Spinach pasta with basil and feta.
Lisa M Baragiola

Summer Season Zucchini

Zucchini Season

I’m revisiting the subject of summer vegetables. I can’t help but go on and on about the benefits of home grown produce.  Zucchini is a summer squash. It is considered a vegetable, but botanically classified as a fruit. Although you can get it all year round, it’s at its best from May through August. Squashes originated in the Americas, yet zucchini was first developed in the 1800s in Italy.  Growing up in an Italian family, I’ve eaten zucchini most of my life. If you know anyone gardening this summer, say yes to this versatile vegetable.

Nutritional Value

One cup of zucchini provides only 17 calories, three grams of carbohydrate and less than one gram of fat. It’s high in vitamin A and potassium. Zucchini is rich in antioxidants that are mostly found in its skin and may benefit eye, skin, and heart health. It is rich in water content and both soluble and insoluble fibers, all of which may promote healthy digestion. In recent years, zucchini has become a low carbohydrate option for pasta dishes.

Grow your Own!

It is possible to grow zucchini where you live if the plant can get full sun for 6 to 8 hours. There are different types of zucchinis. Some need a lot of room, others can be planted in containers or raised beds. Choose the one that fits your location best and learn more here. If you go to the farmers market, pick one that is heavier with bright skin. Typically, smaller to medium size is best, 6 to 8 inches in length.

Add it to Your Meal Plan

Maybe you have tasted fried zucchini in a restaurant. This vegetable has so much more to offer. Enjoy it raw in salads. Dice or slice it for grilling, sauteing, baking or roasting. Have you heard of spiralizing? It’s a fun method for turning vegetables into pasta noodles. You can’t go wrong stuffing a squash boat with your favorite meat and/or cheese. Finally, it’s an ingredient that can be used to make bread, cookies, and muffins. Hurry, August is almost over…..

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