By Hannah Symons, Forest Foundation Intern 2021
Move over cauliflower, there’s a new sheriff in town!
Behold the mighty zucchini. That’s right – the zucchini can do everything the cauliflower can do, plus more (and probably better). It’s zucchini season, folks! *insert my roommates’ eye roll* While it is true I am known as The Zucchini Girl, lover of all-things-zuke at school, there is a reason for my crazy love affair.
The zucchini’s ability to shape-shift is unmatched by any other veg. As pasta under your favorite bolognese, soft and moist in a muffin, or deep fried as chips to dip in an aioli – the zucchini refuses restraint. Their mild taste allows them to soak up any flavor thrown their way. Not only are they incredibly versatile, zucchini offers a laundry list of health benefits.
The power of the zuke is no fluke:
Zucchini protects our skin the same way it does its own. Carotenoids, an antioxidant found in zucchini, aid in our skin’s defense against harmful UV rays and pollution. The green, tougher skin on a zucchini is a product of the same antioxidant that works to protect our very own skin.
Pectin, a soluble fiber found in zucchini, supports a healthy heart by lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels.
Zucchini are great at promoting healthy digestion. As someone who is plagued by a disastrously humbling GI tract, zucchini is a staple in my diet. Their high water content coupled with lots of fiber makes our gut happy.
Zucchini is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A which supports our immune system. This year of mask-wearing has left our immune systems rusty and out of practice. They need all the help they can get to be in tip-top shape as our world returns to normal.
Here are some(!) of my favorite ways to use zucchini:
Happy cooking! Use up those local summer squashes and tag us in your favorite creations. How else do you use a zucchini?