Gardener’s Diary: All the zucchini you could want

  • Aug. 20, 2018 12:37 p.m.

Jocelyne Sewell

A Gardener’s Diary

I haven’t been in the garden for the past few days to water or pick vegetables due to the air quality. I was reading that in B.C. it is some of “the worst on Earth” at the moment. I just hope that I don’t get into a jungle by the time the smoke clears.

Ever had too many zucchinis? From Wikipedia: “In a culinary context, the zucchini is treated as a vegetable; Botanically, zucchinis are fruits, a type of botanical berry called a “pepo”, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower. The zucchini, like all squash, has its ancestry in the Americas. However, the varieties of squash typically called “zucchini” were developed in northern Italy in the second half of the 19th century, many generations after the introduction of cucurbits from the Americas in the early 16th century. It can reach one metre (100 cm) 39 inches”.

I have a few plants and try to pick them while small. One of my favourite is to grill them on the BBQ brushed with olive oil and salt and pepper. Sometimes you can get more than you can handle so that is when I look for new recipes. I found one for a very tasty zucchini muffin which we have for breakfast and also one for a batch of healthy cookies. If you ever watched Sesame Street, you know about the cookie monster and I have one in the house. “C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me.” From now on, I will never have too many zucchinis.

A variety of vegetables have a water composition above 90 percent. Cucumbers and iceberg lettuce contain the highest amount because they’re 96 percent water. Ninety-four percent to 95 percent of celery, tomatoes and zucchini consists of water. You can choose from broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet peppers and spinach for vegetables composed of 91 percent to 93 percent water. Carrots are rated as having 87 percent, while green peas are 79 percent water.

In addition to replenishing your body’s fluids, the water in fruits and vegetables contributes one of two factors that make them such good choices for weight management. Water and fibre add bulk, yet don’t contain calories. A higher percentage of both results in foods with fewer calories per portion.

Health benefits of zucchini (courgette)

Zucchini is one of the very low-calorie vegetables; provides only 17 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Its peel is an excellent source of dietary fibre. Golden skin variety is rich in flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. Zucchini is an excellent source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Fresh fruits are rich in vitamin-A; provide about 200 IU per 100 g. Fresh pods, indeed, are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C. .Also, they contain moderate levels of the B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

Keep an eye on your plants. Sometimes the large leaves hide monsters. One day you look at that little one and by the time you blink, it is ready to harvest. The internet is full of tasty recipes. I know what we’ll eat tomorrow.

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