People may think that zucchini is trying to take over the garden – I say, bring it on! Zucchini is an extremely versatile vegetable and can be used in many different forms making it ideal for use in sweet and savory applications.
Some benefits to zucchini when cooking and baking are: mild flavor and texture, adds moisture to baked goods, easy to prepare, quick cooking.
To peel or not to peel? The zucchini peel contains fiber, adds flavor and contains many nutrients.
RD answer: not to peel!
Any way you slice it, dice it, or shred it or bake it, zucchini can be a culinary winner.
One of my favorite ways to prepare zucchini is by making it into ribbons. It looks amazing and delicate, can be eaten raw or will require minimal cooking and tastes incredible!
Summer squash ribbons – makes a fancy (as well as quick and easy) addition to any meal
Zucchini Lasagna: use zucchini (and/or summer squash) in place of the noodles. Slice the zucchini in ¼ inch or thinner strips lengthwise (just make sure they’re all the same width
Tip: Grate the outer strips (curved pieces with the skin) and add to sauce or ricotta cheese blend – this will increase fiber and create more substance.
Grilled Zucchini Rolls: Can bake zucchini slices instead of grilling or use leftover grilled zucchini. For an even quicker filling, use a pre-herbed soft cheese such as Boursin or Rondele.
Sauce: Finely shred zucchini (and/or summer squash) and add to your favorite sauce.
Hash Browns: Use in place of potatoes or substitute ½ zucchini for potatoes
We’ve all heard of zucchini bread and probably have our own favorite recipe. Zucchini can be substituted for carrots in baking, such as in carrot cake. Even though many zucchini breads are called breads, often they are a sweet quick bread and taste more like cake in the form of a loaf. This makes it great as we can justify eating them for breakfast or with coffee/tea.
Tip: finely shredding zucchini will make the texture less noticeable.
RD Suggestion: substitute zucchini for oil in baking. This will decrease fat and increase fiber.
FYI: Zucchini Bread is not a Vegetable published in the Madison Press has some good tips on ways to make your zucchini bread healthier, though it still won’t count as a vegetable!