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Eating Healthy: Spotlight on Zucchini

Written by Lisa Jillanza
  • Zucchini are made up of more than 95 percent water and are very low in calories : only 13 calories in a half cup of raw zucchini and only 5 calories more when cooked.
  • Zucchini contains very useful amounts of folate, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A.
  • The skin color of zucchini squash varies from very light to very dark and the darker the skin the more nutrients the zucchini contains.
  • And speaking of the skin, you shouldn't remove the skin from a zucchini squash because the nutrients are contained in the skin.

Zucchini

Recipe: Baked Zucchini Fries

  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced into skinny sticks
  • 2 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg whites with a fork until frothy. Put the breadcrumbs, basil, oregano, garlic powder and cheese on a plate. Mix well. Dip the zucchini sticks in the egg whites and then into the bread crumb mixture, make sure all sides get coated well. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 425┬░ for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a little crispy. Turn over the fries half way through. Serve warm. Dip in marinara sauce.

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake

2 medium-sized zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices 2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices 2-4 T chopped fresh basil (or even less, depending on how much you like the flavor of basil) 2 T thinly sliced green onion 1/2 tsp. dried thyme 3/4 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup low-fat white cheese (I used Pizza Cheese, which is a low-fat blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, and Parmesan) 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan (I would use a little less if you only have the very finely grated Parmesan from a can) salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish with non-stick spray. Wash the squash and cut in slices or half-moon slices. Wash basil, spin dry or dry with paper towels and finely chop. Slice green onions.Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, dried thyme, garlic powder, and both kinds of cheese and stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and pepper. Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.When the zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked. Serve hot.