An absolute superstar among vegetables, zucchini is mild in flavor and can be prepared in many different ways, making it a flexible addition to your plate. It serves as a side dish for fish and meat, as an antipasti or pasta substitute, in pancake recipes, and even in low-carb cakes. The great thing about the green or yellow stalk: zucchini contains hardly any calories and is therefore great if you’re trying to lose weight. Here’s everything you need to know about the vegetable – with fit recipe ideas!
Zucchini, a kind of squash, looks somewhat like a cucumber, but its flesh is firmer and its taste is slightly nutty. The color of the skin varies from light green to dark green and yellow. Their stalks can be long and thin or compact and round. What all varieties have in common is their high water content. The summer vegetable contains hardly any calories and is fabulous in abundance for anyone who wants to lose a few kilos. How convenient that the vegetable is so versatile and easy to prepare!
Zucchini is generally in season from June to autumn. But you don’t have to do without your favorite vegetable in winter either: Zucchini is available all year round and usually comes from Italy, Spain, Greece, or Turkey during the winter months.
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Zucchini: nutritional values and ingredients
Zucchini consists of 90 percent water. This makes the vegetable the perfect all-rounder if you are on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. But zucchini is not only a good choice if you want to avoid calories: The all-rounder contains many valuable minerals, trace elements and vitamins. Potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, among other things, can help keep your muscles strong even under high stress. And vitamin C and beta-carotene support your immune system.
All important nutritional values (per 100 grams) of zucchini at a glance:
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How healthy are zucchini?
Admittedly, you have to eat a lot of zucchini to feel full, but we’re happy to pile the superstar onto our plates! Here are some of the biggest health benefits of our favorite summer vegetable:
- Zucchini can reduce water retention: With a water content of 90 percent, it’s perfect for maintaining your body’s fluid balance. If you want to dehydrate your body, for example, reach for the green stalk more often.
- Zucchini contains hardly any calories: With less than 20kcal per 100 grams, it’s the ultimate low-carb vegetable. Even lettuce has more calories!
- Zucchini is easy to digest: The vegetable is considered particularly gentle on the gastrointestinal tract. This means it’s also the optimal food to reach for if you have a sensitive stomach or are experiencing diarrhea, flatulence, or heartburn.
- Zucchini contains many important minerals: With a comparatively high content of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, zucchini is a top supplier of nutrients.
Read more about minerals here.
Can you lose weight with zucchini?
If your goal is to lose weight, then you shouldn’t leave zucchini off your menu. 100 grams of zucchini contain 0 grams of fat, only 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 17 calories. It’s hard to eat too much! You can use zucchini, for example, to prepare a low-carb cake or make zoodles as a pasta substitute.
Of course, eating plenty of zucchini alone isn’t all there is to losing weight. In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories each day than you consume. A mix of a balanced diet and exercise will help you achieve this. Healthy, long-term weight loss is based on a dietary change and an increase in physical activity. It’s recommended to eat a nutritious diet and exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes per day.
Read more about losing weight here: Healthy Weight Loss: Reach Your Goals Without Making Sacrifices.
Buying, storing and processing zucchini
Our tips on buying, storing, and preparing zucchini:
When buying zucchini, keep an eye on the skin. A smooth, slightly shiny surface is a sign of optimal freshness. Also, do the pressure test: The zucchini skin should be firm and give only minimally.
Store them at home in your refrigerator, ideally in the vegetable compartment. Here, the zucchini stays fresh for about five to ten days. Make sure that the squash is not stored next to tomatoes and apples. These fruits ripen and release ethylene, which makes zucchini spoil faster.
You can do a lot with zucchini in the kitchen. Their taste is subtle, almost neutral, so the vegetable is even suitable for desserts such as pancakes, porridge, and cakes. Otherwise, you can fry, boil, grill, steam zucchini, or even eat it raw. This makes the green all-star a real all-rounder in the kitchen. Below we’ll show you our favorite recipes!
Low carb recipes with zucchini
When you think of pasta with pesto, are you reminded of boring, uninspired recipes? Not us! When we think of pasta and pesto, we think of our fresh zoodle salad with Thai-inspired peanut-coriander pesto.
Pancakes for breakfast or lunch? Absolutely! Especially if they’re as healthy and delicious as our zucchini pancakes. They taste savory or sweet, are super moist, incredibly fluffy, and contain optimal nutritional values.
You love pasta, but eat way too much of it every time? We know this all too well. The solution is zoodles, which are noodles made from zucchini. Together with a Bolognese sauce made from lentils, the dish is not only vegetarian, but also nice and hearty and filling.
Stuffed vegetables are a true classic and an indispensable part of any fitness cookbook! Do you agree? Then you’ll surely like this recipe. Simply delicious!
Having your cake and eating it too? Yes, please! Zucchini is a great (and sneaky) ingredient in cake, since it adds virtually no flavor and helps make the cake extra moist. What we find particularly great about our low carb zucchini cake is that it comes completely without flour, sugar, and oil, but still tastes like a real chocolate cake. Here’s the recipe for our absolute favorite cake!
Fancy even more recipes for losing weight? Click here for our recipe collection with more than 300 inspirations – from classic to trendy.
More things to know from foodspring:
- Hydrating Foods for Hot Summer Days
- Is asparagus healthy? Learn how to cook and eat it right!
- Why Watermelon May Be The Best Summer Fruit
*Weight loss with Shape Shake 2.0: Replacing two daily meals with one Shape Shake 2.0 each contributes to weight loss as part of a low-calorie diet. Replacing one meal helps you maintain your weight. The product fulfills the intended purpose only in the context of a low-calorie diet. A low-calorie diet must also include other foods. Be sure to drink enough fluids every day. Ensure a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.