Learning how to preserve Zucchini may not be under your radar, but this vegetable is one of the healthiest available only in summer and If you have ever wondered if Zucchini is a healthy vegetable or not, wonder no more as the verdict is in…
Yes! Zucchini is one of the healthiest vegetables as it contains zero fat, and is high in water and fiber. But don’t just take my word for it, here is a list of vitamins and essential mineral compounds found in Zucchini as a health vegetable:
|NAME OF VITAMIN COMPOUND||BENEFITS||OTHERS SOURCES|
|Sodium: Zucchini low in Saturated Fat and Sodium,|
The sodium you get from Zucchini has a whole slew of benefits which also includes:
Balances fluids in the body- This is essential for those of you who want to lose weight as the sodium helps remove the excess water the body is holding without causing any harm.
Helps send nerve impulses- According to the science museum, your nerve impulses play a huge role in the massaging system of the body.The whole thing is complex to understand for a layman but here is what sodium you get from Zucchini helps you…
When the nerve is activated, there is a sudden change in the voltage across the wall of the axon, caused by the movement of ions in and out of the neuron.
This triggers a wave of electrical activity that passes from the cell body along the length of the axon to the synapse.
Needed for muscle contractions.Influences blood pressure; even modest reductions in sodium consumption can lower blood pressure.
|Zucchini vegetables, Smoked, cured, salted or canned meat, fish or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar, and anchovies.Frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza.Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam, and chili.Salted nuts.Beans canned with salt added.|
|Protein: Zucchini Is Rich In Protein,|
If you need good looking hair, shining nails, strong arm and leg ligaments so you can walk with a strong bounce, you should know that they are all mostly made of protein much like what you get from eating Zucchini.
And make no mistake, as the human body makes use of protein to repair while also building tissue as we grow daily.
But that is not all, as your body also uses a good part of protein you consume to make beneficial enzymatic needed for various use across the body, regulates and balances hormone supply, and also makes sure that pH levels plus other body chemicals are inline with what the body needs.
So, eating food rich in Protein is crucial as low supply of protein sourced from food like Zucchini impacts the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and clean blood supply.
Apart from Zucchini, Beans are also an excellent choice for protein that is cholesterol-free and full of fiber, From time to time, we stock Lentils in our food pantry which are more or less like beans, they provide an insane source of naturally occurring protein while also being low in cholesterol, Nuts and Seeds, Grains, Tofu.
|Cholesterol: Zucchini Is Very low in Cholesterol||A major step in lowering your cholesterol is to eat food that is low in this compound which has been known for not playing nice with your blood pressure and many more other issues to do with the heart||To lower your cholesterol, eat plenty of Zucchini, Canned legumes, Avocados, Nuts, especially Almonds and Walnuts, Fatty Fish like wild Salmon, Whole Grains especially when you make a habit of eating Oats and Barley, Fruits and Berries, Dark Chocolate and Cocoa, fresh or pickled Garlic.|
|Vitamin A:Zucchini Is Rich In Vitamin A||There is no doubt that Vitamin A is a beneficial compound for our bodies. From good eyesight to a good night’s sleep its all thanks to eating well and finding a good balance of Vitamins the body needs.|
Cod liver oil, Eggs, Fortified breakfast cereals, Fortified skim milk, orange and yellow vegetables and fruits, broccoli, spinach, and the darkest green, leafy vegetables.
|Thiamine: Zucchini Is Rich In Thiamin|
At the mention of thiamine is makes it sound more complex, however, it is all about a health compound your body needs and this is also commonly known as the Vitamin B1, thiamin, or thiamine.
Anyone with low or no supply of thiamin means they are not able to generate energy the body needs to produce fuel for life.
Thiamin enables the body to put carbohydrates to use as an energy source.
Whether you like it or not, thiamin is without a doubt an essential enabler to the human body so it can turn glucose metabolism so you can efficiently burn it.
But it does not end there, thiamine also plays a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function.
