Zucchini (or courgette) is a summer squash from the pumpkin family. Zucchinis are treated like a vegetable and presented as a main or side dish. Botanically, they are a fruit, although everyone puts them in the veggie category. Zucchinis originated from the Americas.
However, the varieties of the vegetable may have been brought by Spanish Conquistadors in Europe or may have originated in India. To put it shortly, the many varieties of zucchinis probably have different origins. The shape of the vegetable may be round or elongated, and the color ranges from green to yellow. Besides the nice taste, zucchinis have numerous health benefits as well.
Zucchinis have almost no calories, but are rich in fiber and essential nutrients, which makes them an ideal choice when you’re on a diet. 100 gr. of zucchinis have 15-20 calories, including 3-4% carbohydrates, 1-1.5% protein and 0.2-0.5% fats. The vegetable is rich in vitamins C, B and K, as well as minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc and phosphorus. By eating a diet rich in zucchinis, you can lose 4-6 kg. a month.
Here’s a nice zucchini-based diet plan that will help you lose weight:
- Breakfast: 250 gr. stewed zucchinis with 150 gr. mixed vegetable and a cup of green tea
- Snack: 1 apple and a glass of water or orange juice
- Lunch: 300 gr. of roasted zucchinis, 200 gr. of boiled meat, 1 kiwi, a cup of green tea, a few plums
- Snack: 250 gr. of roasted zucchinis with a bowl of cabbage and carrot salad and a glass of apple juice
- Dinner: 100 gr. of dry plums, a glass of apple juice or a cup of green tea.
Benefits and healing properties of Zucchini
- Regulate your cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular problems;
- Relieve digestive problems;
- Improve your focus and reasoning;
- Prevent fluid retention;
- Regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes;
- Regulate blood pressure;
- Hydrate your skin;
- Relieves the symptoms of an enlarged prostate;
- Strengthen your immune system;
- Great for pregnant women as they keep the fetus healthy.
In general, you should buy zucchini seed after winter passes. The vegetable requires loose, sandy and rich soil and should be fertilized in autumn. Zucchinis need a lot of sunlight and water to grow, although you’ll need to be careful with the water levels as the vegetable is prone to fungal infections. During spring, it requires a mineral fertilizer.
You should water your zucchinis every 5-7 days, and spray against pests and infections. Make sure to support the plant with a stick as they grow heavy. Once you see a fully developed vegetable, pick it up to encourage new growth. The peel should be firm and strong. The vegetable can be kept 5-7 days in the fridge – it can be frozen as well, but in this case zucchinis get a lot of softer when thawed.
Zucchinis are part of different cuisines around the world. They are added to soups and stews, can be fried or boiled or added to salads. Here are a few nice recipes:
Mix finely chopped tomatoes with 10 basil leaves, 3 chopped garlic cloves and 400 gr. of sliced zucchini in a bowl, then pour 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and the same amount of olive oil over them. Add a pinch of salt and mix everything well and you can serve the delicious salad.
ZUCCHINIS AND CHEESE
Cut a zucchini in half and gouge out one half, then roast it on a grill for a bit. Next, fill the half with a cup of feta cheese, some garlic, olive oil and your favorite seasonings.
CHICKEN ZUCCHINI BURGERS
Grate a zucchini and drain it of fluid as much as possible, then add it to a mixture of one whisked egg, salt and pepper and a bit of lemon peel. Add 500 gr. of minced chicken meat, ¼ cup of breadcrumbs and 1 garlic clove and mix everything well with clean hands. Make small burgers from the mixture and fry them for 7-8 minutes.
Fry some finely chopped garlic in olive oil for a while, then add a few zucchini slices in. Fry them until they’re soft, then sprinkle some fresh lemon juice in. Make a few toasts, drizzle some olive oil on them, add the zucchinis and pour a bit of yogurt over the piece of toast. Bon appetite!
Wash and peel a medium-sized zucchini, then season it with salt and leave it for 30 minutes. Drain the zucchini slices next, then roll them in flour and fry them in olive oil until they’re golden brown. Now, lay a row of the fried zucchinis in a pan, then add a layer of ham and cheese. Pour 2 whisked eggs over everything, then bake the mixture in a preheated oven.
ZUCCHINIS FOR COSMETIC USES
Add a tablespoon of zucchini juice to one egg yolk, then whisk everything until it’s nicely combined. Apply the mask on your face and leave it to work for 20 minutes, then rinse with water.
Cut some zucchinis on slices and apply them on your face and neck, then take them off after 20 minutes and rinse with water. Using this mask regularly will rejuvenate your facial skin.