When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in a garden, my heart skips a beat. -Gwyneth Paltrow
Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables, but botanically classified as a fruit. It occurs in several varieties, which range in color from deep yellow to dark green. I love them simple, roasted with a hit of salt and black pepper. We lived in Greece and they called them Courgettes, I think most of Europe does. Zucchini is a summer squash in the Cucurbitaceae plant family, alongside melons, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers.
While many squashes originated in the Americas, zucchini was first developed in the early 1800s in Italy. It is found in so many beautiful Mediterranean dishes .
Zucchini is not only delicious, it’s so nutritional. Healthline rounded up quite a list of evidence based nutritional benefits of zucchini.
- Zucchini is rich in several vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds.
- Zucchini is rich in manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C — nutrients which contribute to healthy vision and may lower your risk of age-related eye conditions.
- Zucchini is full of water and fiber, which helps your digestive system.
- The same fiber and water found in zucchini may help with your weight loss efforts.
- Zucchini may benefit bone, thyroid, and prostate health. It may also have anticancer properties.
- Zucchini may help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
- The fiber, potassium, and carotenoids found in zucchini may lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.
Zucchini is so easy to add to your diet and hide in children’s foods. Some Ideas –
- Add it raw to salads.
- Stuff with rice, lentils, or other vegetables, then bake it.
- Stir-fry, add olive oil and sauté it.
- Boil it, then blend it into soups.
- Serve it as a side, grilled or sautéed with a little garlic and oil.
- Try it breaded and fried.
- Spiralize it and replace pasta.
- Bake it into breads, pancakes, muffins, or cakes.
This recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen makes my heart skip a beat like Gwenyth’s zucchini flowers, it’s such an amazing breakfast bread. My entire family loves it.
This recipe from Ezra Pound Cake is so perfect, they are light and fluffy on the inside but crispy wonderful on the out. I love hush-puppies. Pro-tip, use an airfryer and skip the canola oil!
My kids call these zoodles, but Delish does a great job explaining how to make zucchini and well any veggie type of noodle.
This recipe from Crumb is going on permanent rotation in our house. Lemon, basil and flakey warm crust. It’s wonderful.
These brownies from Two Peas and Their Pod are so good. They are rich amazing chocolatey gooey brownies. Your kids will NEVER know there is anything healthy about them.
Zucchini Latkas from Fort Birthday Blog look amazing for sandwiches. She does just that on her blog post with bacon.
Zucchini is a delightful wonderful fruit or veggie, whatever to add to your diet with so many health benefits! Try it. Oh and tag me on Instagram if you do!
One cup (223 grams) of cooked zucchini provides (Source):
- Calories: 17
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Carbs: 3 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Vitamin A: 40% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Manganese: 16% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI
- Potassium: 13% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 9% of the RDI
- Folate: 8% of the RDI
- Copper: 8% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 7% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the RDI
Thiamine: 5% of the RDI