Zucchini #bebetter52

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Zucchini is a summer staple food, and there are tons of ways to add this powerhouse squash into your meals. Zucchini can be prepared in every way from sweet to savory so you can harness its benefits no matter your mood.  

This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to fill up your plate with the summer squash, Zucchini. This nutrient-dense squash can help with weight loss, heart health, digestion, ridding the body of free radicals and inflammation, and lowering blood sugar, to name just a few benefits. While myriad recipes can be found in cookbooks or on the internet, our recommendation is to roast it in the oven or saute it with olive oil. It can be a substitute for pasta or meat in a chili or spaghetti sauce. And who doesn’t like zucchini bread with chocolate chips? Regardless of how you eat it, you can’t go wrong. 

Summer is the peak time for zucchini, which makes it a great addition to your summer barbeque or beach day picnic. Zucchini is also low in calories, so it is a super healthy substitute to high carb sides or as a gluten-free replacement for noodles. 

“Zoodles” (zucchini noodles) have become a fan favorite in the gluten-free community for good reason. They are an excellent pasta alternative that taste so good you almost forget how good they are for you.   

Try a caprese Zoodle dish for a delicious and super easy summer treat. 

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 lb. zucchini

12 oz. ripe tomatoes

8 oz. fresh mozzarella

1/2 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves

2 tbsp. capers

2 cloves garlic

1/4 c. roasted salted almonds

Directions:

1.    In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil on medium until hot. Add zucchini. Stir 1 to 2 minutes or until it just begins to soften. Remove from heat; transfer to large bowl.

2.    To the bowl with zucchini, add tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gently toss to combine. Serve immediately, topped with almonds.

Do you prefer to satisfy your sweet tooth? Zucchini bread is a delicious and sneaky way to incorporate this summer squash into your diet and even trick your kids into eating it!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

2 large eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (1 medium)

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" metal loaf pan. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and walnuts.

2. In a medium bowl, with a whisk or fork, mix eggs, oil, zucchini, and orange peel. Stir zucchini mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened.

3. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.