Did you know that zucchini plants originated in the Americas thousands of years ago and were re-popularized by Italian immigrants in the last century? Zucchini are summer squash (of the species cucurbita pepo), and are actually fruits, although we treat them as vegetables in the culinary sense.
Here in the US, we call these familiar green squash zucchini, derives from the Italian zucchina, for “small pumpkin”. Many of our friends around the world, however, refer to them as courgettes, a borrowed word from the French language.
Zucchini are very low in calories (about 25 calories per average, small zucchini) and high in vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin A, potassium, and manganese.
You can find many low-fat, nutritious zucchini-based recipes at the American Diabetes Association website.
Or, try this recipe for my delicious homemade Zucchini Harvest Pancakes.
If you love zucchini bread, you won’t want to miss this!
If you are interested in growing or preserving your own zucchini, see this informative page from the University of Illinois. The site also includes photos and descriptions of various types of summer squash.
If you google zucchini images, you may be busy for a while – there are tons. Here are two of my favorites (I’ve gone for the cute factor):
Cute Kids with Giant Zucchini So cute!
Gator the Puppy and the Giant Zucchini Scroll down to Gator. Aww!
Finally, here are some important zucchini dates to be aware of, with a little background information from CNN’s Eatocracy:
National Zucchini Day – August 8
National Zucchini Bread Day – April 25
National Sneak Some Zucchini onto your Neighbor’s Porch Night – Anytime in August?
Please tell me your funny zucchini stories!