Mmm, summer squash. I love it. Zucchini, yellow crookneck, pattypan… they’re all so tasty and filling, too. One raw cup is only 25 calories. Sauté a small shallot with two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large pan, throw in two cups of the summer squash, and within minutes you have a heaping bowl of deliciousness for just 150 calories. It also has healthy doses of:
- Vitamin C- an antioxidant. This word is thrown around a lot lately, but what does it really mean? Antioxidants lessen oxidative stress during metabolism, a problem in which molecules within your body steal electrons from their neighboring molecules. This process causes great destruction to cells. Vitamin C helps by giving up its own electrons. Pretty cool.
- Vitamin A- great for eyes, skin, and bones. Vitamin A takes a variety of forms within the body including retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid. These compounds initiate chain reactions, such as switching on genes for transcription or allowing for the production of rhodopsin, a material in the retina needed for sight. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and can be stored in the body.
- Potassium- for nerve function, heart, and cell membrane function. Potassium is needed to maintain balance of water and solutes between inner and outer cell fluids. It also allows cells to produce electrical discharges which are needed for muscle contraction and sending signals through neurons.
- Sheer yumminess. Enough said.
I picked these babies up at the Tompkins Square Greenmarket.
I’ve been making ribbons out of the zucchini with either a vegetable peeler or mandoline, depending upon the kitchen’s offerings. Ribbons are a nice variation from my typical cubes or rounds.
Five minutes on the stove.
Success! Top it with a little pecorino romano for a sharp kick.
The three zucchini made two bowls. Zucchini makes a great meal paired with a small portion of pasta, a little risotto, or some white beans on a crusty bread.