July equals summer and summer equals a colorful harvest of warm-weather produce. Zucchinis are now in season, and we’re loving it! If the overabundance of zucchini produced by your garden may cause you to lose interest in this vegetable-like fruit (yes, technically botanically classified as a fruit!), take a deep breath. We’re here to help you fall back in love with this nutrition powerhouse, so let’s dig into a bit of the nutritional benefits of zucchini, a squash in fact.
Squashes are mainly autumn harvest ‘vegetables’. Many squashes need to be cooked by baking or steaming, although the popular zucchini and yellow crookneck (both summer squashes) can be sliced and eaten raw in salads or with dips. Most of the squashes are high in carbohydrates, mainly as starch, with a high fiber content. Many are high in Vitamin A, especially the orange or yellow squashes. Vitamin C and potassium are also present in varying amounts, as are calcium, magnesium and iron. The phytonutrients present in squashes are beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, cucubitacins, pectin and squalene.
Zucchinis are probably the most commonly used squash in North America because they are so easy to prepare. They are juicy and flavorful. We are always looking for ways to get creative with our seasonal produce in the BWC for Horse Lovers Kitchen, and of course that means a new recipe just for you!
What I love about this Coconut Zucchini Fries recipe is that it includes healthy ingredients and is baked rather than deep fried. This avoids the excess fats cooked at high temperatures. We hope you enjoy it.
Coconut Zucchini Fries
Ingredients (serves 4, although you may want to double it!):
1 T coconut oil
¼ cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
¼ cup coconut flour
½ tsp sea salt
2 zucchinis (medium, sliced into strips)
Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with oil.
Pour the coconut milk into a smaller bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour and salt.
Dip each zucchini strip in the coconut milk, letting the excess liquid drop off. Transfer to the bowl of salted coconut flour and coat well, shaking off any excess flour. Place onto the baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, gently flipping halfway.
Remove from the oven and enjoy.
*Note: Serve with a grilled chicken breast for some added protein.
Looking for more kitchen inspiration for zucchini? Here are ten additional ideas for you:
Top it on your pizza
Whip up some zucchini bread, muffins or brownies
Use a spiralizer to make zoodles topped with your favorite pasta sauce
Create a zucchini crust pizza
Grated over oatmeal (you’ll hardly know it’s there!)
Add frozen zucchini to your smoothies
Add to a stir fry
Include it in soup
Create zucchini kabobs on the BBQ (with other mixed veg like onion, mushrooms and peppers)
Prepare a zucchini caprese salad (sliced thin with cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil and bocconcini))
Staying Healthy With Nutrition, The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine by Elson M. Hass, M.D. with Buck Levin, PhD, RD – 2006 (Page 318)
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