Zucchini is literally a gift of mother nature. It only contains 3 gram of carbs per 100 gram / 3,5 oz in total from which 1 gram is fiber. But what are the benefits and how to cook zucchini? Zucchini belongs general to species gourds, Latin name Cucurbita pepo. It is a very common kind of vegetable grown in our gardens (at the top of the harvest) or on the domestic vegetable cabinets (even for the rest of the year). There may still be many of you who would like to start with low carb but hesitate if you would be able to make a such a significant diet change. It is understandable. Every diet change which goes hand in hand with overall lifestyle is demanding.
But do not hang your head! This condition only takes a few days or maximum a few weeks. Once you experienced your new diet, and get more familiar with all the groceries which belongs to it, it will become a routine, like everything that we use to repeat regularly. Important is also not get from the beginning this feeling being in restriction. It could cause you to set your mind negatively, and you are more likely to fail, and slip to the original habits. Instead, try to make your life change to a challenge and enjoy it.
Try to discover new food, try new recipes. Soon you will see how colorful low carb diet is. I would say even more colorful than a usual diet because you will start to think more about what you eat and include the most healthy food regularly. From my personal experience, the most I fun I had with were vegetables. You would never believe what could be made of vegetables. So couldn’t I believe I am going to write a blog article about zucchini and here it is! Why? Because zucchini, in my opinion, is the best low carb and the most versatile vegetable. And I will show you in this article how to cook zucchini!
Zucchini Origin And Benefits
Zucchini comes probably from Central America and came to Europe during the 15th century. The word itself comes from Italian Zucca – gourd. Some sources say that the vegetable was considered a cucumber replacement a few years ago. In the present kitchen, however, it has earned an honorable place for its application, for several reasons. It is such a culinary feast, offering a wide range of uses – both for cold and hot dishes, as well as for variations of “sweet” and “savory.” Zucchini is literally a gift of mother nature.
It contains provitamin A, from which the body metabolizes vitamin A or retinol. This important antioxidant helps to keep your eyes healthy, preventing the appearance of blindness. It delivers energy. It is indispensable for cell transformation in cells. When preparing the veggies, think provitamin A dissolves in fat. A distinctly basic food helps maintain acid-base balance and it contains only 3 gram of carbs per 100 gram / 3,5 oz in total from which 1 gram is fiber.
Further, it includes vitamins B, C and E, beta-carotene, minerals: magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and fiber. One of the healthiest types of vegetables which is very beneficial to the digestive tract. Whether it is the healing effect of the intestines because it regenerates the lining of the intestines or the recommended food for people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Thanks to fiber, it also supports bowel function, which benefits the immune system. It is used for digestive disorders, gastritis, irritable bowel, but also for inflammation of the large intestine.
How To Cook Zucchini?
How To Cook Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini is my probably most favorite veggie. It wasn’t always like that. Before low carb, I didn’t value the versatility of zucchini that much. This vegetable is really able to replace all the foods which are forbidden. Zoodles (Spiralized Zucchini Noodles) are the most favorite and best-known substitute for pasta any art. And with today’s kitchen equipment you can create various shapes. For the beginning, you will be just fine with a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler.
- Wash and clean the veggie.
- Cut it into long thin strips with a spiral cutter. To do this, push the vegetables into the spiral cutter with light pressure and a twisting motion. Alternatively, you can also use a peeler. Peeler makes it possible to form long, broad strips similar to ribbon noodles. Just put the peeler at the top and pull it down. Repeat the whole process until only the core housing remains. If you don’t own any of these, you can optionally use a sharp knife and cut thin strips – be careful you could easily cut yourself.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Cook the spiralized zucchini noodles for about 3 minutes while turning until they are firm. Season with salt, pepper and optional juice of 1 lime. The low carb noodles are ready.
How To Cook Steamed Zucchini
Steamed zucchini doesn’t only taste good, but is also well digestible. While purchasing, always choose the smaller specimens, they are more aromatic, and they also contain less water.
