Zucchini is a summer squash that comes in several varieties, ranging in color from deep yellow to dark green. When cooked, zucchini is particularly high in vitamin A.
High in Antioxidants: Zucchini boasts several antioxidants that may provide health benefits. The highest levels are found in the skin.
Promotes Healthy Digestion: Zucchini is rich in water and fiber, two compounds that promote healthy digestion by reducing constipation and symptoms of gut disorders.
May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels: The fiber in zucchini may increase insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels, potentially reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
May Improve Heart Health: The fiber, potassium and carotenoids in zucchini may lower blood pressure, cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease.
Ways to Incorporate Zucchini in Your Diet
- Add it raw to salads.
- Stew it with other summer fruit and vegetables to make ratatouille.
- Stuff with rice, lentils or other vegetables, then bake it.
- For a mild stir-fry, add olive oil and sauté it.
- Boil it, then blend it into soups.
- Serve it as a side, grilled or sautéed with a little garlic and oil.
- Spiralize it into spaghetti or linguine-like noodles or slice it to replace lasagna sheets.
· 4 small zucchinis, ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise
· 1/3 c Parmesan, freshly grated
· 1 tsp Italian seasoning
· 1/2 tsp kosher salt
· 1/4 tsp black pepper
· 1 1/2 T extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed
· 2 T fresh herbs such as parsley, basil or dill, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. In a small bowl, mix Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
3. Place the zucchini in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan mixture. Toss to coat, then arrange the zucchini on top of the cooling rack on the prepared baking sheet, being careful not to overlap the spears.
4. Place in the oven and bake until the zucchini is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Cook until the Parmesan is lightly crisp on top, about 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Remove the zucchini from the oven and immediately squeeze the lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with herbs. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Calories: 77; Carbohydrates: 5g; Protein: 4g; Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 4mg; Fiber: 1g