The zucchini is native to Central America and arrived in Europe through immigrants. Meanwhile, it is very native, especially in the Mediterranean areas, for example in Spain, Italy and France, but also in Germany grows the zucchini from June to September excellent, for example, in fields and in the gardens.
The zucchini belongs to the cucurbitaceae family. The relationship to the pumpkin is particularly evident in the full-grown state of the zucchini, when it gets a thicker shell, larger cores and a firmer pulp. Now the zucchini can be stored into the winter and cooked like a pumpkin. The zucchini has an elongated or roundish shape. It can be five kilograms and about 20 centimeters long, is dark green or sometimes yellow.
Basically, the bigger the zucchini is, the less taste the pulp has and it's also furry. Inside the zucchini are white kernels that are surrounded by whitish to cream-colored firmer flesh.
Since the zucchini has no gelatinous mass, as is the case with the cucumber, the water content is also slightly lower. However, the zucchini also has very few calories and it is easily digestible. The taste is slightly nutty but still mild and is well suited to combine the zucchini with many other vegetables. The storage of courgettes, which is available all year round thanks to imports, should take place in the refrigerator in the vegetable compartment. In the fresh state it lasts for three weeks.
The zucchini is suitable for those who like to eat healthily, but want to stay slim, thanks to the low calorie and low fat content of less than one percent. Diets and a light diet are thus optimally supported. The zucchini convinced with other health benefits: It contains a lot of potassium, which is important for various metabolic processes.
The contained magnesium provides strong muscles. The ability to concentrate and mental freshness are also promoted. The large amount of iron is essential for blood formation. Due to the low carbohydrate content, the easily digestible zucchini is also well suited for diabetics. It also strengthens the immune system, relieves the heart and is diuretic. The intestinal activity is also stimulated. The zucchini is also a good remedy for high blood pressure.
|nutritional information||Quantity per 100 grams|
|Calories 17||Fat content 0.3 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||Sodium 8 mg|
|Potassium 261 mg||Carbohydrates 3.1 g|
|Protein 1.2 g||Vitamin C 17.9 mg|
The low-calorie zucchini contains not only the main constituent of water but also valuable vitamins such as vitamin C and minerals such as phosphorus and calcium, which are important for the bones, trace elements such as iron, which plays a significant role in blood formation and beta-carotene, a precursor of the vitamin A, which the body needs for vision, for example.
Zucchini, which tastes bitter, should not be eaten, because the taste is caused by the poisonous bitter substances, which are not destroyed even by cooking.
These can damage the stomach and intestinal mucosa. Above all, by crossing with other pumpkin plants or by backcrossing, an increased content of bitter substances can arise. Ingestion may cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, increased salivation, headache, dizziness, etc. Especially with small children, the elderly and sick people, a special caution applies. This can even lead to collapse.
The domestic zucchini can be purchased from July to October. In the remaining months she comes from imports. When buying should be considered, the smaller it is, the more spicy is the taste. Ideal is a young zucchini, which is about 15 inches long and weighs 100 grams.
It should be firm and have an immaculate, smooth, dull shining shell and a fresh, undyed stem. The shell should hardly yield when touched. The smaller zucchini have the most flavor. From 20 centimeters in length they lose their taste, because the core and the shell are harder. The zucchini likes it cool, but not too cold. A fresh zucchini can be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge (vegetable compartment) for one to two weeks.
It is advisable not to store them near tomatoes or fruits such as apples as they will age faster. When the season is over, the zucchini can also be easily frozen. The best way to do that is to cut them into pieces and then portion them. The preparation of the zucchini is very simple: it is washed, dabbed dry, the stem and flower approach is cut off with a knife and then the zucchini is ready for further processing. Depending on the recipe, the zucchini can then be sliced, halved, hollowed out or diced.
The zucchini can be consumed completely, except for the stalk. Even the flowers are often used to prepare food, for example with cream cheese and herbs or rice filled. The flowers are also a nice decoration. For example, the zucchini can be braised, fried, baked, fried or grilled. It is well suited in casseroles, together with meat, in soups or vegetarian filled as a main course. It often serves as a side-dish.
As an antipasti, zucchini has always been very popular in the Mediterranean and is an integral part of Mediterranean cuisine. The versatile zucchini tastes cold and warm very well. For slightly larger zucchinis, the kernels could be harder and should be removed. For this purpose, the zucchini is cut in half to scrape out the seeds with a spoon. For smaller fruits, however, does not disturb the inner life. Here an uncomplicated preparation is possible. The great advantage is that the zucchini has no distinctive taste and therefore can be combined well, for example, with other vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes and eggplant, with fresh herbs, with meat, fish or lettuce.
Since the zucchini is low in calories, it may be enjoyed well during a diet. In terms of seasoning, zucchini allows what tastes good. For the discreet flavor of zucchini, however, especially Mediterranean herbs such as oregano and thyme, garlic and cumin fit particularly well. Due to the valuable ingredients recipes with zucchini are nowadays indispensable in the diet. Creativity knows no limits.