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:
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 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!
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.
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
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
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.
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?