Zucchini may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of baking, but considering its versatility and health benefits, this fruit is worth your consideration.
“Using zucchini when baking is an easy way to sneak in some extra nutrients, especially if your kids don’t love green veggies,” says Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, the Los Angeles–based author of Eat Your Vitamins.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one large zucchini provides 55 calories, 4 grams (g) of protein, 1 g of fat, 10 g of carbohydrates, and 3.2 g of fiber, making it a good source. It is also a good source of potassium and an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C.
Thanks to its mild flavor, zucchini works in both sweet and savory dishes, while its high water content adds moisture to desserts such as muffins and brownies. “Zucchini can also take the place of noodles in traditional pasta bakes for a low-carbohydrate swap,” says Rachel Helfferich, RDN, a nutrition coach in Chicago. Simply use a spiralizer to create “zoodles,” or cut the zucchini into strips. “The possibilities are endless,” Helfferich says.
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Next time you’re in the mood to bake, grab a zucchini and try one of these recipes.