchini

Summer

Health Benefits

Zucchinis are packed full of beta-carotenes and antioxidants with traces of B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Zucchini also has a large amount of folate.

History

Zucchini and other squashes have been traced through their origins to Mexico, dating back from 7,000 to 5,500 BCE. Central and South America have been eating zucchini for several thousand years. The variety we know today derived from Italy and was named zucchino, meaning a small squash.

Recipes to Try

How to Store

Refrigerate, unwashed, in a perforated or loosely closed plastic bag. Zucchini will keep for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Do not wash until just before you are ready to use. Cooked zucchini should be covered and refrigerated immediately and will keep for up to 2 days. Frozen zucchini will keep for 10 to 12 months. To freeze, slice into rounds. Blanch, plunge into cold water, drain, and seal in an airtight container or bag.

How to Prepare

Wash thoroughly and pat dry. Cut off both ends and discard. For zucchini rounds, slice crosswise at desired thickness (thicker for longer cooking times, thinner for shorter). For bite-sized pieces, cut into half or quarter rounds. Then, slice crosswise. To cube, cut each piece in thirds, lengthwise (if you are working with a long zucchini, cut in half). Line up pieces and slice across into about 1/4 –inch cubes. For stuffed zucchini, cut in half. Then, scoop the flesh from the zucchini halves, starting about ½ inch from one end to create a ‘boat’.

Ways to Enjoy

Zucchini is a diverse vegetable that allows you to get creative in the kitchen to create a wide range of delectable dishes. Raw, zucchini pairs well with guacamole and hummus. It also makes for a delicious tortilla substitution for mini vegetable wraps. Try in pestos, soups, smoothies, salads, sauces, sandwiches, muffins, brownies, tacos, casseroles, omelets, sauces, wraps, or as a substitute for pasta. Zucchini can be enjoyed raw, grilled, roasted, sautéed, or stuffed.

Health Benefits

Zucchinis are packed full of beta-carotenes and antioxidants with traces of B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Zucchini also has a large amount of folate.

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