Mad, Beautiful Ideas
Whole Food Adventures: Zucchini

In our Garden this year, we decided to plant a single Zucchini plant, which has become one of the most prolific producers on our little patch. Catherine's ecstatic. I'm not a big fan of Zucchini, but when my wife brought this beast home, well, I had to do something with it.

But why is Zucchini worth growing? Well, it's low calorie, and high in certain vitamins (A) and minerals (folate, potassium and maganese). It's easy to prepare in a variety of ways, and it contains a lot of water, which can be useful in a variety of preparation, I plan to share two preparations that I actually enjoy.

First, is the old standby Zucchini bread, which is slightly sweet and makes for a tasty breakfast. You can get two loaves of bread from about two cups of shredded zucchini, and the loaves make great breakfasts or snacks. The recipe is simple

  • 2 cups shredded raw zucchini
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour (I use Spelt)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Strain and press the excess water out of the zucchini, and set it aside. Mix your eggs, sugar, and oil together in a mixing bowl, then stir in the dry goods until everything has just combined. Fold in the zucchini, and finish mixing, then place in two greased and floured 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, at least until a toothpick put in the center comes out almost completely clean.

The next preparation is meant more for snacking or an appetizer. Fried Zucchini is healthy and tasty, and takes only a few minutes to prepare. First, dredge slices of zucchini through a couple of beaten eggs, then through breading (bread crumbs and Parmesan is very tasty), set aside. Bring a couple of inches of olive oil to temperature on a medium-high burner and slip the breaded zucchini in, and let fry until golden brown.

Zucchini, like many squash is a healthy and versatile plant. Taking a little time to find a preparation that works for you is good in the long run. Plus, they are very, very easy plants to grow, and a great way to get a start in your own garden.