Food Stats: Zucchini

Overview:
  • Zucchini is apart of the summer squash family.

  • Another name for zucchini is courgette.

  • Zucchini is believed to have originated in Mexico and South America, even though the name is of Italian and French descent.

  • Zucchini has been cultivated for over 5,000 years and is grown in summer and warmer climates.

  • Zucchini is technically considered a fruit but is often eaten as a vegetable.

  • Zucchini has a mild flavor making it versatile for a variety of dishes.

  • Due to its popularity zucchini is found year-round.



The Look:
  • Zucchini is green with golden or yellow streaks.

  • The green color can be darker or lighter.

  • The size of the zucchini is dependent on when it was picked.

  • Preferably select small to medium-sized zucchini.

  • Smaller zucchini are younger and more tender.

  • Look for shiny skin with minimal blemishes.

  • If the zucchini still has flowers on it, that okay, just means that it's fresh!


Nutrition:
  • Calcium

  • Iron

  • Magnesium

  • Phosphorus

  • Potassium

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin K

  • Vitamin B9 or known as folate

  • Antioxidants


Benefits:
  • Zucchini is a low-calorie option, which can aid in weight loss.

  • Packed with antioxidants!

  • Fiber content will help out with digestion and gut health.

  • Helps protect against dementia and aging processes.

  • Can help to improve eye health

  • Can increase energy levels



Serving Size:
  • 1 medium zucchini or about 180 grams

  • About 30 calories

  • About 2 grams of protein

  • About 0.5 gram of fat

  • About 5 grams carbohydrates

  • About 1.8 grams fiber


Use & Cooking:
  • Zucchini can be used in a variety of ways due to its mild flavor.

  • Zucchini can be easily used in both sweet to savory dishes and meals.

  • Try frying, sauteing, grilling, roasting, eat raw, or use in baked goods.

  • To prepared zucchini cut off the top and base of the zucchini.

  • Keep the skin on the zucchini.

  • Zucchini can be cut in many different ways, medallions, diced, strips, spiraled, shredded, or any other way you want!

  • Warning, don't overcook the zucchini! Overcooked zucchini will get mushy, zucchini holds a lot of water. To avoid mushy zucchini, add a little bit of salt to the cut zucchini, let sit for a few minutes, then pat dry. Depending on how the zucchini is cut you can also squeeze out the excess water with a cheesecloth.

  • Zucchini makes for a great option when looking for lower-calorie substitutes. Try substituting zucchini for pasta, pizza crust, or carve out the center and make zucchini boats!


Storage:
  • Store in the fridge

  • Zucchini should be consumed soon after purchase.

  • Zucchini is delicate but should still be firm and not limp.


Recipes:

Martínez-Valdivieso, D., Font, R., Fernández-Bedmar, Z., Merinas-Amo, T., Gómez, P., Alonso-Moraga, Á., & Del Río-Celestino, M. (2017). Role of Zucchini and Its Distinctive Components in the Modulation of Degenerative Processes: Genotoxicity, Anti-Genotoxicity, Cytotoxicity and Apoptotic Effects. Nutrients, 9(7), 755. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070755


Kopczyńska, K., Kazimierczak, R., Średnicka-Tober, D., Barański, M., Wyszyński, Z., Kucińska, K., Perzanowska, A., Szacki, P., Rembiałkowska, E., & Hallmann, E. (2020). The Profile of Selected Antioxidants in Two Courgette Varieties from Organic and Conventional Production. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(5), 404. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9050404


Reinhardt, T. (2014). Super Foods (Seconds ed.). Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books Inc.


Sizer, F., Whitney, E. (2011). Nutrition Concepts & Controversies (twelfth ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

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