Ask anyone who uses fortified or natural occurring Vitamin B1 and they will tell you that it is a water-soluble vitamin, no different to all vitamins of the B complex.
|Beef, liver, dried milk, nuts, oats, oranges, pork, eggs, seeds, legumes, peas, and yeast|
|Niacin: Zucchini Is Rich In Niacin|
Considering to Lower your LDL Cholesterol may sound overly ambitious, however if you make a habit of eating food that is known for having plenty of Niacin compound like Zucchini, pretty much as generations has done since the 1950s you will be able to treat high cholesterol but also boost HDL Cholesterol,lower Triglycerides and there are also backed research that Niacin reduces Symptomatic Arthritis
Most home food pantries doubles down on stocking up plenty of chicken liver pattie but also canned liver meat from other animals as it is one of the best natural sources of niacin compound similar to those found in Zucchini.
And, if you are going to eat chicken, the make sure to eat plenty of Chicken Breast as it is believed to be a good source of both niacin and lean protein too. If anything, eat wild tuna, turkey meat wild Salmon and ground beef to get plenty of Niacin compound.
|Phosphorus and Copper: Zucchini Is Rich In Phosphorus and Copper||To get plenty of Phosphorus, you can eat plant or animal-based diet so just make sure you are consuming foods like oysters, nuts, seeds, shitake mushrooms, lobster, liver, leafy greens and dark chocolate.|
|Fiber: Zucchini Is Very good source of Dietary Fiber||There is no better food source that provides your body with plenty of fiber than eating lots of bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, strawberries, and raspberries.|
But if you are into canned family staples, then include legumes like canned beans and nuts which can all be eaten as an addon to fresh salads or on their own!
|Vitamin C:Zucchini Is Rich In Vitamin C|
According to this US government agency publication recently, make sure to eat plenty of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, green and red peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens if you need vitamin C
|Vitamin K:Zucchini Is Rich In Vitamin K||Make sure that green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce are always part of your diet for the sake of vitamin K.|
|Riboflavin: Zucchini Is Rich In Riboflavin|
|Vitamin B6:Zucchini Is Rich In Vitamin B6||Eat plenty of veggies, eggs, beans and more…|
According to the National Health Services(NHS), even foods with fortified vitamin b6 like wholegrain cereals, such as oatmeal, wheat germ and brown rice are essential too besides eating eggs, and soya beans.
|Folate: Zucchini Is Rich In Folate||Eat plenty of asparagus, beetroots, green vegetables and legumes|
|Magnesium: Zucchini Is Rich In Magnesium|
|Potassium And Manganese: Zucchini Is Rich In Potassium and Manganese|
There is no doubt that an argument can be made about Zucchini being a fruit than a vegetable, but culinary contextually, a case for Zucchini being such a savory and healthy vegetable, you will understand why and that’s because Zucchini comes packed with insane amounts of vitamins like B6, riboflavin, folate, C, and K, and minerals, like potassium and manganese, has been made.
According to published reports, there is no doubt that botanically, you would have to consider zucchinis as fruits. And their type of botanical berry called which is commonly known as “pepo”, bears this healthy vegetable as a fruit that comes out like a swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.
In West and southern Africa, baby Zucchini and their flowerlings are sun-dried immediately when they come out as fruit. However, the majority of people who have consumed savory zucchini know it as courgette than the nutrient-dense Zucchini.
Regardless of how you know or like to call Zucchini, whether as a fruit or vegetable, make sure that you should include Zucchini as part of your staple diet.
And the good news is that Zucchini is just as nutritious and tasty even when it has been preserved or eaten fresh from harvest.
Yes, preserving zucchini is needed as courgettes or Zucchini as they are popularly known are a summer vegetable.
So, if you want to enjoy the winter of savory zucchini meal diets, then you better get on with preserving it so you can stock up in your home food pantry.
