Benefits Of Eating Courgettes
Courgettes Contain Very Few Calories And Have A High Water Content
Courgette or zucchini is a fruit of the Cucurbitaceae family, most often used or mistaken as a vegetable. Belonging to the species Cucurbita pepo, this summer squash is tasty, quick growing and endlessly versatile. Simply sliced and sauteed in butter or olive oil, courgettes make a dishful of heaven. They taste green, somewhat grassy, and sweet. The smaller they are, the more flavorful. If you do not pick them early enough, they grow huge and get bloated with water.
They can be dressed up in a creamy lemon sauce and served with pasta, grated and added to a quiche, or served as fritters. They are excellent cooked on a cast iron grill or barbecue, then drizzled with olive oil and herbs. Courgettes do not need peeling. Slice off each end, and prepare as recipe directs. Try not to boil or cook them with too much water, as they will get soggy and loose their flavor.
Courgettes appear to keep well in a refrigerator in a vegetable storage bag for a few days, but they become bitter over time, so it is important to eat them fresh.
They are at their best from June until September. Choose small courgettes that are firm to touch, with a glossy unblemished skin. Avoid the soft squishy ones.
They contain very few calories and have a high water content. They are not loaded with vitamins but provide useful amounts of immunity-boosting vitamin-C and significant amounts of mineral potassium, that helps regulate blood pressure. The soluble fiber in courgette skin helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels and prevents constipation. If you are trying to loose some pounds, then you should make the courgette, number one in your shopping list.
Courgette calories and nutrition per serving (1 serving equals to 1 oz or 28 gms):
Calories - 5
Protein - 0.5
Carbohydrates - 0.5
Fat - 0.1
Fiber - 0.3
The Endlessly Versatile Courgette
Courgettes can serve the "secret ingredient" to add a special flavor to various recipes, that include the following:
- Easy to make pasta: Quick, frugal and popular, this is a perfect dish to use up the humble courgettes. You can even fake silky ribbons of pasta by using a julienne peeler to create your own "courgetti". It takes just half a minute to cook and is virtuous in terms of calories. Create your courgette noodles, then throw them into a pan with garlic, cream, lemon zest and seasoning. Serve spaghetti style with meatballs.
- Cakes and bakes: It can be baked into a bread similar to banana bread or incorporated into a cake mix.
- Soups: Soothing courgette soup can be a perfect thing to see you through a cool summer evening.
- As a side dish: Cheesy baked courgettes are delicious served with grilled meat and fish.
- As salads: Courgettes' subtle, delicate flavors make them a perfect addition to most green salads. Slice them, toss in olive oil, griddle for 3-4 minutes, and mix in a few drops of food grade vinegar, roasted red bell peppers, roasted pine nuts, pistachios, mint, cilantro, thyme, basil, and some seasoning. Toss in a handful of rocket leaves, and dot the salad with ricotta, and use it as a side dish or main meal.
- Stir into a risotto: Stir seasonal courgettes into a light fresh risotto for the perfect dinner recipe.
Members of the plant family Cucurbita, including zucchini or courgettes and cucumbers contain chemicals named cucurbitacins that defend the plant from predators, and impart a bitter taste. Before cooking or eating it raw, have a small bit of the courgette, and discard if it is unusually bitter in taste.