Culinistas's Kitchen,  Health

Don’t Fret, Have a Courgette

by The Culinistas

Summer is coming.

A mainstay at The Culinistas during the warm summer months is zucchini.  Zucchini are summer squash harvested prior to reaching full maturity. At the peak time of their harvest, zucchini will have a tender skin with a sweeter flavor.  If harvested too late, this skin transitions into the rind of a fully mature summer squash, losing its earthy flavor and edible qualities.

Zucchini is full of beneficial nutrients for the health and maintenance of our bodies, packed with folate, potassium, and vitamin A.  Folate is responsible for the production of DNA and other genetic material (which is why it is so important for pregnant women!). Potassium provides relief from heart disorders, anxiety, stress, high blood pressure and stroke, as well as kidney disorders.  Vitamin A is responsible for promoting healthy eyesight, as well as increasing bone and immune system health.

The culinary perk of zucchini is their versatility.  Eat them raw, sliced thinly in salads, or shaved and roasted to chips.  Shred them and incorporate into your baked goods for a healthier twist. Steam or boil them for a mixed vegetable salad.  Brush with a little bit of olive oil and leave them on the grill, developing deep grill marks and a nice charred flavor to accompany the rest of your summertime dinner.  Stuff the zucchini flowers with a bit of goat cheese, dip in a light tempura batter, and fry for a delicate appetizer. Or steam them with clams & tarragon for the perfect summer meal.

A special thanks to Sylvie Rosokoff for the beautiful photograph.