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.

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!

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Kelsie
Read more by: Kelsie
Kelsie is the School and Agriculture Program Coordinator at Alberta Milk. She is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta, and a Professional Human Ecologist (think Home Economics). In her spare time, Kelsie enjoys trying new work outs at the gym, training with her Dragon Boat team, getting outdoors with friends and family, and experimenting in the kitchen.
Member Of
AHEA
Baked Zucchini Fries
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Yields
6
Nutritional Info
Calories110 kcal
Protein6 g
Fat8 g
Carbohydrate4 g
Fibre1.1 g
Sodium220 mg
Calcium168 mg
analysis does not include panko bread crumbs
Source: Kelsie Gilks

Ingredients

2-3medium zucchini
3/4 cup(175 ml)grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp(5 ml)basil
1 tsp(5 ml)oregano
1/2 tsp(2 ml)thyme
2 tbsp(30 ml)olive oil
1/2 cup(125 ml)panko bread crumbs (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Slice zucchini into desired "fry" size.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, toss to coat zucchini slices with olive oil.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all remaining ingredients. Add zucchini and toss to coat fully.
  5. Spread coated zucchini evenly over covered baking sheet. Pour any left over coating on top of zucchini.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until tender. Broil for an additional 2-3 minutes, until golden-brown.
  7. Serve hot with homemade or store bought marinara sauce.