‘Tis the Season . . . Zucchini Season!

A friend told me about a church congregation which during the months of July and August always made sure their car doors were locked while in church service, lest they return to their cars to find bags of zucchini deposited on the back seat!

Though sometimes dismayed about what to do with the plethora of  these  beautiful green squash that we are blessed with this time of year, let us not infer anything disparaging about them since it is a great tasting, low-fat, high-fiber food. Only 18 calories per cup, other nutrients in zucchini include vitamins A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and folate. They can be eaten raw or cooked, sweet or savory and in many, many recipes.

I’ve learned from experience that the ones we grow ourselves have the most flavor. They afford great rewards for the novice gardener because it’s hard not to grow zucchini! A big key to producing flavorful zucchini is to pick them when they are about 6 or 7 inches long.  If one sneaks up on you and turns into a baseball bat, recycle it.

A tender, thinly sliced zucchini makes a nice addition to a salad; or cut into thicker slices or wedges for a veggie platter. The quickest way to cook them is to slice into rounds and lightly steam them. Toss with a little olive oil and salt, or just skip the oil. Another delicious way to prepare them is to cut into chunks and roast them with onions and other veggies if desired. Toss with oil, salt, and a little rosemary and roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

A typical ingredient in minestrone soup is sliced zucchini, and a pasta-free lasagna can be made with long, flat  zucchini slices. Zucchini casseroles, zucchini bread, zucchini patties, zucchini muffins, waffles, even cookies are other ways of incorporating this bountiful squash into your diet. One of our favorite vegan casseroles is layered potatoes with zucchini smothered in Healthy Melty Cheese and baked for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees. But to satisfy that sweet tooth with a high-fiber, tasty treat, try these vegan zucchini muffins. The blend of pineapple and zucchini works really well. Amazingly light, they are made with 100% whole wheat flour. These are very well received, and a great way to eat a vegetable! There are other vegan breads and muffins in my cookbook. Check it out at www.totalvegetarian.com .

Zucchini Muffins

1 cup crushed pineapple, with juice

½ cup light olive oil

¾ cup Sucanat or turbinato sugar

½ cup soymilk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon stevia powder (scant) OR and additional 1/2 cup sugar

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped dates

1 cup walnuts, chopped

2½ cups whole wheat flour 

1 tablespoon Rumford baking powder or 2½ tablespoons Ener-G baking powder

½ teaspoon coriander

scant ¼ teaspoon cardamom

dash of cinnamon if desired

             Preheat oven to 350o.

  1. Mix first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Grate zucchini and squeeze out juice. Add zucchini, chopped dates and walnuts to bowl and mix.

  3. Combine flour, baking powder, coriander and cardamom in a separate bowl. Stir with a whisk to mix.

  4. Fold flour mixture into wet ingredients mixing well. Form muffins in muffin tin with ice cream scoop.

  5. Bake 40 minutes until lightly browned.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.