What Vegetables are Best in March?
What Fruit is Best in March?
Food in Focus – ZucchiniZucchini, also known as courgettes, are a summer squash and part of the gourd family. Zucchini are a delicate vegetable that complements many dishes and is delicious when prepared and cooked correctly. Zucchini were originally cultivated by North America Native people and taken back to Europe by early explorers. It is considered to be the fastest growing garden vegetable. They have the best flavour when 10-15cm in length.
What health benefits can be gained by eating Zucchini?
- 94% water content is good during summer months to provide extra hydration.
- Carotenes can help to protect against the damaging effects of the sun.
- Part of the rainbow of vegetables that may prevent cell mutations.
What are the nutritional benefits of Zucchini?
- Good source of Vitamin C
- Good source of folate
- Small amount of beta-carotene
- Contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium and iron.
What to look for when buying Zucchini?
- Ideally, 10-15cm long for best flavour.
- Should feel firm and heavy.
- May be dark green, pale green or golden.
- Rind should be shiny and blemish free.
How to store Zucchini
- Handle with care, zucchini are fragile.
- Small punctures can result in decay.
- Store unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper.
- Store 3-4 days.
How to prepare Zucchini
- Wash thoroughly under cold running water with a vegetable brush.
- If wax surface is present soak in water with a small amount of soap-free detergent or vegetable wash, then gently scrub with vegetable wash and rinse.
- No need to peel.
- Can be served whole, stuffed, julienned, sliced or grated.
Tips for serving Zucchini
- Zucchini contain little fibre and only need a light amount of heat to soften.
- Zucchini complement other vegetables.
- Add raw zucchini to your favourite salad or vegetable platter.
- Add slices of zucchini into stir-frys and Asian Greens.
- Finely slice and add to pasta sauces.
- Grated zucchini can be included in sandwiches.
- Serve raw zucchini slices with Hommus or your favourite dip.
- Add to tomato and onion sauce with a teaspoon of turmeric.
- Brush long slices with olive oil and barbecue or char-grill.
- Top lightly steamed slices with cheese and cashews.
- Include in favourite homemade pizza.
- Add to omelettes and quiches.