Monday, August 13, 2012

Is Zucchini good for you? Really?

These are the patty pan squash that we grew this year- very tasty- definately our favorite

Like so many gardeners, we have a lot of zucchini right now- so much that we're considering pulling the plants. But that is a tough sell for us because it's free food, it's producing, we like the way it tastes, and global food prices are going up dontcha' know- surely someone could use it right? So I've been preserving what I can, and baking with it, and eating it, and trying to think of new ways to freeze the stuff. I've been using this method- with hopes that it will not become a soggy mess in the freezer, I also have been using it in brownies- which were pretty good, and cooking up some of the patty pan squash to go into macaroni and cheese which is totally awesome, and probably a good way to freeze them as well.

But somewhere along the way I remembered having a discussion with someone about the dubious health benefits of Zucchini, you always hear that the inside colour is what's so important about antioxidants and everything, and Zucchini is basically water- I mean, yes it's a vegetable- so of course it's healthy- but isn't the white flesh inside really just a sponge? Is there any benefit to adding it to your baked goods at all- or is it just essentially filler?

Of course I turned to the Internet to this nutrition data website that is pretty cool- you can look up virtually any food and see how it all breaks down. It turns out that it is good for you- it has  potassium and folate, and dietary fiber, vitamin c and a as well as lots of other minerals. I assume that if you peel it you lose lots of benefits. I originally looked up the data for a baby, raw zucchini, but then I also looked up the data on a cooked large one- with skin and I'm totally blown away, turns out the zucchini is actually healthy, not just a sponge for flavour. So I guess I'll keep on shredding it, and baking it into random things, and giving it away to people.

I'm going to try to saute up some of the patty pans with onion and summer savory and then freeze them to add to pasta later- maybe that will work? last year I tried just blanching and freezing, but it was not really good- maybe cooked in a bit of butter though- will help to save them. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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