The feel-good food for all vegetable fans: zucchini has very few calories and can be prepared in many ways. Learn about the benefits of summer vegetables, all the nutritional values, tips for preparation, and recipes that will make your mouth water.
Green, yellow, long, or round – zucchini is wonderfully diverse.
But all types of zucchini have one thing in common: they are absolute figure flatterers and the perfect vegetable for losing a few kilos.
Why? They contain hardly any calories, but a lot of water – a pleasure without a guilty conscience. But this is not the only reason why we should eat zucchini more often. We’ll tell you all the benefits of zucchini, including super tasty, healthy recipes.
Why zucchini is so healthy
- Hydrated: More than 90 percent of zucchini is water, helping to meet our fluid needs. This ensures that all metabolic processes function properly.
- Figure-flattering: Zucchini is low carb and also contains less than 20 calories per 100 grams. It’s definitely okay to slam on the food!
- Gentle diet: Goodbye heartburn, diarrhea, and flatulence: Zucchini is considered easy on the stomach and easy to digest.
- … provides many minerals: 150 mg of potassium per 100 grams ensures that your electrolyte balance – especially after sports – remains in equilibrium. Magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus are also found in the green pumpkin fruit.
- … soothes: The high potassium content also has a positive effect on our blood pressure. A WHO study has shown that a high potassium intake has a blood pressure-lowering effect and can also reduce the risk of stroke.
Are zucchini suitable for weight loss?
Definitely! Zucchini is one of the top slimming foods of all: no fat, only 2 grams of carbohydrates, and only 20 calories per 100 grams. Thanks to the high water content, you can eat zucchini heartily – counting calories is superfluous here.
That’s probably why there are so many ways to use this fit vegetable in the kitchen: Whether as an antipasto, in a vegetable curry, in porridge, or as a secret ingredient in the cake.
As a substitute for pasta made from durum wheat semolina, low-carb followers like to turn green vegetables into spiralized zoodles.
Zucchini: nutritional values, calories, and ingredients
The key ingredient in zucchini? Water! More than 90 percent of zucchini consists of water, which is why you can eat it without any worries as part of your weight loss plan.
Inevitably, it is also low-carb and perfect for the ketogenic diet or other diets.
But not only during a diet zucchini are the best option. Because despite the high water content, zucchini is packed with healthy ingredients that push our health.
The minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus ensure that our muscles play along as we want them to, even during hard workouts. Plus, vitamin C and beta-carotene in zucchini provide a full load of anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
Their epithet “summer vegetables” suggests it: The undemanding plants are sown in our latitudes from mid-April for about four to six weeks, the seeds then germinate within the next 14 days, then harvested from June into the fall.
However, you will already have noticed that you can get hold of zucchini in the supermarket all year round. The “winter zucchini” comes from Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey.
Did you know?
Zucchini is absolutely one of the classics of Mediterranean cuisine: Italians even celebrate “Zucchini Day” on May 7. Their original forms were discovered as early as the end of the 17th century in several places in Europe. But in Germany, the vegetable was only in the 70s.
Although zucchini botanically belong to the fruits, due to a lack of sweetness and acidity are counted among the fruit vegetables, and belong to the genus of cucurbits.
More specifically, the garden squash, which it resembles biologically to this day – “zucca”, by the way, comes from the Italian and also means “pumpkin”. However, the leaves of the zucchini are not as large as those of the garden squash and also do not tendril as much.
How big do zucchini grow?
The potential growth of zucchini is interesting: The fleshy, usually slightly curved berry fruits, if you let them grow in peace like to get really big – or in other words: They come in their round shape then after pumpkins, but can also form elongated, very bulky variants.
However, zucchini are usually harvested when they are not yet so large and not yet fully ripe – their harvest weight is then approximately between 100 and 300 grams.
Variety of varieties
The zucchini resembles the cucumber, but its flesh is firmer. The color of the skin can vary, usually, the zucchini comes in different shades of green, but it can also be striped and speckled. There are also white and yellow varieties.
The round zucchini – also called rondini – is also popular. It is perfect for scooping, filling, and baking.
Zucchini: preparation, storage, and kitchen tips
Zucchini is an all-rounder in your kitchen: you can roast them, boil them, grill them, steam them, and of course, eat them raw! If you harvest them when they are about 10 to 20 centimeters long, you can use them as a tender vegetables.
Due to its high water content, it tastes rather neutral at first, with a slightly nutty note. This means you can do a lot with it and refine it!
When buying, the first thing to examine is the zucchini skin: A smooth, shiny, and flawless skin indicates that the zucchini was freshly harvested and optimally stored. When tested for pressure, the skin should barely give and the fruit should be pleasantly firm.
What do zucchini go with?
No other vegetable is as versatile as zucchini – roasted, braised, grilled, baked, or steamed. You can make super many delicious things with zucchini. Casseroles and stews benefit from the green vegetable, and they also find their regular place in ratatouille. Likewise, there is zucchini soup, real fans even bake their cake with grated zucchini.
A specialty is zucchini noodles. They can be served together with “real” pasta. Or you can replace the pasta completely with the zoodles – perfect for a low-carb dinner.
Attention: If your zucchini tastes bitter, please leave it alone. Then it contains toxic bitter substances (cucurbitacins), which do not disappear even when cooked.
How to peel zucchini?
Cut off the top and the stem of your zucchini after you have washed it. Then you can peel and cut them normally, usually in slices that are not too thin, otherwise, there is a risk of decay.
If you want to use zucchini for a stir-fry dish, cut them in half lengthwise and then take thick slices. For crudités and salads, use oblong slices; strips also work well.
How do I store zucchini?
Zucchini will keep in their smaller forms between five and about ten days, but should not be stored below eight degrees. Room temperature, however, is too warm for them. Larger varieties in one piece, on the other hand, can be stored for a long time into the winter, similar to pumpkins, and can then be used.
Caution: Please do not store zucchini next to tomatoes, apples, and other ripening fruits: These release ethylene, which causes the zucchini to overripe and spoil prematurely.
As you’ve already noticed, zucchini makes a wonderful all-rounder. Whether as spaghetti, in vegetable pans, in savory and sweet cake creations, or as a salad.
Have fun cooking and enjoying.