Sneaky ways with zucchini
Zucchinis are soft skinned, sausage shaped fruit that can grow to one metre but are usually picked and eaten when under 20cm. They are high in vitamin C, fibre and folate and provide small quantities of minerals. The word zucchini is an Italian word but this fruit is also known as a courgette which is its French name. Zucchini are a summer squash which is actually a fruit but treated for cooking purposes like a vegetable. The zucchini squash is of the genus Cucurbita.
There are many varieties but most people will recognise them through their colour. The skin can range from black to grey and dark green to pale green and sometimes yellow. The inside is creamy white and is filled with soft immature seeds.
How to select and store zucchini
Zucchini are available all year round from your supermarket but are at their peak in Australia from June to November. When selecting you need to choose zucchini that have a firm flesh and are unblemished. Zucchinis have a short shelf life and little pits in the skin show damage from refrigeration. Zucchinis are best stored in a plastic bag in the crisper section of your refrigerator and should be used with in three days.
How to cook zucchini
Zucchinis are most suitable for savoury dishes and are mainly served cooked but can also be served raw. They are usually served with the skin on but you can also peel them. You can steam, boil, fry, roast, microwave, barbeque or stuff zucchinis. They are nice grated and baked into scones, muffins and breads also. The zucchini flower is edible can also be stuffed and deep fried, tempura style.
Zucchinis have a delicate flavour and require little more than quick cooking with a little oil or butter. Stuffing the flowers with different cheeses before frying makes an ideal starter.
Zucchini recipes to try:
- Cheesey baked rigatoni recipe with mince and zucchini
- Easy zucchini slice
- Nan’s zucchini loaf
- Zucchini bread
Find more Healthy Eating articles:
- How to cook with your kids and have fun
- Cook the family friendly way
- The facts about good and bad oils
- Get the most out of your exercise
- Diet friendly frozen desserts
- Bottled water vs tap water
- Food shopping for weight loss
- Manage family snack attacks
- Easy meal ideas when you don't want to cook
- 52 weeks of health and happiness
- 4 budge foods worth cooking from scratch
- Healthy smoothie ideas
- Add flavour (not fat) to your meals