jEanne Angleberger, Shaklee Associate for a Healthier Life

Zucchini is a summer favorite — nutritious, and plentiful. It is also incredibly versatile: fried, grilled, stuffed, and tossed into any and every kind of dish. If you like Old Bay Seasoning, try making mock crab cakes using zucchini!

Zucchini is easy to grow and will produce enough for the neighborhood! The skins are dark and shiny. The average length of zucchini is approximately six to eight inches. They store well, whole and unwashed, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Sauté zucchini with onions and peppers. Add your favorite spices and seasonings. You can also steam zucchini and serve it with garden-fresh (or dried) basil, chives, or thyme. Some may prefer adding raw grated zucchini onto salads.

My kids’ favorite is frying slices of zucchini. Cut the zucchini into half-inch slices. Dredge slices in a beaten egg. Next, press the slices into cracker crumbs, coating on both sides. Put them into a pan and fry until the crust browns and the zucchini is tender.

Zucchini is low in calories, fat, and sugar, and is rich in multiple antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin. It also contains several important nutrients: folate, vitamin B6 and B2, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. One cup of raw, chopped zucchini is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber and has only 20 calories. Zucchini may also help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Also, regular consumption of zucchini may help you lose weight; it is rich in water and has a low calorie density, which may help you feel full.

So, enjoy zucchini while it’s in season. Try your hand at planting it in your garden. It’s plentiful, and it’s also a great plant for beginners because it’s easy to grow.

 Add zucchini to your dinner menu and make it a summer favorite.

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