Also known as Squash or Courgette.
What is a Zucchini?
Zucchini is a type of summer squash, used frequently in stir-fried dishes. Though they are often used as vegetables, are not sweet, and botanically is a fruit. The squash is green or yellow in color, is bland and mildly sweet. It looks similar to cucumbers but have to be cooked before eating.
- It is a popular option for pasta substitutes, especially among people following a keto diet.
- It can be used in baked goods, sautéed, grilled, or roasted.
Summer squashes comes in different varieties. These include:
- Chayote squash
- Crookneck squash
- Cocozella di Napoli
- Pattypan squash
- Yellow zucchini
- Round zucchini
Zucchini goes back 7500 BC to 5500 BC to pre-Columbian Mexico, where the ancient Maya used the squash as an integral part of their diet. European explorers brought this back to Europe, where it was named zuccino by the Italians. The same fruit was called courgette by the French. One theory is that the New England immigrants used the name ‘squash’, adopted from Native American languages, and referring to eating something raw. Another theory claims that the squash first entered the Americas with Italian immigrants post World War I.
It is 95% water and low in calories. Hence, it is a good choice for people looking to lose weight. The fruit is also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as a good source of potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, phosphorous, and thiamine. The squash also contains a good amount of fiber, which is useful for regulating the digestive function as well as a deterrent to diabetes. Thi is known to have cancer-preventing properties due to the antioxidants in it.
Planting this requires light soil and early sowing. It requires plenty of organic matter and a well-structured soil. It cannot be grown in soils that are susceptible to frost. The plants are sown around 1.5 meters apart, which gives a production of around 10,000 plants per hectare.
Zucchini is extremely versatile and can be adapted to different cuisines. Here are a few easy recipes:
Squash falls under the umbrella term of raw agricultural commodity. For classification purposes, squash is a vegetable according to FDA. The FDA describes fresh vegetables as fresh produce that is sold to final consumers in an unprocessed or raw form. It regulates the growing of fresh vegetables, including summer squash. The FDA classifies summer squash as being among the most common vegetables consumed raw.
Medical Daily, All About Zucchini: History, Health Benefits, Cooking Tips, And More, Janissa Delzo
Martínez-Valdivieso, Damián et al. “Role of Zucchini and Its Distinctive Components in the Modulation of Degenerative Processes: Genotoxicity, Anti-Genotoxicity, Cytotoxicity and Apoptotic Effects.” Nutrients vol. 9,7 755. 14 Jul. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9070755