But… the question is how do you preserve Zucchini for longer shelf life in your home food pantry? That’s what we want to look at in today’s post and share with you how to get the best-preserved Zucchini for your recipes in winter and beyond.
How can you preserve Zucchini?
As mentioned earlier, Zucchini is a summer squash, a member of the gourd family and is originated from Central Africa but continues to spread across the world.
This fruit/vegetable is delicious, packed with insane beneficial vitamines, and comes light in fatty acids.
No wonder, that roasted zucchini with a variety of other veggies are loved by many and can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
There are just two ways in which you can preserve your zucchini to have it last longer, it’s either you simply refrigerate or freeze it.
There is no shortage of good reasons why learning how exactly you can preserve Zucchini could be beneficial to you and your family. And, if you can’t find one reason why bother preserving Zucchini vegetables, it is a seasonal delicacy that is only available in summer and goes during the winter season!
But there are also pretty good reasons why you should add it to your diet, let’s look at the health benefits of Zucchini.
Reasons why you should add Zucchini to your diet
Zucchini has many nutritious benefits to the body, the squash contains zero fat, is high in water and fiber and also contains important amounts of vitamins B6, riboflavin, folate and other minerals such as manganese and potassium. If that is not good enough, why not check below as we have listed the reasons why you should eat more of this delicious vegetable.
1. Zucchini will help improve digestion
Adding this fruit to your diet will improve your digestion by reducing incidents of constipation and other digestion problems. This is because it’s high in fiber, electrolytes, and water which are very important for a healthy digestive system.
Zucchini is also capable of preventing other problems such as colon cancer, ulcers, e.tc if consumed regularly.
2. Zucchini will help lower blood sugar levels
In most cases, high sugar levels are caused by unhealthy diets and lack of eating all the necessary nutrients the body needs.
Adding zucchini to your diet means increasing the intake of fiber and fibers are very important to the body because they help reduce the intake of unhealthy carbohydrates and increase insulin sensitivity this means your body will no longer be needing many amounts of insulin to process sugars in your body.
3. Zucchini will help support healthy circulation and a healthy diet.
Since zucchini is low in fat and sodium but high in fiber, this will help keep a very healthy blood circulation. The fiber found in zucchini will lower cholesterol levels and all the other nutrients found in this vegetable will help support healthy circulation and a healthy heart.
4. Zucchini helps to boost your energy
This vegetable is a very rich source of vitamin B such as riboflavin, folate, and B6, all these vitamins work together to boost energy production in your body by reducing fatigue and improving your activeness.
5. Zucchini helps with weight loss
Zucchini is high in water and fiber but very low in calories, th8s makes it a great vegetable to add to diet for those who are trying to lose a bit of weight.
We’ll know that most times we gain weight from regular consumption of sugary food and carbohydrates when you add zucchini to your diet, you increase the fiber and water content of your food meaning that you will feel full for longer and end up eating less.
In the long term, you will lose some of your excess weight.
6. Zucchini helps protects against oxidation and inflammation
This vegetable is known to be very rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, including vitamins A and C, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase.
Large amounts of these compounds are found in zucchini skin. For this reason, you should eat the skin together with the flesh and eating zucchini regularly reduces oxidation and inflammation within the body resulting in boosting your immunity and protects against diseases associated with inflammation.
7. Zucchini will help slow down the aging process
Inflammation, toxins and free radicals lead to early aging, Zucchini is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which help rid the body of free radicals and excess inflammation.
8. Zucchini helps improve thyroid and adrenal functions
Researchers found that the compounds in zucchini peels have positive effects on the thyroid and adrenal glands, this is because it contains high amounts of vitamin c and polyphenols in its peels. It also helps in regulating insulin levels.
How to preserve Zucchini
No idea about how you feel about preserving Zucchini with all these good vitamins up for the taking once you add it to your diet. And, if it matters for you to include Zucchini in your food pantry, why not look at the two most obvious ways in which you can preserve Zucchini:
1. Refrigerating the Zucchini dry and whole
– The first method of preserving your Zucchini involves not washing it or cutting it too all, just keep it dry. This is because excess water will make it spoil quickly so will cutting it also make it go bad faster too.
