Every year new superfoods are being discovered and catapulted high on the health and nutrient list and each one has its own army of supporters and devotees.
One of these powerhouse foods is zucchini. Zucchini, a member of the summer squash family and likely the most popular squash is a prolific garden producer, low in calories but high in fiber. They should be harvested when their size reaches the size of a cucumber for tenderness…otherwise if allowed to grow larger they become very tough in texture and seedy.
Just one medium zucchini provides 10 percent of your daily needed fiber. This helps to keep your digestive track healthy and humming along while keeping your cholesterol low and reducing any risk of cancer. These green beauties also provide 15% of your day’s requirement for vitamin C. Vitamin C helps fight the effects of free radicals and is great for nails, skin and hair and a healthy dose of potassium to keep your heart healthy (actually more potassium than a banana offers.)
Whether served raw or cooked the skin on zucchini squash is delicate and thin, so zucchini should be enjoyed with the skin on to benefit from all the fiber and antioxidants it offers.
This super-star veggie also provides us with a wide range of B vitamins…important for metabolism and energy as well as a good healthy dose of Vitamin K that helps the blood to clot effectively.
Add to the mix some manganese for building strong bones and connective tissue, a bit of calcium to help prevent osteoporosis and no unhealthy cholesterol or fats, you can easily see why zucchini should be part of your daily diet.
Most people think of zucchini as something that must be cooked to be enjoyed but zucchini can be enjoyed in its raw state by itself or used for its mild flavor, color and texture in recipes.
With all the fiber zucchini offers that can fill you up and keep you feeling full and only 13 calories per half cup (if raw, they are the perfect choice for those watching their weight.
Here’s a yummy raw Zucchini dessert recipe and you’ll find more unbelievably delicious desserts and snacks made with veggies in “Blended Bites” a compilation of 50 healthy and tasty veggie based dessert, snack and treat recipes your whole family will love!
Chocolate Zucchini Cheesecake
2 cups walnuts (or pecans)
1 cup dates, soaked at least 30 minutes and drained
¼ cup cacao or cocoa powder
Place nuts into a food processor and process until mixture is crumbly.
Add the rest of the ingredients and process until mixture is well combined.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the 8 inch dish or pan.
2 cups cashews
1 cup zucchini, peeled and diced (about 1 medium zucchini)
½ cup fresh or frozen spinach
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Place cashews into food processor and process until crumbly.
Add in all other ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
Pour the filling on top of the base and chill in the fridge to firm up.
Cut into slices.
For hundreds of healthy snacks, treats and desserts go here: