How is your garden doing this year? Vegetables like potatoes, onions, beets and cucumbers are ready for picking. Another veggie that is in abundance now is zucchini. Don't overlook this special vegetable. Why?
low in calories
rich in nutrients
heart healthy, eye healthy
rich in antioxidants
So what do you do with zucchini? I am sure you've heard of zucchini bread and other baked goods, zoodles, lasagna, boats, and ribbons. What are other ways to enjoy zucchini? I'll show you today.
EAT IT RAW
Dress up your zucchini ribbons with other veggies.
1 large zucchini
1/3 cup bell pepper julienned
1/2 cup carrots, sliced into matchsticks
2 radishes, sliced into matchsticks
8-10 basil leaves
1/4 cup pesto
Using a vegetable peeler, thinly peel zucchini into 8-10 long, wide ribbons.
Lay the zucchini ribbons flat on the work surface and lightly brush with pesto using a basting brush. Add the bell pepper, carrots, radish slices and a basil leaf, leaving 1-2 inches of zucchini at the end.
Gently but firmly roll the zucchini into pinwheels and secure with a toothpick. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Drizzle extra pesto over the roll-ups before serving.
GRAIN FREE FLATBREAD
This flatbread works great alone or as a pizza crust.
2 small-medium zucchini (12 ounces)
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil (or the oil of your choice)
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups chickpea flour
3 to 5 tablespoons water, divided
½ teaspoon baking soda
Trim the ends off of the zucchini, and then grate, using the large holes on a grater. Immediately transfer to a large bowl (so as not to lose any of the water from the zucchini). You should have about 3 cups of zucchini.
Add the olive oil and salt to the zucchini, stirring to combine. Add the chickpea flour and 3 tablespoons of the water, stirring until blended. Add a little bit or all of the remaining water until mixture is a thick batter. Stir in the baking soda.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease or spray (with nonstick cooking spray) the skillet.
Add about ⅓ cup of batter to the center of the pan, and, working quickly; use the back of a metal spoon to spread the batter into a 6- to 7-inch circle. Turn up the heat to medium high and cook about 2 to 3 minutes. until a metal spatula slides under the flatbread easily (bottom side should be browned in spots).Flip over and cook to 2 minutes longer until browned on other side.
Turn flatbread out onto a cooling rack.
Roll this out like tortillas or over a whole cookie sheet. If you do the whole sheet use a pizza cutter to make your slices.
1½ cups shredded zucchini (3 small zucchini)
¼ cup coconut flour, available here
3 Tbs. arrowroot flour, available here
2 eggs, at room temperature
¼ tsp. unrefined salt or Herbamare seasoning salt
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Place the shredded zucchini absorbent kitchen towel, multiple layers of paper towels, or two layers of cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the zucchini.
Stir together the zucchini and remaining ingredients. Form into four flabreads on the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes, until golden around the edges and firm in the center. Cool slightly before removing from the baking sheet.
These flatbreads are best the day they are made, but may be stored for a day or two in an airtight container in the fridge.
Savory pancakes are a great snack or side dish.
6 large eggs
1 medium zucchini, shredded
5 slices of bacon
3½ T coconut flour
1 T chives, chopped
1 t garlic powder
Preheat a grill pan over medium heat and cook the bacon. After the bacon has cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside to cool. Leave the remaining bacon fat in the grill pan to use for the pancakes.
In a food processor, shred the zucchini by pulsing several times. Do not over-pulse as it will make the zucchini wet. Pulsing a few times to shred it is all you need to do.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the garlic powder, zucchini and chives.
Crumble the bacon or finely chop, then add to the batter.
Fold the coconut flour into the mixture. Do not overmix.
Place ¼ cup of the batter on the grill pan to form a pancake. Cook 5 minutes or until the pancakes begin to bubble in the center. Then flip and cook another 3 minutes on the other side until lightly browned.
Transfer pancakes to a wire rack to cool and repeat the process for the remaining batter.
Enjoy immediately after cooking. Pancakes can be kept in the refrigerator up to one week or in the freezer a month.
I love these cheesy breadsticks. You'll never miss the regular flour.
3 medium zucchini, or about 4 cups grated zucchini
2 large eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 c. cornstarch
Freshly ground black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley
Marinara, for dipping (use Sugar Free if you're Keto!)
Preheat oven to 425º and line a baking sheet with parchment. On a box grater or in a food processor, grate zucchini. Using cheesecloth or a dish towel, wring excess moisture out of zucchini.
Transfer zucchini to a large bowl with eggs, garlic, oregano, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, and cornstarch and season with salt and pepper. Stir until completely combined.
Transfer “dough” to prepared baking sheet and pat into a crust. Bake until golden and dried out, 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining 2 cups mozzarella, crushed red pepper flakes, and parsley and bake until cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes more.
Slice and serve with marinara.
SALT AND VINEGAR CHIPS
Everyone likes a snack why not make it a healthy one.
4 cups thinly sliced zucchini about 2-3 medium
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil avocado oil or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Use a mandolin or slice zucchini as thin as possible.
In a small bowl whisk olive oil and vinegar together.
Place zucchini in a large bowl and toss with oil and vinegar.
Add zucchini in even layers to dehydrator then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Depending on how thin you sliced the zucchini and on your dehydrator the drying time will vary, anywhere from 8-14 hours. My temperature setting was 135 degrees F.
To make in the oven: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay zucchini evenly. Bake at 200 degrees F for 2-3 hours. Rotate half way during cooking time.
Store chips in an airtight container.
ZUCCHINI RIBBON SALAD
Salads don't always need lettuce. Try this zucchini ribbon salad for a change.
zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
4 cups zucchini peels (from about 4 medium zucchini squash)
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
Whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and vinegar until combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the vinaigrette is smooth and thick. Stir in the chopped dill, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Toss the zucchini peels, tomatoes, and avocado in a bowl. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the dressing.
Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
Give this a try. It's a great non-dairy choice.
1 cup (about 7 ounces) zucchini, peeled and sliced
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1½ tablespoons gelatin (Hayley says you could use ¾ teaspoon agar powder to make this vegan, but I haven't tried it)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
⅓ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Line an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Place zucchini and water in a pan and bring to simmer. Steam with lid on for about 5 minutes.
Drain and discard water.
Transfer zucchini to a blender and add coconut oil and lemon juice. Blend on highest speed until completely smooth.
Add gelatin, optional nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend again until smooth.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread in an even layer.
Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set.
Remove and cut into desired sizes.
Flavors come alive in this dish. It's beautiful and tasty!
1 large (1.25 lb) eggplant, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb), cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
5 large cloves garlic, chopped
5 large vine-ripened tomatoes (1.75 lb), cut into 1/3-inch cubes, with their juices
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for serving
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan (no need to clean it). Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and transfer to a plate; set aside.
Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the cooked eggplant to the pan; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Add the zucchini and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until just warmed through.
Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Sprinkle with fresh basil and thyme, drizzle with a little olive oil if desired, and serve warm or chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Zucchini grow at an alarming rate. No matter how huge they get you can still use them in recipes. Shred and freeze to use the meat at a later date. I pack 3 cups servings in freezer bags and that works perfect for most recipes. When you thaw make sure to let the water drain (use a cheesecloth) to get the best results in your recipes.
Here's to your health! Happy Cooking!