Zucchini is a small cucumber-shaped vegetable marrow that is typically dark green. It is a type of summer marrow squash plant whose fruit are eaten when small. It is a fruit biologically because it has seeds and grows on flowering plants. Zucchini is considered a vegetable because of the nutrients it provides.
Cultivation of Zucchini
Summer squash can be available year round. In many southern states, zucchini and other summer square are grown in both the spring and fall. Zucchini seeds can be started indoors in peat pots 2-4 weeks before the last frost. Seedlings can be transplanted from after the last frost until midsummer. If planting seeds directly in a garden, place 1 inch deep and 2 feet apart. Zucchini prefer warm (60o F at 2 inches), loamy soil and full sun. Zucchini can grow on vines or bushy plants, which take up less space. Choose Zucchini should be cylindrical in shape with dark green shiny skin and some light speckling. Look for zucchini with a slightly prickly, but shiny skin. The skin should be firm and free of cuts and bruises. Do not choose pitted, dull or spotted zucchini. Zucchini come in small, medium and large sizes. Bigger is not always better. Small to medium sized zucchini are the most flavorful. The darker the skin of the zucchini, the richer the nutrients.
Store Zucchini are highly perishable. Store it in the refrigerator at 45-50o F and 85-95% relative humidity up to 10 days. Keep away from ethylene-producing fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears and tomatoes. Do not wash until you are ready to use it. Cooked zucchini can be stored in the refrigerator, but it should be used within 2 days.
Zucchini nutritional information
Zucchini is free of cholesterol and low in fat and sodium. It is a good source of vitamin C, manganese and vitamin A. A cup of cooked zucchini has more potassium than a medium banana. Vitamin C helps form collagen to hold muscles, bones and tissues together, protects us from infection and bruising, aids in healing, keeps our gums healthy, helps our body absorb iron and folate from plants we eat, and acts as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage. Manganese helps with forming bone and converting carbohydrate, protein and fat into energy. Vitamin A promotes normal vision, supports the growth and health of cells and tissues, protects us from infection and helps regulate the immune system. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure, regulate fluids and mineral balance, transmit nerve signals and contract muscles. The phytochemical lutein in zucchini helps with maintaining normal vision.
Keto friendliness of Zucchini
Zucchini is low in net carbohydrates with a net carbs of about 3.1 and is considered keto friendly.
History of Zucchini
Scientists have found squash seeds preserved in Mexican caves for more than 10,000 years! Summer squash originated in Mexico and Central America and were one of the foods Columbus brought back from North America. Portuguese and Spanish explorers then introduced squashes to many parts of the world. Zucchini was created as a result of natural mutations. It was first brought to the United States in the 1920s by Italians. Bees are good helpers Honeybees are the primary pollinators for zucchini plants. The ratio of male to female flowers during the growing season is about 3 to 1. Only the female flowers can bear fruit. The zucchini grows from the base of the female flower on a short stem. Once the fruit is set, zucchini can grow up to 1 inch per day.1-3 Enjoy more fruits and vegetables Vegetable
Fun facts about Zucchini
- Are you aware that zucchini is called courgette in several countries?
- Are you aware that zucchini is classified as a “summer squash”?
- Are you aware that that squash comes in two different varieties --- summer and winter?
- Are you aware that New Jersey ranks 6th in squash (includes summer and winter) production in the country?
- Are you aware that that summer squash has a soft, edible, thin shell or skin and winter squash has a hard shell or skin?
- Are you aware that the seeds of zucchini are soft and edible?
- Are you aware that the skin of zucchini is usually green and the flesh is white to off-white?
- Are you aware that zucchini can also be yellow?
- Are you aware that zucchini has the shape of a ridged cucumber?
- Are you aware that the flower of the zucchini plant is edible?
- Are you aware that the yellow-orange zucchini flower is often deep fried and served as a fritter, prepared as a tempura or can be stuffed, sautéed, baked or added to soups?
- Are you aware that zucchini was developed in Italy?
- Are you aware that zucchini are usually picked when they are less than 8 inches in length?
- Are you aware that mature zucchini can grow as long as three feet?
- Are you aware that zucchini is usually served cooked?
- Are you aware that zucchini can be steamed, grilled, stuffed, baked, barbequed or fried?
- Are you aware that zucchini can be baked into a bread or cake?
- Are you aware that zucchini can also be eaten raw?
- Are you aware that you can eat the tender skin of the zucchini?
- Are you aware that zucchini grows close to the ground on vines with very large leaves? (Often, the zucchini is hidden under the leaves.)
- Are you aware that zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to grow?
- Are you aware that one cup of zucchini contains 35% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C? (Vitamin C is needed by the body to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels, and aids in the absorption of iron.)
|Fiber, total dietary||1.1 g|
|Calcium, Ca||21 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.44 mg|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||12.6 mg|
|Total lipid (fat)||0 g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||4.21 g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||3.16 g|
|Sodium, Na||0 mg|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0 g|
Nutritional information on Zucchini
|Food Portal | Food | Nutrition | Diet | Keto | Glycemic index|
NB:Carbohydrate, by difference(total carbs-fiber) is also called net carbs