Zucchini on My Mind

Posted On Friday, 21 August 2015
Zucchini on My Mind

I recently noticed a variety of zucchini recipes popping up on my social media newsfeeds. It could be because they are in abundant supply this time of year, but I believe it is also related to the fact that we are all searching for interesting new ways to cook and eat our veggies!

Zucchini is powerful enough to stand on its own as a side dish. It has enough flavor and texture to absorb herbs and spices, making it a versatile vegetable to cook. Nutritionally speaking, zucchini is a favorite for those watching their waistlines. At only 30 calories for each medium-sized zucchini containing no saturated fat or cholesterol, it's a very low-calorie food. Its skin is a good source of fiber, which not only helps with digestion, but also keeps you satiated. Plus, zucchini is a valuable source of folate, vitamin A, and antioxidant-rich vitamin C.

Enough reasons to stock up on this summer vegetable, right?

Although I love using my spiralizer to turn zucchini into noodles, an idea that caught my eye was to make zucchini into "French fries." In search of a recipe for this, I found ones with a list of up to 13 ingredients, which if you are anything like me, is just too many!

Instead, I put together a combination of things I had in my pantry and refrigerator and came up with what I think is a delicious Zucchini Stick recipe. By using mixed herbs and spices that come in one convenient bottle, you bypass the task of having to measure each individually, which not only cuts time but also saves money.

Here's my secret ingredient tip... use nutritional yeast.

This serves two purposes: it adds flavor without adding many calories and adds vitamin B12. Most vegetarians and vegans are very familiar with nutritional yeast for this very reason. But, even if you have not cut meat and meat products from your diet, you can still benefit from its supply of all B vitamins, including folate, and protein, about three (3) grams per tablespoon. Also, nutritional yeast packs a ton of flavor and is a great substitute for cheese and/or salt.

These zucchini sticks will be the highlight of your next picnic, barbeque, or family dinner! This recipe is also a good one to engage the help of your little ones. Simple tasks include measuring out ingredients, cutting the zucchini (with supervision), coating the sticks with olive oil and herbs; all easy to handle for kids ages four and up. Have fun making them and enjoy every bite!

Zucchini Sticks

4 medium sized zucchini
3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Bragg Organics Sprinkle Seasoning Mix
1 Tbsp. Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Slice zucchini into quarters, then coat each with olive oil using a silicone brush or just your hands.
In a small, flat plate mix the dry ingredients listed above.
Coat the top (not the skin side) of each zucchini quarter with the dry mix.
Place them in baking dish and insert in preheated oven at 375F for 15 minutes, then switch to broil for 3-5 minutes for a crispy top.

Carolina Lima Jantac, MS, RD, LD

Carolina Lima Jantac, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition Expert, and Social Media Manager is excited to be a part of an important program for mothers, dads, and kids who need so much guidance. As a Registered Dietitian, she has spent most of her career working in pediatric and adult hospitals as well as long term care centers.

She has learned and applied the power of food and choices we make regarding nutrition as the number one impact on health, longevity and quality of life. Her research at University of Florida on Vitamin B6 was published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (2007). Carolina brings international flare as she has a dual citizenship (Brazilian and US). She is a brilliant cook.

"I am happily married and have been blessed with two healthy children, Isabela and Daniel. They are great kids and my personal 'experiment' as I introduce them to new foods and educate them on healthy eating, raising them to be good examples of good nutritional choices making a difference for life!"

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