3 Healthy and Delicious Ways to Eat Zucchini

Whether you have ten minutes or two hours, we’ve got a guilt-free recipe for you.

Not only is zucchini is a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, but it's also extremely versatile for cooking. Photographs by Ali Eaves.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or belong to a CSA, chances are you have one of my favorite warm-weather problems: so much produce you don’t know what to do with it. This year, zucchini was the culprit. The abundance from the farm forced us to come up with creative new ways to use it, because let’s face it, you can only have sautéed zucchini so many times. Below are my three favorite recipes.

If you have 10 minutes: Zucchini Carpaccio

Yield: 2 servings

It’s amazing what a little lemon and Parmesan can do to some raw zucchini.

1 small or medium zucchini
Juice and zest of two lemons
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
Block of Parmesan cheese, shaved to taste

1) Whisk olive oil with lemon juice and zest.

2) Slice zucchini as thinly as possible with a mandolin. You could also do this with a knife if you have patience and a steady hand. 

3) Layer zucchini, overlapping, on a serving plate. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and drizzle on the lemon-and-olive-oil mixture. Sprinkle on the pine nuts.

4) Shave Parmesan with a vegetable peeler and sprinkle over to taste.

If you have 30 minutes: Zucchini Cakes

Yield: A dozen cakes

This incorporates the classic Maryland seasoning Old Bay.

1 large or 2 small zucchinis
1 clove roasted garlic, minced
¼ cup bread crumbs
1 egg
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, or more to taste
Pinch salt and pepper to taste
About 2 tablespoons olive oil

1) Grate zucchini using a cheese grater.

2) Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the grated zucchini. Place on a towel, roll up, and wring.

3) In a large bowl, mix grated zucchini with garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, Old Bay, salt, and pepper. Check the wetness: It should be wet enough to stick together, but not dripping. If too wet, add some breadcrumbs; if too dry, add an egg.

4) Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet.

5) Shape zucchini mixture into about a dozen thin patties and brown them in the skillet over medium-high heat. Flip them when they look deep brown and crispy.

6) Place on paper towels to cool.

If you have a couple of hours: Baked Zucchini Chips

Yield: 1 serving

These are surprisingly sweet, delightfully crispy, and totally guilt-free.

1 small zucchini
Parchment paper
Olive oil cooking spray
Salt and other seasonings to taste

1) Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

2) With a mandolin, slice zucchini cross-wise about 2 mm wide, or about the width of a nickel.

3) Layer parchment paper over large baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Layer zucchini so that it doesn’t overlap. (You may need to use two baking sheets.) Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray.

4) Sprinkle with salt, but go easy on it. The chips will shrink considerably, so any seasonings you add will end up being much more concentrated. Try adding Old Bay, chili powder, garlic powder, or whatever other seasoning sounds good to you—paprika was my favorite.

5) Bake at 225 degree for about an hour, then rotate the baking sheets in the oven and bake for another hour or two, until the chips are golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately—they don’t keep well.

For more delicious recipes, visit Well+Being’s Healthy Recipes page. 

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