Kristi Whitley

Healthy Living

This is Not a Bathing Suit Worn at the Zoo

Zoo-kini. Get it? I do know a funny joke about zucchini and bathing suits but will save it for “in person” conversation. TeeHee.

Squash can be a confusing topic. The genus cucurbita spans hundreds of varieties of squash. Let’s do zucchini here, then yellow summer squash later in summer and we’ll do pumpkin etc. in the fall.


Most people eat zucchini year round as they are readily available and cheap that way. However, from now until fall they will be cheaper, more available and much tastier.


The Environmental Working Group’s website,, warns that a small amount of zucchini is grown using genetically modified seed but does not put it on it’s “Dirty Dozen” list of most pesticide contaminated foods. I buy organic mostly because it is always available at my store. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy non-organic if it wasn’t. This is a case where it is more beneficial to eat the zucchini than worry about whether it is organic or not.

Diet Friendly

One cup of cooked zucchini only has 29 calories! With the 29 calories comes 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. In the micronutrient category, it has a little of everything! Vitamins B, (except b12) C, E, and K, Lutein + Zeaxanthin, Beta carotene, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, and Betaine are all there. Plus, it contains all the minerals with significant amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. gives zucchini an amino acid score of 87, which means it does not contain all the essential amino acids to become a complete protein however it’s amino acid content is very close to being complete. Eating zucchini with just about any other food will boost dietary protein intake.

Buy It

If you buy a zucchini you will cook it. So pick one up every week. It can be chopped, tossed or sprayed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper (or other jazzy spices), spread out on a cookie sheet and roasted in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. It can also be sliced and sautéed in a skillet or steamed. I think roasting gives it more flavor. I use it as a side dish, added to Mexican bowls of rice and beans, added to pasta and marinara sauce and in the Creamy Zucchini with Kale Over Penne recipe at the bottom. It is also super yummy spiral sliced and used as “noodles” under marinara sauce. My friend, Sherry, spirals it and gives it a quick stir-fry with olive oil and garlic and eats it without sauce. If you live in New Jersey and have trouble finding zucchini it’s because my friend Susan is eating it all now that she has a spiral slicer.

Try It

Try one of my favorite recipes from here or just buy one and roast it. You will be glad you added this versatile and super healthy veggie to your diet.

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17 NIV