Thursday, August 18, 2011

Current Food Obsession: Zucchini

This summer I've been hooked on the humble zucchini squash. All of the farmer's markets and grocery stores have an abundance of locally grown zucchini squash these days, and it's been calling out my name... "Gina, buy me! Cook me! Eat me! ". No seriously. I can here it.

Zucchini (both yellow and green varieties) provides a vast array of health benefits. Here are just a few examples from;

  • Loaded with carotenoids such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene (good for prevention of aging!), lutein and zeaxanthin (good for the eyes)
  • Good source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fiber
  • May help with blood sugar regulation because of the magnesium, zinc, and B-vitamins
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties due to the carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids. The carotenoids are found in the skin, the omega-3 fatty acids are found in the seeds

While the most health-promoting way to prepare zucchini (and retain its many nutrients) is to steam it, a quick saute is another great way to retain the nutrients in this (non-starchy) vegetable.

I like to cut up all of my zucchini (after washing it) into equal size chunks. I then heat my saute pan on medium and add about 1-2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil (1-2 tsp for 1-2 zucchini). After evenly layering the zucchini in the pan I saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes on both sides. I like to add basil and pepper for flavor at the end.

Sauteed zucchini can be enjoyed the following ways;

  • Alone!
  • With black beans
  • In a vegetable or chicken wrap
  • On top of pasta
  • With spaghetti sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese
The ideas are endless!

Some Recent Zucchini Recipes From Bloggers

Grilled Zucchini & Goat Cheese Rollatini with Raisins and Pistachios (From Nicole of Prevention RD)

Zucchini Boats (From Katie of Healthy Heddleston)

QUESTION: How do you like to eat zucchini?


  1. It has been fresh and abundant this season and I too am loving it

  2. I LOVE zucchini too! We've had a great bounty of zucchini and yellow squash in our CSA box, so I'm super excited about your great ideas for sauteed zucchini and your zucchini round up - thank you! :-) I'm definitely fixing your super-yummy-sounding sauteed zucchini with tomato sauce tonight... Mmmmm... Can't wait... :-) Thank you for the inspiration! :-)

    P.S. There's an ode to your granola bars in my post this morning... ;-)

  3. I also love zucchini! I've been eating it raw lately in salads, but I do love it grilled or sauteed. Your preparation sounds so easy and delicious, thanks for sharing!

  4. Good to know zucchini seeds have omega 3's! Do you know if it's a significant amount?

    Just made zucchini noodles for the first time the other day...not bad!

  5. Got nothin but love for zucchini!! Just made a baked/stuffed zucchini the other day and it was fabulous!!

  6. Zucchini is a staple in my garden every year. I love it many ways, but the best is grilled on the BBQ......

  7. I love to eat grilled zucchini - I also made a delicious zucchini-spaghetti pancake the other day:

    Zucchini bread is also delicious!

  8. I really want to make Grace's zucchini pancakes, I think they look awesome! I agree with you, zucchini is the best. Before the buggies killed my zucchini plant, it was MASS producing. I've probably eaten 20 zucchinis myself this summer :) Literally! Such a versatile veggie. But my favorite way to eat it is diced into half moons - yellow and green varieties - along with mushrooms and onion and roasted with balsamic vinegar. To die for!!!

    Thanks for the link love :) Those rollatini were good!

  9. I love zucchini! When I saute it, I do it with garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes- simple but delicious! It's also great roasted or in Moussaka or grilled on the BBQ!

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  11. dude zukes are about to come in season and pop like cuhraaaaaaaaaaaazed!

    btw i'm just using my ice cream machine and its not working right! i don't know why the ice cream isn't getting hard!

  12. I'm a big fan of grilling my zucchini, because let's be honest, the grill is almost always on during the summer anyways - why not throw the veggies on as well? I also like to bake with zucchini, especially with those picky eaters ;)

  13. Thanks for the zuke stats! I love zucchini, and am always interested in new ways to eat them. We have zucchinis in our garden...I hope I don't get sick of them--I've started giving them away!

  14. oh my gosh, I've been getting TONS of zucchini from my CSA and have done everything from making into bread, pasta dishes and will be posting soon about making a zucchini tart!

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  16. Zucchini seems to be the veggie of choice this season! I like to saute mine too; however, I think I need to try some of the other recipes you shared. What a great way to get a little more fiber and additional nutrients into each day.

  17. Thanks for reminding me to eat my zucchini! Last time I cooked it was 2 long ago. I grilled it for my polenta veggie stacks that turned out very yummy. All these recipes look delicious! I hope the zucchini calling out your nam don't keep you awake at night :-)

  18. Zucchini has been calling to me too haha. Because I'm lazy, I've mostly been eating it raw dipped in hummus. But I love using a vegetable peeler and and making it into "noodles" and mixing it with a peanut or tahini sauce. I had no idea zucchini has omega 3s. Very interesting!

  19. I'm a huge fan of zucchini and its one of the veggies my stomach is also a fan of, so I would say I eat it more than the average person. I put it on my pizza and pasta basically everytime I make them. I also grill it sometimes which is fun :)

  20. Baked zucchini fries! Best way to get even zucchini-haters to love them. Oven at 400, lightly oiled baking sheet, zukes sliced into skinny spears then dipped in olive oil/plain almond milk, then coated in corn meal/corn flour/salt/spices, arrange on sheet and bake 15-30 minutes or until crispy! Serve with ketchup (duh!) or BBQ sauce.