Cooking with Zucchini, a Healthy Summer Squash

The zucchini is known by many different names around the world. In France, it's la courgette; in Great Britain it's the vegetable marrow. No matter what you call it, this squash can be a tasty addition to dishes ranging from lasagna to muffins. Zucchini is in season for the summer and has some great health benefits, so get cooking with it today! 

The zucchini is a member of the squash family. It grows on a vine and has bright yellow blossoms that are also edible and taste great in salads or deep-fried until crispy. The flesh of the zucchini itself has a slightly sweet taste and a spongy texture, which makes it a popular ingredient in baked goods.

Baking with zucchini can also be a great way to get your kids to eat their vegetables! A plate of cooked veggies can be scary to picky eaters, but baking zucchini into a favorite tasty dish can encourage kids to venture outside their comfort zone. Try your hand at some zucchini bread or zucchini muffins. It's not great just in sweetened bread; you can fold grated zucchini into scrambled eggs, casseroles, brown rice, and more.

Zucchini is great for grown-ups, too. It's packed with fiber, which is beneficial to your digestive system and aids in weight loss as it help keep you feeling fuller for longer. It's also high in vitamins A and C, which act as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents and are great for flushing toxins from your system. On top of that, zucchini is perfect if you're counting calories - one cup only contains about 30-40 calories.

Aside from baking, zucchini can be used in some delicious savory recipes. Ratatouille, a Provencal stew of zucchini, eggplant, and tomato makes great use of this squash.

Now that it's in season, look for zucchini at your local farmer's market. If you're a gardener yourself, zucchini is a particularly easy vegetable to grow and is a good addition to a summer garden - it will even grow on a trellis if you're short on space!

What are some of your favorite zucchini recipes?