Food from the Farm: Zucchini

This post is part of the Food from the Farm series I’m doing this summer featuring foods grown on the farm where I work. Previous posts include:

Rhubarb
Strawberries

Strawberry season is winding down, but that doesn’t mean that things are getting boring on the farm… because some of our other crops are becoming ready! This week was the first time we picked zucchini for the season.

Zucchini from the farm

Zucchini nutrition

Zucchini aren’t usually considered a powerhouse for nutrition, but they’re actually a really good source of manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin A. Plus they also have tons of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants involved in eye health. Most of the nutrients are found in the skin, so leave it on when eating it!

Growing zucchini

Zucchini needs warm weather to grow, so make sure the temperatures are suitable before you plant it. We planted ours in mid May, and it took about 45 days until it was ready to pick. When you plant your zucchini, put it in a spot with lots of sun and make sure to leave ample space between the plants! Pick the zucchini right away when it becomes ready because picking causes the plant to produce more fruit. Also you don’t want to let them get too big, or they’ll be too fibrous.

Zucchini from the farm

Cooking zucchini

One of my favourite ways to enjoy zucchini is just to toss it in olive oil, salt and pepper and grill it on the BBQ along with other veggies.

It also tastes amazing grilled on a sandwich with eggplant, red pepper, red onion, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and rosemary.

And of course there are sweeter ways to enjoy it, like in zucchini bread. I read up on a few recipes before coming up with this version of my own. I love the flavour that all the spices add!

Healthy zucchini bread

Healthy zucchini Bread

Makes 1 loaf pan (about 10-12 slices) | Nut free

1 zucchini (~ 2 cups, grated)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plain 2% MF yogurt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp ground flax
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Then grate the zucchini and pat with paper towel to absorb some of the moisture. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together the canola oil, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar. Add the zucchini to this mixture and stir to combine.

In another bowl, mix the flour, flax, baking powder and soda, spices, and salt. Add this mixture to the liquid ingredients and stir until just combined, making sure not to overstir.

Pour into a greased and floured 9×4 loaf pan, then place this on the middle rack of the oven and cook for ~40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Healthy zucchini bread

This came out so moist! And personally I liked that it only had a touch of sweetness, but I would experiment with adding another 1/4 cup of sugar if you would prefer a sweeter bread.

Other zucchini recipes to try:
Grilled zucchini and red onion with lemon-basil vinaigrette
Spicy zucchini pancakes with green goddess dressing
Zucchini frittata with chives
Baked zucchini fries with marinara
Layered eggplant and zucchini casserole
Summer squash gratin
Zucchini chocolate chip cookies

What’s your favourite way to eat zucchini?

16 Comments

Filed under food and cooking, recipe

16 Responses to Food from the Farm: Zucchini

  1. This is the time of year that my Dad's garden EXPLODES with zucchini! We're pretty much eating everything with zucchini nowadays. Zucchini bread is my favorite way to enjoy it though!

  2. Eee zucchini is actually on my list of foods that I can't stand. I think it's because I've had some pretty bad experiences with it in the past and it just totally turned me off to it completely. I know people make delicious baked goodies with it, and you can't even taste it at all, but the idea just skeeves me out. As long as I didn't know, though, I'm sure it would be fine :D

  3. Zucchini is actually one vegetable that I dislike, but I'm sure i've just never prepared it properly. I mean, throw it in a big batter of quick bread with sugar and butter and I'm sure I'll be able to tolerate it ;)

  4. Just realized my comment was almost identical to Amanda's. Love her! and you, HM ;)

  5. Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies! I love it in soups and stews, grilled, steamed, roasted, I'll usually eat it in any form! I think my favorite has to be chocolate zucchini muffins though. I also really like it grated into yogurt messes (weird, I know, but people do it with carrots!).

  6. I love zucchini aka courgette for us in the Uk, I love it chopped into cube shaped pieces in stews and curries, also good with lasagne.

  7. I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: http://EggFreeLiving.com

  8. I'm not a huge zucchini fan, but I've never made zucchini bread but think I would probably love it! I gotta get on that

  9. I LOVEEE zucchini!! i did a staple sunday on it a few weeks ago! zucchini bread is the BESt

  10. im gonna promise you i will be making this zucchini bread soon- i may make muffins, but either way this recipe will be made- my tummy will hate me if i don't! xoxo <3

  11. For dinner we had a great zucchini salad: I sauteed zucchini in olive oil and garlic, then added pine nuts, tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice, and a little salt. It was so delicous!

  12. I put it in oatmeal! I also love it roasted.

  13. Hi! I love you so much right now because I have SO much zucchini growing in my garden and I have totally been searching for different, creative ways to use it! I've read your blog and have definitely seen you around the blog world but I've never commented before. So, hello! I'm Alaina. Thanks for the awesome zucchini post! :-)

  14. Pingback: Food from the Farm: Eggplant - Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

  15. Pingback: Food from the Farm: Tomatoes - Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

  16. Pingback: Food from the Farm: Beets - Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

Leave a Reply