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Zucchini Three Ways

Video by Jonathan Parrish

If you want an inexpensive vegetable, this time of year you can find zucchini everywhere. If you have friends with big gardens, they might even give it away. Some of my Extension agent friends in other states joke about locking their car doors to keep people from putting bags of this versatile squash in there when no one is looking!

Zucchini has a mild flavor, and the texture changes depending on how – and how long – you cook it. If you don’t want it to be mushy, don’t overcook it!

Here are three tasty options to try:

Raw Zucchini Snack

Wash zucchini. Slice into sticks or circles. Sprinkle with lemon pepper or your favorite herbs and spices for a fat free snack. Or use yogurt as the base for a low-fat dip and add a dry dressing mix, such as Ranch or Italian.

Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries

2 eggs (for battering zucchini)

2-3 small zucchini

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon dried basil (leaves, not ground)

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut zucchini into small sticks. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, and spices in a bowl or oblong dish. Beat eggs in a small bowl until yolks and whites are evenly blended. Coat zucchini in egg, then roll or toss in breadcrumbs until covered.

Place zucchini on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip zucchini over. Bake another 5-10 minutes.

Zucchini Chips

PRO TIP: When making zucchini chips, watch the recipe’s time and temperature! Depending on how thinly you slice your zucchini, you may end up with charcoal chips!

Utah State Cooperative Extension shares this recipe for drying zucchini (which, ultimately is how you make chips in the oven) and more ideas in their publication, Preserving the Harvest: Zucchini.

Choose young, slender zucchini. Cut into 1/4-inch slices or 1/3-inch slices for chips.

Dry at 125 degrees F until brittle.

This method can take 5-7 hours. When I looked on Pinterest, I noticed a wide range of temperatures and cooking times. Some recipes also suggest spraying the zucchini with non-stick cooking spray.

Have you ever made baked chips from zucchini or other vegetables for a healthier snack alternative? Share your recipe with me on Facebook or Twitter!

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