Archive for July 30th, 2011

Zucchini – Cucubita pepo

Zucchini
Zucchini

It was an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny
silver striped green zucchini.
While we slumbered, what went wrong?
Overnight it’s two feet long!

By ‘Wren’

This cucurbit originated in Latin America. Remains of zucchini’s ancestor squash have been found in Mexico from 7000 years ago. Christopher Columbus was the explorer who brought the first seeds to the Mediterranean region. When it arrived there it was taken to Italy, once there it mutated into what we now known as the common zucchini.

The fruit has been used for food for centuries, and multitudes of ways have been found to use it! Zucchini are usually served cooked and can be prepared using different cooking techniques such as steaming, boiling, baking, barbecued, fried, or integrated in other recipes. It can be preserved through freezing and pickling. One suggestion for preserving and use is to grate the excess squash that these plants produce, and then freeze in small zip lock bags. When needed, the baggie of zucchini can be added to almost anything! Include the grated zucchini in meatloaf, cake mixes, soups, and stews, almost anything you can image!

Zucchini can really surprise you with the number of fruit it sets and produces; often inundating you with large quantities. Fortunately if you consume zucchini on a regular basis it assists the body with protection against colon cancer. Another wonderful benefit is its use in helping to preventing heart disease and deterrence of some of its symptoms, such as elevated cholesterol levels.

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