Spotlight on Zucchini

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We are coming on that time of year…. zucchini season.  You may feel inundated with zucchini – in your CSA share; at every farmer’s market booth; a bag on your doorstep from your neighbor; free zucchini in the break room at work… you know what I’m talking about.

Benefits

Also known as courgette (in England) or summer squash, zucchini has lots of health benefits.  It’s high in dietary fiber and a good source of manganese and vitamin C, among other things.  These benefits have been found to aid in reducing men’s prostate cancer risk; reducing other cancer risks by ridding toxins from the body; and helping those with arthritis.  High in fiber and water content, it is also an excellent vegetable if you’re looking to lose weight.

Storing

Optimally, this vegetable is stored in a perforated bag in your refrigerator for a few days (5 days maximum). It can be frozen, but given zucchini is 95% water, it needs to be prepared first.   One way to do this is blanching it for about a minute and draining all excess water. (This deactivates the enzymes that would otherwise cause it to turn into a mushy mess once frozen and thawed again). This method is fine for zucchini to use in soups, casseroles, and pasta sauces. But if you intend to use the zucchini in one of the many recipes we have listed below, you probably want to grate the zucchini first; blanch it; then drain the excess water and freeze it. (Instructions from University of Nebraska here).

Uses

If you like…. Try:
Tater tots Zucchini Tots
Fries* Zucchini Fries

 

Zucchini Chips

Pizza* Pizza bites

 

Zucchini pizza

Meatballs Zucchini “meatballs
Breadsticks Cheesy zucchini breadsticks
Lasagna* Zucchini lasagna roll-ups

 

Zucchini lasagna

Tacos* taco stuffed zucchini boats
Noodles* Zucchini noodles
Banana bread Zucchini bread
Brownies Zucchini brownies

 * Denotes recipes that require fresh zucchini and cannot substitute frozen zucchini.

Excited to try some of these recipes?  Visit us at the farmer’s market or come to the farm store to get your zucchini.  Then snap a pic and share it with us on Facebook!

Image credit: Freeimages.com/ Michael & Christa Richert

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