Summer is Summer Squash Season! Squash comes in many varieties. If you happen to have a local farmers market near you, I highly recommend loading up the kids and go visit your farmers market! There you’ll find many different shapes and sizes of summer squashes! The most popular and familiar is the zucchini. However there are so many other varieties to choose from!
There are so Many Different Varieties to Choose From:
We do love zucchini, and we also love all its family members such as; Yellow crookneck, patty pan, the ones with the scalloped edges, sunburst squash are round and come in bright yellow or green, and the newest variety we are seeing at farmers markets are the heirloom Romanesco squash that looks like a lighter green colored zucchini with lines and with ridges.
For some people, especially kids, green zucchini can be bitter tasting. The other varieties I find to be sweeter, and with so many varieties to choose from, and its versatility to add into your recipes, summer squashes are great to have on hand.
More Ways to Use Summer Squash
Add squash into soups, stews, roast for pastas, great on its own as a side dish, diced and mixed with other vegetables like our Zucchini Corn Hash dish. We love to add shredded squash into our baked goodies too! Muffins or our Chocolate Zucchini Bread. Zoodle zucchini for a pasta alternative! There are so many uses for zucchini in baking, cooking and eating this wonderful vegetable! Branching out finding other varieties will add new unique flavors and textures to your recipes as well as added nutritional benefit!
Why Are Zucchini and Summer Squash So Healthy?
Zucchini and summer squash are healthy for many reasons! Here are a few great reasons to include and rotate the many varieties into your weekly meals!
- Rich in nutrients: zucchini is packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like potassium, manganese, and magnesium. These nutrients play crucial roles in helping to maintain our overall health and support our body’s functions.
- High in fiber: Zucchini contains a good amount of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, helps regulate bowel movements, and promotes a feeling of fullness, which can prevent overeating.
- Antioxidant properties: Zucchini contains antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Hydration: Zucchini has a high water content, which helps keep the body hydrated and contributes to maintaining healthy skin and bodily functions.
- Blood sugar regulation: The fiber content in zucchini can help stabilize blood sugar levels, making it a good option for people with diabetes or those aiming to control their blood sugar.
- Heart health: The potassium and magnesium content in zucchini can help regulate blood pressure, promoting heart health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
There are many health benefits for eating zucchini especially when they’re cooked in a healthy manner, not deep fried. Choose to bake, grill, or sauté them for the most benefit. That’s why Meg created these Baked Zucchini Sticks! Her recipe is a winner! For a healthier sauce option, choose a tasty homemade hummus, a store bought tzatziki yogurt dip or a super simple marinara sauce.
We cant wait for you to try these delicious healthy snack or appetizer! Its perfect for a fun cooking with kids activity! Please comment below and let us know how you liked the recipe.
Love, Pegs and MegsPrint
Baked Zucchini Sticks
2 zucchinis, sliced into 1/4-inch sticks
2 tablespoons Organic Vegenaise or Wildwood garlic Aioli (we prefer the aioli)
3/4 cup Gluten-Free Panko bread crumbs (found at Whole Foods Market, or online)
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (Vegan option: use nutritional yeast)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400°
Rinse zucchini, dry and cut into sticks. Start by cutting in half horizontally and then half again (twice) vertically to get thin slices. Once you have a 1/4-1/2 inch thick pieces cut into thirds to create “French fry” looking sticks.
In a bowl, gently mix together Vegenaise and zucchini sticks. In another bowl, mix together the panko, cheese, and garlic powder.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll each Vegenaise coated zucchini stick through the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Place on the baking sheet with enough space in between each so they are not touching.
Cook for 20-30 minutes until golden. Let cool and serve with ranch!!
- What is the health benefits of yellow squash? The vegetable is high in vitamins A, B6, and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, and potassium. That’s a serious nutritional power-packed veggie. Yellow squash is also rich in manganese.
- Which breads are naturally Gluten-Free? Chia, Quinoa, and Millet are naturally gluten free breads that offer much more than just gluten free. Check out our favorites here!
- Is it really difficult to go gluten free? The easy answer is NO! We know when you get diagnosed as gluten intolerant it can feel like a huge challenge! It doesn’t have to be, check out our blog about how you can easily go gluten free and out top tips!