7 Easy Ways to Use Up That Zucchini!

Do you find your refrigerator overrun with zucchini each summer? I just can't bring myself to throw any away (I have serious feelings of guilt and remorse if any fresh veggies don't get used in a timely fashion)- so over the years my son John and I have come up with quite a range of zucchini recipes.

Zucchini is a great veggie. It's fairly neutral in flavor and can be crisp, tender or soft in preparation. It is low in calories (about 35 calories per cup) and is entirely fat-free. One cup contains 340 mg. of potassium, 530 IUs of vitamin A and 70 mg. of phosphorus. It's also a good source of fiber if consumed with the skin intact (4 grams per cup).

So how do we use up our overabundance of zucchini?

Here are some really simple recipes:

Broiled Zucchini Cut off ends and slice, end to end, in half. Lay halves on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil or dot with organic butter/coconut butter and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and oregano. Broil on the top rack until the tops are lightly browned. A great easy side dish.

Veggie Dippers Slice zucchini into sticks or rounds for serving with hummus or other veggie dips.

Fresh Veggie Dip Who said veggies can't be a main ingredient in the dip as well as serve as a "dipper"?! Puree the following ingredients together in a food processor: 2 zucchini, 1/8 cup red/sweet onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup), 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste), 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, opt: 1 tsp. dill weed. Dip away!

Zucchini Fritters Combine 3/4 cup water with 1 cup bean flour (gram or besan flour, made from channa dal and available from Indian groceries, is an excellent choice), 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. sea salt and a pinch of cayenne. Mix in 1 grated zucchini and cook for a couple of minutes on each side on a hot oiled skillet.

Sauteed Zucchini Saute 1 sliced onion in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until tender. Thinly slice 2-3 zucchinis and add to saute pan with 1/4 tsp. sea salt and 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning. Another great side.

Zucchini on the Grill Slice large zucchini into long 1/2" diagonal slices. Toss in a ziploc bag with an oil-and-vinegar-based dressing plus a pinch of sea salt. Grill on each side for a couple of minutes. Tender and tasty!

Zucchini Pasta Many people are surprised by how easy and tasty this recipe is. The trickiest part is finding a spiral slicer (Joyce Chen has a Saladacdo Spiral Slicer that is excellent and inexpensive). It's really worth buying this tool. You could alternatively use a vegetable peeler and make fettucini-style noodles instead of spaghetti-style noodles. In any case, slice raw zucchini into pasta noodles and then top with raw or cooked pasta sauce. The "noodles" are nice and light and a little "al dente". My husband was really surprised by how good this is! You don't feel "weighed down" by it like with traditional pasta.

... oh, and of course there's zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, zucchini cookies and on and on. But this is a good simple sampling. I hope you enjoy trying a couple!

My son and I collaborated on a zucchini recipe booklet, John's Zucchini Book, a number of summers ago. You'll find about 30 other great zucchini recipes in its pages (28 of which happen to be gluten-free). Visit my website to learn more about it. You can also find more zucchini recipes at my blog (information below).

Kim Wilson has spent over 12 years working exclusively with whole foods to develop recipes that satisfy a variety of needs (for those just beginning to eat healthy to serious raw-fooders to those with extensive food allergies and health conditions like candida)- all in a tasty, enjoyable and affordable way. Her recipes are free of animal products, wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, yeast, sugar and other problematic foods. What's left, you might ask? Only the good stuff! For more information and recipes visit her website at http://www.simplynaturalhealth.com/ or her WHOLEmade recipe blog at http://www.simplynaturalhealth.com/recipeblog/.

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