low in calories
, but it also contains fiber which helps lower cholesterol, keeps you fuller longer, and promotes a healthy digestive system.
Zucchini is also a great source of Vitamin A which helps our immune system, Vitamin C which is great antioxidant, and contains potassium which is an essential mineral for our organs, tissues, and cells.
Another great reason to make zucchini a part of your regular diet is because it's one of the most perfect VOLUME foods
! Because it's so mild in taste and texture, you can add it to dishes and hardly even know it's there.
More food to eat and bigger dishes are always a plus in my book! So while the majority of the world will use zucchini in things like stir fry's or simple vegetable side dishes, it can be used for so much more!
However, in order to add zucchini into your dishes we must first look at the most fitting ways to prep it! In most cases, to 'hide' zucchini in whatever you are making you will either need to shred it (coarse/fine on a box grater), slice it thin, or make zucchini noodles using this invaluable kitchen gadget:
The Spiralizer - Zucchini Noodles
Hands down, this is one my favorite kitchen tools and one that I use at least 2-3 times per week. The spiralizer is great for turning nearly any vegetables (and some fruit) into noodles. It's a wonderful investment and money well spent for the entire family! Lacking in the veggie department and want to incorporate more 'green' into your diet? This is one of the best ways I can think of!
So now that we have our zucchini prepped, what can we do with it?
Personally, I don't make a batch of oatmeal without adding finely shredded zucchini! I can easily double my serving of oats by simply cooking all of the ingredients together at the same time. Just shred your zucchini and add it to your oats and liquid on the stove! Or you can even cook it in the microwave to save some time! Surprisingly, adding it to overnight oats works just as well also! Look at this tasty looking 'Z-Oats":
Waffles & Pancakes
I know, it sounds extremely odd doesn't it? However, I assure you that you won't even know the zucchini is hiding amongst your favorite stack of syrup-y deliciousness! Just use any pancake or waffle recipe you like and while mixing your ingredients, simply add the finely shredded zucchini. Once cooked, it will blend right into the batter!
Looking for an interesting and delicious side dish? How about this
Fritters only take a handful of ingredients and are perfect for food prep! Quick, easy, low calorie, and delicious!
Image: Corina Nielsen
I take pride in this dish
and it's something I serve my own family at least once every few weeks. Even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy this. Step by step instructions included!
Breads & Muffins
Image: Corina Nielsen
And last, but certainly not least! Same principles as with the pancakes and waffles… adding shredded zucchini to your baked goods is just as easy. Check out of the best dessert loaves I have ever made
(zucchini or not).
A little hard to believe that I have vegetables and nutrients 'hiding' in here huh? And yes, it tastes every bit as delicious as it looks, zucchini and all!
So, next time you are on the hunt to incorporate more vegetables in your life and daily diet, don't be so quick to pass by the zucchini at the Farmer's Market or grocery store. Once you begin to use this versatile veggie, you will kick yourself for not knowing about it sooner!
Even if you may not be a die hard fan of zucchini, it's an extremely versatile member of the squash family that's entirely under utilized in my opinion. Not only is it