Zucchini — Abundant in Production and Culinary Options

ZucchiniSummer months are a time of abundant growth — blooming flowers, rows of corn, berries on the bush, and zucchini. Every time I buy a zucchini at the local farmer’s market I am either given one the size of a small boat or given enough to fill a small boat. In the Midwest some people even joke that extra zucchinis are left anonymously on doorsteps. Zucchinis are from the family Cucurbita pepo. Although traditionally thought of as the “yellow or green bat,” zucchinis also can come in ball shapes as well. The flower of the zucchini plant is edible and can be picked to help curb overproduction. Zucchini is low in Calories (only 36 Calories per cup) and provides more than 15% of the daily value for manganese and vitamin C and more than 10% of the daily value for magnesium, vitamin A, and dietary fiber in a 1 cup serving. If you find yourself with an abundance of zucchini this year try some of the following ways to keep your zucchini “stash” in check:

  1. Wash, shred, and freeze zucchini for later use in soups, quick breads, and veggie burger fillings.
  2. Use zucchini as “cups” or “boats” for serving cooked vegetables by slicing the zucchini in half or in sections and hollowing out the center.
  3. Slice the zucchini in thin slices lengthwise and grill on the barbecue.
  4. Try zucchini tempura or zucchini flower tempura.

For more information on zucchini check out the following websites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zucchini »

Meredith Hink MS, RD, CD

I am a Corporate Dietitian with a foodservice distribution company. My professional areas of interest include food safety and sanitation, food marketing, food law, and vegetarian nutrition. In my spare time I am an avid food photographer and enjoy spending time with my husband and two dogs.

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