Zucchini - Ingredients, flavor, preparation
Zucchini - The healthy "cucumber berry"
Zucchinis are what many do not know, a pumpkin shape. More specifically, a subspecies of garden squash. Your male and female genitalia are in separate flowers on a plant. They are not only a versatile vegetable, but also contain important healing substances.
- Zucchini - The healthy "cucumber berry"
- Slimming with zucchini
- Less cholesterol
- cancer screening
- Healthy prostate
- Braking inflammation
- The Italian pumpkin
- Berries that look like cucumbers
- Cultivation and harvest
- Beware of snails
- Early harvest
- Beware of bitter zucchini
- In the kitchen
Zucchini are suitable for a diet: they shine with very few calories, as they contain much water like all pumpkins. 100 grams contain 150 milligrams of potassium, 30 milligrams of calcium, 25 milligrams of phosphorus, 3 milligrams of sodium, 1.5 milligrams of iron, as well as copper, zinc and fatty acids, plus vitamins A, B 1, B 2, B 6 and C.Zucchini are pumpkin fruits and are full of healing substances. (Image: GSDesign / fotolia.com)
Slimming with zucchini
The cucumber-like vegetables are ideal for a diet. The minerals, vitamins and fatty acids prevent a lack of nutrients. The many water ensures that the body receives enough liquid. Dietary fiber also stimulates digestion and leads to a feeling of satiety despite the low calories.
The pumpkin fruits lower the level of cholesterol in the body because the fiber binds to the bile acids that the liver makes from cholesterol to digest fat. Because the fiber attaches directly to the bile acid and thus causes it to process fat immediately, the liver pulls more cholesterol out of the body to produce more bile acid. This lowers the cholesterol level throughout the body. The high content of vitamin A and vitamin C in the zucchini also keeps cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood vessels, which in turn reduces the onset of artheriosclerosis.
The fiber they contain is a good way to prevent cancer because they wash toxins that can cause cancer out of the cells. Vitamin C and beta-carotene in the courgettes help the cells to protect against substances that contribute to colon cancer. But be careful: Fiber does not help much to push back an already outbreaking cancer.
Like other pumpkins, zucchini relieves the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, which involves problems with urination and male sexual virility.
The contained vitamins A and C not only act as antioxidants, but also effective against inflammation. Together with the copper in the pumpkins, they inhibit many diseases that are based on inflammation, such as asthma, osteoporosis and rheumatic diseases and relieve the severe pain associated with these complaints.Zucchini taste like cucumbers and help prevent cancer. (Image: Evgenia / fotolia.com)
The Italian pumpkin
Zucchini are literally pumpkin, because "zucca" is the name of the pumpkin in Italy. Here, the zucchini was bred out of the American garden squash in the 17th century. However, a "zucchini" in Italy is called "Zuccino", the name we know is simply the majority, which we translated into German as a single fruit.
Berries that look like cucumbers
The similarity with the cucumber is obvious and some people actually believe that they are cucumbers. They are, like all pumpkin fruits, organic berries. These "berry cucumbers" take the form of cones or clubs, are straight or crooked, green from very light to very dark, monochrome, striped or spotted, but also yellow or white.
The taste is as neutral as that of cucumbers, but the meat is stronger - but they are also much better than vegetables. Small zucchini taste more intense, large ones weigh up to two kilos, but usually we harvest them with the weight of half a pound. They taste best young and fresh. Therefore, make sure that the fruit stalk is dry. Then the fruit is too old.
Cultivation and harvest
We sow zucchini in Central Europe in April / May. The plants have few claims, but need a lot of humus and a uniformly moist soil. As pumpkins they need at least 1.5 square meters of space per plant. The seeds germinate in about two weeks.
Pumpkins are starvationers. You should therefore work up to five liters of mature compost into the soil per square meter of soil and, preferably, once a week, add nettle jets to the irrigation water. Super is also a thick layer of grass clippings. Cucurbitaceae should be watered regularly in the morning - lack of water can lead to an increased concentration of bitter substances.
The plants work well with beans, cucumbers, potatoes, lettuce, melons, tomatoes and corn.
Beware of snails
Zucchini grow so strongly that after three to four weeks, snails are no longer an existential problem, but before that they are a massive one. Snails love zucchini and many a hobby gardener experiences his blue miracle when he comes to his garden the day after a thunderstorm and thinks he is crazy because there is nothing left where the plants were. In the first time they should secure the zucchini, for example, by screw fences, or by pulling them in outwardly curved buckets.Zucchini are undemanding and grow fast. (Image: maxandrew / fotolia.com)
Once this phase is over, you can harvest the fruits later this summer. As a rule, they are harvested when they are between 15 and 30 cm long. At this age, they last about 12 days. Do not store zucchini near tomatoes or apples. These release ethylene and this leads to faster maturity and rot.
If you let the "small pumpkins" in the garden mature, they are up to five kilograms and form their "shell", the shell of wood. To get to the meat, you must now remove the shell as with pumpkins.
After six to eight weeks of growth, you can harvest about five zucchini per plant each week.
Beware of bitter zucchini
Does your harvest taste bitter? Get away with it, there is a potential mortal danger! The cucurbitans, which are the bitter substances in pumpkins, attack the stomach and intestinal mucosa. Such bitter substances accumulate especially when they cross back seeds or crossed the zucchini with other pumpkin varieties. Therefore, you should never plant zucchini near other pumpkins, especially not near ornamental gourds. A 79-year-old man died in Heidenheim after eating his own zucchini. From zucchini, which they buy commercially, these poisons are bred out.
In the garden the rule of thumb is: If the fruits taste neutral to sweet, no poisonous substances are contained.
The fertilization of plants is a science in itself. Most of them first of all have male flowers, the females only show up when there are enough leaves to feed the fruits. But the zucchini throw the female flowers after a short time, and when the temperature is too high, the male bee pollen become "impotent". It is rainy but the pollen stick together. To harvest safely, they cut off some male flowers and paint the pollen with a brush in the female flowers.
In the kitchen
Zucchini can be used extensively in the kitchen. In general, yellow courgettes have thinner peels than green and are therefore easier to digest. Classically cut the fruit into slices, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt like pepper.
We wash the zucchini and cut off the ends. Depending on the preparation we halve them, cut into strips, slices or cubes. Suitable seasonings are garlic, rosemary, oregano and nutmeg. They harmonize with peppers, tomatoes and aubergines, but also with sheep's cheese and lettuce, melon, shallots and onions. They go well with fish, meat, chicken, turkey and pasta. You can cook, bake, roast and grill. If you fry zucchini with onions, the fruits get more flavor.
These include: peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, mushrooms, corn, onions, leeks, carrots, corn, cauliflower, cabbage, rose and Chinese cabbage, beans, peas, lentils, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, noodles, bulgur. Oregano, thyme, rosemary, paprika, parsley and chilli are suitable spices.
(Dr. Utz Anhalt)