DENVER, CO - Optimum Wellness Presented by King Soopers
If you’re like many home gardeners, one of summer’s most reliable crops is most notoriously, the humble zucchini. The longest zucchini measured came out of Canada, topping out at over 8 feet and recorded in August of 2014. That’s a lot of potential zucchini bread. Zucchini is actually tastier the smaller it is – much less mealy and more tender and crispy.
When it comes to the health benefits of zucchini, you can feel great eating them knowing that they are naturally low in calories and high in nutrients and fiber. Zucchini contains the antioxidant vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, zinc and manganese. Zucchini’s contain B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. Zucchini is also surprisingly an awesome plant-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids and due to it’s high water content, helps hydrate the body and skin.
Wondering what to do with the abundance of zucchini from your Fall Harvest? Here are our top 10 ideas:
1. Zucchini “Noodles” – One of our favorite fresh ideas is to make noodles either using a spiralizer or a julienner. You can use the noodles just like pasta – they are wonderful heated up and smothered in your favorite sauce. Or raw foodies love them as is and topped with a raw nut pesto and sliced tomatoes.
2. Zucchini Pancakes – You may make these either savory or with traditional pancake batter, adding a little lemon zest and grated (and drained of excess moisture) zucchini.
3. Zucchini Egg Muffins – Basically like an individual frittata, easily made by whisking together eggs and lightly coating a muffin tin with cooking oil spray. Placing a slice or two of zucchini on the bottom and then filling the cup about ½ way with eggs (you can add a little cheese, salt, pepper, and other herbs to the eggs to increase flavor). Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
4. Zucchini “Fries” – Cut the zucchini lengthwise into “sticks” about ½ thick on all sides and about 3 to 4 inches long. You can toss in a little Parmesan and almond flour as a crust and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
5. Stuffed Zucchini – Get creative – fill with cooked ground turkey (or tofu), marinara and mozzarella cheese and bake until melted. Or go all veggie!
6. Raw Zucchini Salad – Chopped or sliced thin using a mandolin slicer or sharp knife, served with crunchy pine nuts or sliced almonds, currants, a little goat cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.
7. Roasted Zucchini with Basil or Mint and Feta – Cut into thick slices or quarters and drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with feta and fresh herbs.
8. Ratatouille – Zucchini is one of the highlights of ratatouille and there are dozens of ways to make it so look online and find one that fits your time and tastebuds.
9. Grilled Curry-Lime Zucchini - Slice zucchini lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil and then toss to coat. Sprinkle with lime juice and curry powder and grill over medium heat.
10. Zucchini Fritters – Kind of a cross between a pancake and an egg muffin. Think latkes with zucchini. Grate and drain the zucchini. Toss with scallions, Parmesan cheese, egg, a little fresh dill and parsley. Form little patties and fry them in a shallow pan until lightly browned and cooked through.
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