So just keep it whole and dry before you refrigerate it so pat the zucchini with a paper towel to remove moisture. If your zucchini has some condensation or moisture on its skin, make sure to gently pat it dry before storing. Any excess moisture will cause mold and make it rot faster.
After that place the zucchini in a plastic or paper bag with some ventilation. Keeping the zucchini enclosed in a bag will help slow the aging process and make sure to provide some ventilation for proper air circulation.
You can do this by using a perforated bag or by sealing the bag and poking some holes in it, then Put the bagged zucchini in a crisper drawer in the refrigerator.
And remember that this vegetable rots when it comes in contact with too much moisture, so make sure to keep it in the crisper drawer rather than the main area of the refrigerator. This drawer maintains the ideal humidity level to keep vegetables fresh longer.
You can only use the Zucchini within 5-7 days because when it stands longer than that, it creates moisture and then starts to rot. Within the 5-7 days, make sure you check the zucchini for signs of rot before using it.
If it feels soft to the touch and black spots start to show up on the skin, the zucchini is still edible. When it starts to feel mushy and starts to leak a thick, white liquid, it has gone bad, throw it away and buy your fresh again.
2. Freezing the Zucchini in pieces
– This second method of preserving zucchini is time-consuming and will need careful attention. Firstly, you chop the zucchini up into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
Cutting it into pieces is to help speed the blanching and freezing process and it will also make it easier to prepare. So you must use a sharp knife to cut the zucchini into either chunks or coins.
Blanching the zucchini is for having it firm because it deactivates the enzymes responsible for making the vegetable turn mashy and easily rot. Unlike in preserving tomatoes, where blanching helps to peel the tomato’s skin, Zucchini’s skin is not peeled as it is one of the beneficial parts of the vegetable.
When blanching the vegetable, bring a pot of unsalted water to a boil, then place the zucchini pieces in the water and boil for a minute and after that, you should Immediately drain them in a colander.
Avoid adding salt during the blanching process before freezing the fruit because it will absorb into the vegetable and you cause the skin of the vegetable to become mushy, which leads to spoiling.
After you’re done with the blanching process you should Immediately transfer the zucchini pieces to a bowl of ice, you should fill a bowl with cold water and ice, then pour the drained zucchini pieces into it.
The sudden temperature change will shock the vegetable and help keep it firm. After that spread the chunks on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. Transfer the chunks onto a baking sheet.
Spread them out to form a single layer over the cooling rack to help with draining process Pat the zucchini dry, then place in the freezer overnight or until frozen solid.
This will let the zucchini pieces all freeze separately, rather than in one big chunk.
For a drainage lining, you could also use a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper.
After that, the next process is to transfer frozen zucchini pieces into freezer bags or containers. Once the zucchini has frozen overnight, take the pieces off of the baking sheets and prepare them for long-term storage.
Storage of your preserved veggies is what you should keep an eye on with Zucchini. Normally, all you have to do is carefully fill up freezer bags and containers with 1-2 cups (150-300 g) of frozen zucchini pieces. Let out any extra air in the freezer bags, then seal the bags or containers completely
Then you can preserve the zucchini for as long as three months, it’ll still be edible, but the taste and texture will be affected by freezer burn. You can use your frozen zucchini pieces in soups, stir-fries, and sauteed dishes.
When cooking you simply add the frozen zucchini pieces and cook until soft. Freezing causes zucchini to lose its texture, so it won’t work as well in grilled dishes.
When adding the zucchini to bread and fritters you must defrost the zucchini first, when defrosting place the frozen pieces in a colander and let it sit in the sink until they’ve thawed out.
When you’re in a rush, you could also place the freezer bag full of frozen zucchini in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes, or until the zucchini feels soft. It will still be okay.