Too much zucchini is never enough! How to use up summer squash in so many ways


There's a lot extra to do with zucchini and your complete household of summer time squash than baking up limitless loaves of zucchini bread and muffins.

The cry goes out from over-ambitious gardeners each summer time: “What can I do with all this zucchini?” For those who’ve ever been such a gardener, or the unwitting recipient of a shock stack of squash in your entrance stoop, you'll be able to perceive.

It'd seem to be zucchini is nothing to get enthusiastic about. However its power is a chameleon-like potential to mix seamlessly into many dishes. There’s a lot extra to do with zucchini and your complete family of summer squash than baking up limitless loaves of zucchini bread and muffins.

Zucchini and its ilk are the little black clothes — make that little inexperienced clothes — of summer time greens. You'll be able to exhibit squash because the star of the meal or disguise it away in a stew or a cake. It’s as simple to eat and straightforward to like as it's to develop.

Zucchini is a powerhouse of nutritional vitamins and vitamins, based on Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian, chef and writer of “The Low-Carb Mediterranean Cookbook: Quick and Easy High-Protein, Low-Sugar, Healthy-Fat Recipes for Lifelong Health.” It’s a very good supply of fiber, potassium, and nutritional vitamins C and B6.

“Like most greens, zucchini is low-carb and cholesterol-free and low in complete and saturated fats,” she added in an e mail. “Moreover, zucchini comprises carotenoids like lutein, which helps assist pores and skin well being by offering a degree of safety from the solar (however nonetheless put on your sunscreen).”

Whether or not you’re consuming batons of zucchini, scalloped pattypans or curvy crooknecks, all styles of summer time squash are comparable in dietary worth. Nonetheless, Dudash notes that yellow squash comprises much more seeds than zucchini, giving it a barely increased fiber content material.

Sure, you'll be able to eat it uncooked

Shaved squash salads are maybe the only approach to savor this vegetable in all its shapely varieties. Use a mandoline or hand-held vegetable slicer to make paper-thin slices of zucchini or different squash, then gown them up with French dressing.

Well being-conscious eaters might wish to skip the dressing, however Dudash recommends including it. “Attempt to pair fats together with your zucchini, because it helps enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, together with lutein,” she mentioned. “Drizzle on the olive oil, pair it with Parmesan, and so forth.”

Zucchini carpaccio is a method to do this. This vegetarian riff on conventional Italian beef carpaccio is continuously topped with olive oil, shaved Parmesan cheese and herbs like mint, parsley or basil. Nonetheless, the sky’s the restrict when it comes to toppings, and you may make this dish fully vegan or as the bottom of a full vegetable salad.

There’s additionally a slight vitamin profit to consuming uncooked zucchini. “If you cook dinner zucchini, it releases a variety of water, subsequently lowering the water content material within the vegetable. Water-soluble vitamins, like nutritional vitamins B and C, will probably be increased in uncooked zucchini, since they leach out of the water launched,” Dudash mentioned.

Eat it cooked

Fritters are a time-tested approach to get even the pickiest eater to devour greens — in spite of everything, who can argue with a crispy battered chew? These pan-fried zucchini fritters may be adjusted to incorporate different shredded greens, like candy potatoes or winter squash, and don’t want a variety of oil to get the job accomplished.

Stuffed zucchini boats are one other simply adaptable dish that may match with any tradition’s delicacies. Dudash riffs on her Lebanese grandmother’s conventional stuffed koosa recipe through the use of a combination of floor beef, quinoa and dill, and simmering or baking them in tomato sauce. They will also be made taco-style to exchange your standard tortillas for Taco Tuesday.

Slurp up zoodles

Time-crunched cooks can all the time purchase packaged recent or frozen zoodles on the retailer, however with a lot recent zucchini in season, why not take a stab at making your individual?

Cheap vegetable noodle devices are broadly out there on-line and in residence items shops, however you may also use a multipurpose julienne slicer to make skinny wisps of zucchini noodles that soften into sauces and baked casseroles.

Use your recent ribbons of squash in zucchini alfredo, a lighter tackle the tacky Italian consolation meals, or tossed with marinara and meatballs. Or use zoodles as a substitute for ramen noodles in coconut curry soup or a vegan tackle cold peanut noodles.

It's also possible to freeze your home made zoodles for serving after squash is out of season. Spiralize the zucchini, then gently squeeze and pat out any extra moisture with a non-terry fabric kitchen towel.

Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet, then switch to a freezer-safe bag and retailer for not more than three months. Drop frozen zoodles straight into boiling water or thaw within the bag in your fridge earlier than utilizing, draining any further liquid which may come out of the zoodles as soon as they thaw.

Bake it into sweets

With its impartial taste, zucchini has lengthy been the go-to vegetable for fogeys attempting to sneak just a few extra nutritional vitamins into their households’ desserts. Whether or not blended with nuts and spices, chocolate or citrus, summer time squash can adapt to any candy disguise.

Zucchini brownies are a typical for the previous vegetable sneak-in, because the moist, wealthy texture is a perfect foil for squash. To make it much more foolproof, puree the zucchini, as beneficial on this recipe, as a substitute of shredding it.

For these occasions if you don’t thoughts letting others know you’re baking with zucchini, a traditional fast bread or cake is the best way to go. The crunchy lemon glaze on this zucchini Bundt cake takes it from an on a regular basis snack to one thing you’d be proud to serve at a celebration. For a spiced-up tackle traditional zucchini bread, a cardamom pistachio zucchini loaf will make any noon espresso break really feel like a trip.

Lastly, why not have zucchini for breakfast? A zucchini bread-inspired baked oatmeal is a weekend brunch that might simply get you thru most of your day.

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