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Vitamins and Minerals Found Inside Zucchini

zucchini slicesOften mistaken as a cucumber, dark green-skinned zucchini are similar in nutritional content although the zucchini is a closer cousin to pumpkins than to cucumbers in the gourd family. 

Loaded with nutrients our bodies seek, zucchini can be both nutritious and delicious when juiced with other vegetable ingredients.

Here are a few of the questions we attempt to answer about Zucchini.

  • What vitamins are in a Zucchini that make it so good for us?
  • What is the best method for juicing Zucchinis?
  • What are some great buying tips for buying Zucchinis?

Plus, we'll do our best to provide some general information about Zucchini that you might not find so easily elsewhere on the Internet.

Let's learn more about Zucchini...

Vitamins and Minerals in Zucchini

The zucchini (with the skin on) is low in saturated fat and sodium, and very low in cholesterol making it both a heart-healthy food as well as an excellent weight loss/weight management food.

Zucchini is also a good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese. Here is a brief snapshot of the nutritional profile of raw zucchini with the skin on.

Vitamins in Zucchini

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Choline

Minerals in Zucchini

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Trace amounts of Selenium

The next time you think about Zucchini... think about how they might add a powerful boost to your daily nutrition through juicing.

Juicing Tips for Juicing Zucchini

Juicing Zucchini can add both flavor and valuable nutrients to most any home-juiced vegetable cocktail. Here are a few tips for juicing Zucchini that may help turn your juicing experience into something you look forward to and thoroughly enjoy.

The juice of zucchini is somewhat bland so you might want to add other vegetables to the mix when you juice them. (I recommend carrots.)

As with other summertime squash, zucchini are juiced with their skin on.

I love to juice zucchini in the summertime when it is young, fresh and plentiful.

Fresh made zucchini juice acts as a natural coolant and thirst quencher, replenishing the body with needed fluids. It also acts as an internal cleanser (including for the colon) and has a prominent position on our "calming foods" list.

If you are new to juicing, when your body is comfortable drinking the more basic vegetables like carrots, celery and cucumber, which could be a week or so, then move onto vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, lettuce, etc.

Purchasing Tips for Buying Zucchini

If you are unable to grow your own Zucchini, then here are a few tips for buying Zucchini that may help you get the freshest ingredients. We'll also include a few storing tips for Zucchini which you might find helpful.

For the purpose of juicing zucchini, you want to select small, slender zucchini because the larger zucchini has tough skin and relatively dry flesh by comparison.

examples of chilling damage in zucchiniLook for shiny Zucchinis that are firm.

Zucchini are best eaten and/or juiced fresh.

Zucchini should be stored not longer than three days in the refrigerator. or chilling injury symptoms may occur.

These symptoms include skin discoloration, pitting, flesh browning, uneven ripening, and decay, especially when brought up to room temperature after cool storage.

General Information About Zucchini

This article wouldn't be complete if we didn't include a little general information about Zucchini, as well as a few helpful links if you want to explore Zucchini further.

Zucchini (in North American and Australia) or courgette (as they are known in New Zealand and British English) is a small summer squash.

zucchini plant in gardenAlong with some other squashes, it belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo.

The zucchini can be yellow, green or light green, and generally has a similar shape to a ridged cucumber, though a few cultivars are available that produce round or bottle-shaped fruit.

In a culinary context, zucchini is treated as a vegetable, which means it is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, however, the zucchini is an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower

Squash is an adaptation from several Native American words meaning "something eaten raw"; in fact, all summer squash are tender enough to eat uncooked.

Did you know that a single zucchini plant can often produce more than a bushel of zucchini?

So easy to grow in our neck of the woods, zucchini is an all-time favorite of mine for juicing and for cooking! Although when cooking, keep in mind that zucchini tend to release a fair amount of water during the cooking process so some recipes can become watery.

Shredded or sliced/chopped, young zucchini add an extra nutritional boost to most salad combinations.

Dieters sometimes keep bags of sliced zucchini in the refrigerator for easy snacking.

Zucchini flowers, both female and male, are edible and contain some of the same nutrients present in the squash. Firm, fresh blossoms that are only slightly open are often cooked to be eaten, with pistils removed from female flowers, and stamens removed from male flowers.

There are a variety of recipes in which the flowers are either deep fried as fritters or tempura (after dipping in a light tempura batter), stuffed, sautéed, baked, or used in soups.

Peeled and seeds scooped out, a mature (large) Zucchini makes an excellent substitute for apples in most baking recipes. They'll never know they're actually eating squash.

Mature zucchini can be as much as three feet long, but are often fibrous and not appetizing to eat, however, I have peeled and cut them up for delicious "apple" pies and zucchini cream pies... both are favorites at our house during summer.

Grilled and/or stuffed zucchini are another favorite at our house which uses the larger, older zucchini from our garden. I've even made delicious chocolate zucchini cupcakes from them!

Zucchini are an especially suitable companion to tomatoes and are an excellent addition to vegetable lasagna, marinara sauce, and ratatouille.

And, of course, zucchini breads and cakes are a delicious favorite of mine, too.

This summer I'll be trying a new zucchini relish recipe handed down to me from my mother. I can't wait to taste it!

Additional sources and resources for zucchini

Additional Sources/Resources for Zucchini

 

Be sure to check out both our "Juicing" and our "Smoothies" sections for delicious recipes and more using Zucchini!