- Wash them and remove the ends. Then cut the vegetable into cubes or slices. If you want to purée the vegetables later, it is enough if you just cut it roughly into pieces.
- They will soften more quickly if you salt it and leave it for about 15 minutes on a clean kitchen towel.
- Bring broth to boil. When the water starts to bubble, add them in a sieve or steaming dish and place in a hot steam without dipping into the boiling water. Close the pot with a lid and cook it for about five minutes until it’s firm.
- If you want to serve it as a side dish, be sure to cook the vegetable al dente, which means a bit crunchy, and not overcooked. Remove from the cooking water and serve with herbs, salt or a sauce. If you want, you can still taste the vegetables with a little salt, lemon juice or soy sauce.
Pan Fried Zucchini
- Wash them, pat dry, slice diagonally and lay side by side on a chopping board. Sprinkle it with salt and leave for about 15 minutes. During this time, the zucchini “cries” a lot of its fluid.
- Dab the liquid with the kitchen utensil (on both sides).
- Preheat oil in a pan, add the butter and when it has melted, add the slices to the pan. Fry few minutes on both sides until golden brown. Careful, it is happening pretty fast.
- Put the slices on the kitchen towel for a short while, to absorb the fat – this is usually not necessary.
Baking zucchini is an easy way to get the best flavor out of this summer vegetable. It is one of the tastiest ways to prepare them without having to spend a lot of effort. The mild flavor of the zucchini goes well with a variety of spices, so don’t be afraid to experiment! There are several options how to bake zucchini. Before any of them always wash the zucchini from dirt, don’t peel it.
Cut the upper part of the fetus and half the zucchini. Roll part of the flesh with the kernels out with a spoon. Put aside. You can use it for the filling. You can fill your boats with anything you like. Phantasy has no limits. Below there is a recipe for zucchini boats stuffed with bolognese.
Oven Baked Zucchini Chips
This does a great snack or finger food for some party. You need to cut into very thin slices. Then put them in a bowl, sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and seasoning you like and mix properly. Line up the zucchini slices on the prepared baking sheet tightly next to each other, making sure not to overlap them. Now if you want to achieve the crispiness, you have to patient. Bake it at 200F(100C) around 2 hours. If you only want a quick snack 10 minutes at 320F(160C) will be just fine.
Zucchini is also an excellent ingredient to bake bread with. It is effortless and quick to make and thanks to the soft veggie the bread is perfectly smooth. Zucchini not only has a bunch of health benefits, but it is mainly composed of water which releases during baking to keep your baking extra moist. You need to try to bake one, I assure you, you will love it. For a zucchini bread recipe scroll down.
How To Grate Zucchini
For many zucchini recipes like muffins, zucchini bread, etc. you will need grated zucchini. Before you start with that, make sure you washed them all correctly, even if it might look it isn’t necessary. There are hidden bacterias and pesticides. Then cut off the ends. Remove the stem and flower ending with a sharp vegetable knife. If the vegetable is more than 5 cm in diameter, the seeds may be large and bitter. If this is the case, cut it once in length, and spoon out the seeds. If it’s smaller, you can start with the grating. Decide whether you prefer to use a flat hand kitchen grater or a hand kitchen grater with a bowl. Place the grater on a solid surface, such as a cutting board.
You can either rub the zucchinis directly onto the board or place a container under the grater in which the zucchini is caught. So you have less work after cleaning. Choose a rubbing style. Most rubs have coarse and fine attachments. Try both to see what kind is more suitable for your purposes. Hold the device firmly in one hand. Hold them with your other hand. Guide the zucchini evenly up and down the grater while applying light pressure. Be careful when you get closer to the grater with your fingers. Change the position of your fingers slightly. Stop rubbing when the remnant is already very small. Try not to continue until it disappears completely. If you are not careful, it can happen that piece of your fingertip lands in the dough.