By Tami Weiser
Zucchini can be found year round at most grocery stores, but summer is the peak season. When the days start getting shorter, and the zucchini (seemingly exponentially) start getting bigger, and bigger, it’s time to turn this workhorse veggie into a a meal everyone can get behind. From healthy zucchini-filled muffins to a golden miso soup filled with zucchini noodles, here’s how to make the most of summer zucchini.
Why We Love Zucchini
Zucchini is a veggie with a lot of nutritional pluses: It’s one of the very lowest of low-calorie vegetables, logging it at only 17 calories per 100 gram. With no saturated fats or cholesterol, plenty of minerals — including calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium and vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and folic acid, it’s easy to see why it’s such a go-to for many healthy eaters. Luckily for everyone, it also happens to be delicious.
Are you cooking with giant zucchini?
Big zucchini do have a few culinary advantages. They slice into planks easily and uniformly. Grating becomes easier. The skin, which is full of fiber, is a touch thicker, not enough to taste different, but enough to make it great for longer cook times.
The seeds: With larger zucchini, you’ll have to deal with more seeds. They can be pretty tough and don’t soften much during cooking so get them out before cooking.
These tasty muffins use 4 cups, yes 4 cups, of grated zucchini, making it a great option in a bumper crop. It also happens to use whole grains, and olive oil, making it a healthy option for so many. The sweetener is honey, but maple syrup, as suggested in the recipe would make a successful swap.
This clever recipe uses crisp rice cereal in the batter to keep it all gluten-free and terrifically crunchy. These tots are packed with plenty of grated zucchini and just enough cheese to hold them together. We love them with dairy-free ranch dressing.
In this quick-cooking vegan soup, zoodles are paired with turmeric, lemon and bok choy for a deeply flavorful, nutrient-pack meal. If you want to amp up the protein, try it with bone broth or add cooked chicken or shrimp in the last couple minutes of cooking.
This zoodle salad recipe offers a different taste and some different veggie, showcasing the versatility of zoodles. Fresh corn, usually at the end of it’s season in late summer and early fall, is a traditional French pairing, as is, red bell pepper, but the miso dressing takes this in a deliciously Asian direction.
This recipe was created just for giant zucchini. Stuffed with savory sausage, mushrooms, and sage, it’s also delicious as we move into colder days. Classic pork sausage is great, but turkey sausage, chicken sausage, or even meatless varieties are terrific options.