Anyway, there are 3 ways I typically eat zucchini –raw, slightly cooked without oil, and roasted.
Roasted is my favorite, and I love cooking it on a really high temperature so the sugars caramelize but the flesh stays a little crunchy. Zucchini and squash have a really high water content, so it’s easy for them to “steam” instead of roasting if your temperature is too low or if they’re packed too tightly together.
Toss in a little oil and salt, roast flat on a sheet pan at 450 for 10-15 minutes or until browned and just cooked.
I love roasted zucchini in pretty much anything honestly, I really like it a lot. I use it a lot on my favorite veggies tostadas/tacos/burritos, toss it in salads, and I love it with pasta and any kind of sauce. Roasted zucchini is also really good as a side dished tossed with some cooked grains.
While I’m roasting my zucchini, I will also cook off a little without any oil to use in smoothies. The easiest way to do this is just to set some aside that I’ve already cut up for roasting, and I put it in its own small baking dish in just a little splash of water, covered with foil. No oil! Let the oil-free zucchini cook alongside your roasting veggies in its own dish, but pull it out of the oven after 5-10 minutes. You want the zucchini just starting to cook when you take it out of the oven, because you’ll leave the foil on after you take it out. You’ve got your steam going at this point, so this keeps them cooking for just a bit longer so they get soft, but not too mushy. You can leave the foil on until they’re cool, and strain off any liquid unless you want to add that to your smoothies too.
Zucchini is great in smoothies because it adds bulk and nutrition without a lot of sugar, which is a problem for a lot of smoothies. Most tend to be high in fruit, with only some greens to cut the sugar content, and I can’t say that always results in the tastiest recipes. Cooked zucchini has a delicate enough flavor that it hides easily behind stronger flavors of fruits and other stuff you put in the blender. Surprisingly zucchini does actually have some protein too, plus vitamins and potassium, so it’s not just filler. You can keep these cooked pieces in the freezer so they’re ready to toss in the blender.
Zucchini is great raw too. The texture of raw zucchini is quite a bit more dense, but the flavor is still light enough that it doesn’t taste like a weird raw vegetable. I could eat pounds of it with hummus or almost any flavor of dip. It’s great in salads, or try some raw slices on sandwiches.
Zucchini is usually pretty inexpensive during the summer months, which is yet another reason to love it. It’s pretty easy to grow, which I think helps keep the price low, and there’s no reason not to enjoy lots of it.
Let me know in the comments if you’re a zucchini fan! Have you tried it in a smoothie yet?