Zucchini gets its name from the Italian word for squash, “zucca”. This green or yellow summer squash was first grown in the Americas, but the small and sweet vegetable that we are used to eating today was developed in northern Italy during the second half of the 19th century. It is likely that this zucchini was brought over to the United States by Italian immigrants and was first cultivated in California. Zucchini is loved for its low calorie count and high amounts of folate, potassium, and vitamin A. The squash and flowers are prepared in different ways all over the world. Zucchini plants yield a large harvest so you must get creative with your cooking so you don’t get bored. Below, I have included some of my favorite ways to use zucchini in the kitchen.
This savory pancake is simple, delicious, and a great way to use up your surplus of summer squash. Your students can help by grating the zucchini and mixing the ingredients. Any adult in the classroom can cook these on a hot plate or electric griddle. These taste great plain, or with a side of sour cream or plain yogurt. Serve these as a snack before a big test to give students brain food! There are tons of recipes on the internet, but you can find the recipe that I enjoy here.
When I run into someone who says they don’t like zucchini, I make them try zucchini bread. It is hard to resist a homemade slice of moist deliciousness. If they still don’t like zucchini after their first slice, I am shocked. I like to reheat this bread and enjoy it for breakfast (that is, if I don’t eat the entire loaf after removing it from the oven). Zucchini bread is a tasty treat that can help you to sneak veggies into your students’ snacks. This recipe, made with a base of white whole wheat flour and sweetened with honey, is sure to be approved by parents. The dark chocolate chips add the sweetness that your students crave. Make sure to check for nut allergies before making this recipe, or leave out the nuts completely, just to be safe. This recipe is super easy to make in the classroom when you read this post on A Cultivated Nest about baking in a crockpot!
Zoodles, AKA zucchini noodles, are very popular right now. Just like any other noodle, they are very versatile and can be paired with a variety of sauces; the difference is that they are much healthier! Spiralizers are inexpensive, easy to use, and safe for students to handle. I have made this delicious zucchini pasta with kale pesto, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds, but you can pair these zoodles with just about anything.