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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Zucchini squash, for many, is a favored jewel of the summer squashes. Its flavor is
light and sweet with flesh as delicate as a flower and texture that makes it almost
melt in the mouth.
The history of squash is interesting. It is one of the few vegetables whose origin
is in America. Dating back to 1500 B.C. , pieces of rind and seeds have been discovered
in the ruins of cliff dwellings.
Zucchini is tender, with a light, delicate flavor when picked at the right time. Ideally,
it should be harvested at 6 to 8 inches in length. Select small zucchini, which will
be younger and therefore more tender and have thinner skins. The skins should be free
of blemishes and have a vibrant color. Selecting the larger zucchini will sometimes
yield rock-hard, tougher squash with inedible seeds and the less sweet flavor.
With their high water content (more than 95 percent), zucchini squash is very low
in calories. There are only 13 calories in a half-cup of raw zucchini, as well as
valuable antioxidants and beta-carotene. It is a good source of Vitamins A and C,
Potassium, Fiber, and is low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those
watching their weight. The peel is where many of the nutrients hide, so never peel
Zucchini can be grilled, steamed, boiled, sautéed, fried, used in stir fry recipes,
or even grated and used for breads. They mix well with onions, tomatoes and okra in
vegetable medleys. Zucchini can be used interchangeably in most summer squash recipes.
There are numerous herbs and spices that enhance the flavor of zucchini. These include
marjoram, cumin seeds, parsley, dill, rosemary and savory. But beware that too many
herbs and spices mask the delicate flavor, so use herbs and spices sparingly.
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or
visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at email@example.com,
on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaHaleyHadley, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or
on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
My favorite way to fix zucchini is to grill it. This is a recipe that I use during
the summer months when I have gone to the farmers market and bought my farm fresh
veggies. Lucky for us, the Gateway Farmers Market is open every day this week in anticipation
of National Farmers Market Day this Saturday.
Grilled Veggies, Cajun Style is easy, and a nutritious way to prepare your zucchini,
that won’t heat up your kitchen. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Of
course, you can modify the heat by adjusting the Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper.
Grilled Veggies, Cajun Style
2 zucchini, cut into one half inch slices
2 large white onions, cut into one half inch wedges
2 large yellow squash, cut into one half inch slices
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Place vegetables in a large zip top baggie. In baggie, add remaining ingredients.
Shake well, cover and marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes. Preheat outdoor grill
for high heat and lightly oil grate. Place marinated vegetable pieces on skewers or
directly on the grill. Cook 5 minutes or to desired doneness.
By Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
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action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
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