Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What to do with all that Zucchini!?!

Farmer's Markets are notorious for having copious amounts of zucchini all summer long. The good news is that its one of the cheapest things you can pick up locally, and at the market you will find lots of different varieties that you may not have tried before!

These summer squashes are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C and a very good source of magnesium, vitamin A (notably through its concentration of carotenoids, including beta-carotene), fiber,potassium, folate, copper, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
In research studies, extracts from squash have also been found to help reduce symptoms of a condition occurring in men calledbenign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH. In this condition, the prostate gland becomes problematically enlarged, which can cause difficulty with urinary and sexual function. Particularly in combination with other phytonutrient-containing foods, squash may be helpful in reducing BPH symptoms.

So here are some ideas on what to do with all of the zucchini and summer squashes available from one of my favourite recipe blogs - http://www.101cookbooks.com.

Sautéed Zucchini

I hate to say this, but if you want to do a larger amount, double the recipe, but divide and cook the zucchini in two pans. If you crowd the squash too much, it steams rather than browns, and loses too much structure, which isn't what you're after.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 medium shallots or new red onions, thinly sliced
fine grain sea salt
2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins
a good handful of dill, chopped
1/4 cup Marcona almonds or toasted almond slices

In your largest skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until it starts to take on a hint of color. Stir in the shallots and a big pinch of salt, and cook until they start to soften, a couple minutes. Add the zucchini, stir to get it coated with a bit of oil, and arrange the coins in as much of a single layer as your pan permits. Dial the heat up a bit if needed, add another pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the zucchini browns - ten minutes or so. Remove from heat and fold in the dill and almonds before serving. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serves 2 - 4.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/sautaed-zucchini-recipe.html



Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake Recipe

1 1/2 cups (360 mL) brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) melted butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) vegetable oil (hs note: I used unrefined, scented, all-natural coconut oil)
3 eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1/2 cup (120 mL) buttermilk
2 cups (480 mL) grated zucchini
1 cup (240 mL) chocolate chips
2 cups (480 mL) unbleached flour
1 cup (240 mL) cocoa, sifted
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) allspice
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease large muffin pans and line with muffin cups.

In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well Incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into large muffin pans. Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, while preparing the icing (hs note: I made these without the icing, also - don't overcook them or you will lose all the moist goodness - you want them to look almost done in the oven - they will continue to cook for a few minutes after you pull them from the oven from the residual heat).

Yields 9 large cupcakes or 20 standard cupcakes.

from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterburg & Wanda Urbanowicz (Big Ideas Publishing, 2001)

(ALICIA'S NOTE: USE PUREED DATES INSTEAD OF BROWN SUGAR!)

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000281.html


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