Yesterday I was watching a PBS cooking show. The chef was talking about zucchini. She was saying how boring it was. Apparently that is because of it’s high water content. She solved that issue for herself by salting, much like you might do with eggplant before using it. If you let it sit for awhile after salting, much of the water will come out. I haven’t tried it yet. It would probably take a lot for me to want to eat zucchini like that.
As for me, I’m no big fan of zucchini either, but I have found a couple of great ways to incorporate it into our diets pretty frequently.
The first is to juice it. Keep the skins on. I’ve decreased the amount of apple I add to the juice, because the zucchini doesn’t need a lot of sweet fruits to make it palatable (unlike a lot of other vegetables). I looked up the glycemic value for zucchini and apples and while they both appeared on the “low” list, the zucchini was about half of the apple. I don’t know too much about the glycemic index, but I thought that certainly doesn’t seem bad. I used to make juice after school for the kids. It consisted of apples, celery, and carrots. When I started juicing zucchini, my son was adament that the zucchini was making it taste bad, but it turns out that it was really the carrots…they just were not sweet. Once I took the carrots out, he didn’t even notice any bad taste.
The second way I use zucchini is as mock apple. I got this idea when I went to visit my grandma and she had made a mock apple pie with zucchini. You absolutely could not tell the difference. So I got to thinking, why not use it for apple crisp. It’s not too difficult to make a healthy apple crisp, especially if you mock it! My kids didn’t even suspect. They thought they were getting a pretty good treat! I even made a dessert pizza with a mix of zucchini and apple. (Oops, now the secret is out! If they ever bother to read this post, I’m in trouble! Until then, I’m winning this food war!) Anyway, that’s also what led me to try them for juicing too! Not too shabby! Now if I could just come up with a way to sneak the skins in more often!
I think I’ll have to nominate zucchini for the title of “the sneakiest vegetable”. Does anyone else have a great way to use zucchini for people that don’t generally like it?