Your vegetable alphabet is not complete until you've made it all the way to the zucchini, though this "vegetable" is technically a fruit by virtue of containing seeds!

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Zucchini comes from the same family as melons and cucumbers and is considered a variety of summer squash since it grows best in the summer and early spring. It's also sometimes called "courgette" in Europe or known as as "Italian squash" since it was bred in Italy, though squash itself originated in the Americas.

A cup of cooked zucchini only has 17 calories, making it a neglible calorie food and a great choice for staying satiated. It also contains about a gram of protein and practically no fat or sugar!

As far as micronutrients, a cup of raw zuchinni contains about 40 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A and at least 10 percent of your suggested manganese, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, along with smaller amounts of vitamin K, folate, copper, phosphorous, and B vitamins. Cooked zucchini is about the same, but will contain slightly less vitamin A and more vitamin C⁠—so it's win-win!

Zucchinis are also high in a class of antioxidants called carotenoids, which are beneficial for eye, skin, and heart health. They can also play a part in lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar levels.

zucchini

Zucchinis with yellow or darker green skin are thought to be higher in these antioxidants, and the yellow variety is also thought to be slightly sweeter!

Additionally, these carotenoids are thought to be most abundant in the skin of zuchinnis, but since these skins and zucchini's seeds also contain the antinutrient lectin, you might have to think twice about whether keeping it on is right for you.

Plus, zucchinis contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, including a type of fiber called pectin which has been found to increase feelings of fullness by delaying gastric emptying as well as to promote gut health by serving as a prebiotic.

Finally, a compound found in pumpkins and zucchini may reduce prostate hyperplasia, while other zucchini components may be able to fight cancer. Zucchinis are also 95 percent water, so they're great for staying hydrated!

You can also experiment with using zucchini as a substitute for starchier vegetables or white flour to make healthier versions of foods like pancakes, cookies, or pizza crust. First, though, try out zucchinis in our yummy Red Thai Chicken Curry or our super simple Zesty Zoodles and Baked Ribbon Zucchini!

zucchini

Zesty Zoodles

zesty zoodles

No need to waste calories on pasta when zucchinis can do it better! Estimated nutritional value of 85 calories, 5.3 fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 9.6 g carbohydrates, 3.3 g fiber, 2.9g protein, and 4.6g sugar.

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook time
10 minutes
Yield
Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini spiralized into ribbon noodles
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Directions
Mix all together and pan fry until zucchini is soft.

Recipe provided by

Red Thai Chicken Curry

red thai chicken curry

Out of dinner ideas? Don't worry, try this curry! Estimated nutritional value (for 1/4th recipe) of 248 calories, 8.1g fat, 96 mg cholesterol, 5.7g carbohydrate, 2.2 g fiber, 37.4g protein, and 1.5g sugar.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook time
20 minutes
Yield
Serves 2-4 people on phase 3

Ingredients

  • 500 grams stirfry chicken pieces (1LB)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 or 4 zucchini noodles
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1 Tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • Pepper and Salt to taste

Directions
Brown the chicken and onion in a non-stick pan, then add the zucchini noodles and fry for 3-4 minutes. Mix all other ingredients together and pour into pan and simmer.

Recipe provided by

Baked Ribbon Zucchini

baked ribbon zucchini

Don't be a meanie: serve your pals this zucchini! Estimated nutritional value of 40 calories, .5g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 8.4g carbohydrate, 2.8 g fiber, 3g protein, and 4.3g sugar.

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook time
10 minutes
Yield
1 serving

Ingredients

  • 250 gm Zucchini
  • Seasoning mix (smokey bbq, Italian, thai etc)

Directions
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line baking tray with baking paper. Lay ribbons of zucchini on baking tray. Sprinkle with seasoning. Bake for 5 – 10 minutes.

Recipe provided by

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