Zucchini contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. Cooked zucchini is particularly high in vitamin A, though raw zucchini contains slightly less. One cup of cooked zucchini is only 17 calories.
- Vitamin A: One cup of zucchini contains 40% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for the immune system, vision and also helps the lungs, heart and kidneys work properly.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is an essential nutrient and antioxidant. One cup of zucchini contains 14% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
When purchasing zucchini from the farmer’s market or the grocery store, select small to medium sized zucchini with shiny, bright green skin.
Do not wash until ready to use. Place in a breathable bag inside the high-humidity drawer in your refrigerator. Zucchini is at its freshest up to 5 days after purchase.
Have you tried spiralizing vegetables into noodle shapes? This is a trend that is here to stay, and it should! One cup of spiralized zucchini provides about 17 calories and 8 grams of total carbohydrates, compared to white pasta which is 239 calories per cup and 46 grams carbohydrate. This recipe for Zucchini Pasta with Garlic and Parmesan is delicious, easy and wonderfully light for a summer side dish!
Zucchini Pasta with Garlic and Parmesan
4 Medium Zucchini (will produce 6-8 cups for 4 servings)
½ tsp. coarse salt
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Slice washed, trimmed, unpeeled zucchini through noodle making device. Spread on paper towels and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let rest for 10-15 minutes, allowing excess moisture to drain. Pat semi-dry.
In skillet, sauté olive oil, butter and garlic over medium to high heat. Add zucchini strands to pan and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. Add parsley, red pepper flakes, then pepper to taste. Remove to serving bowl, toss in the cheese and serve.
Zucchini “pasta” is easy to overcook, stir until heated through, but not browned!
Try serving with fresh tomato sauce and a chicken breast for protein. You can substitute other cheeses as well.