August 8 is National Zucchini Day. The date is perfectly scheduled, as most home-grown zucchini plants will have started producing squash (depending when you planted). If you’re growing zucchini and your plants are anything like mine, you likely have an abundance of zucchini right now.
A green thumb does not come honestly for me. But this season, I decided I wanted to grow some veggies of my own, so I purchased a plot at a local community garden. I planted zucchini (a type of squash), carrots, garlic and green beans. So far, the zucchini has proven to be superior to the other veggies, but I still have my fingers crossed that my beans will pull through.
Growing zucchini doesn’t take a ton of work, but do not underestimate the size the plant will grow in to. I planted seven seeds, and I am so thankful only one germinated- it’s producing squash like crazy! If you’re going to venture into growing your own squash:
- Give yourself lots of space
- Plant early (to get the most out of the growing season)
- Check on it very frequently for produce (they grow quicker than you think they will).
- Try not to water the plant from above. Water on the leaves can cause them to burn (like mine). Get under the leaves and water right at the base of the plant.
Zucchini can reach up to a metre long, but are typically picked prematurely. Like most other squash, zucchini has internal seed that can get stringy (think inside of a pumpkin), but if you harvest it prematurely, it doesn’t give the squash time to develop the seeds, which means less prep steps for eating this deliciously versatile veggie.
Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adults ages of 19-50 get between 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Just half a cup (125 ml) of zucchini is one serving of veggies. Plus, with so many recipes that either feature or allow you to camouflage this vine-grown squash, zucchini offers a great way to boost your veggie intake. Here is just a small collection of recipes where zucchini is a major ingredient.
- Waffled Zucchini Fritters
- Spiralized Zucchini Salad
- Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Summer Harvest Ricotta Pasta Toss
- Roasted Ratatouille Strata
- Zucchini Bread
Recently, I stumbled across a recipe that suggested peeling your zucchini to remove the green skin. For those of you with young (or “old”) picky eaters, removing the green skin makes it that much easier to hide zucchini in something like bread or your favourite pasta sauce.
Share your favourite recipe to use up zucchini, we love new recipes!