Colourful Courgettes and Zesty Zucchini
Colourful courgettes – zesty zucchini – perfect ingredients for a summer salad
In France they call them courgettes, in Italy, zucchini, in America zucchini – all preferable than the English alternative – small marrows. A gift from the Americas introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus, it’s also another fruit we treat as a vegetable and one I am particularly partial to during the summer months. With a high water content, as well as being a good source of soluble fibre, they make salads feel more satisfying by helping you feeling full, while also aiding digestion and stabilising blood sugar and insulin levels. The dietary fibre can also help lower cholesterol.
Available in a variety of colours, including light and dark green and various shades of yellow, this makes them fun to serve, while they are also incredibly versatile.
As well as a satisfying ingredient for salads, courgettes may be added to:
- pasta sauces, casseroles and as fillings in sandwiches
- bake courgette halves with quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat couscous and other vegetables and serve with a home cooked tomato sauce
- stir fry with garlic, chilli and olive oil for a quick nutritional meal
- particularly good with asparagus, aubergine or green beans, courgettes offer countless cooking possibilities.
What’s more they are great value and can be one of the least expensive vegetables at farmers’ markets and in supermarkets.
Scoring high on the good health report card
Containing vitamins A, C and K, courgettes provide a welcome boost to the immune system, while vitamin K helps ensure blood coagulation and healthy bones. They also contain magnesium, a mineral proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, good levels of potassium (helping to lower blood pressure) and manganese, a trace mineral and nutrient, which helps the body metabolise protein and carbohydrates. Manganese is also essential to produce proline and amino acids, allowing collagen to form for healthy skin and healing.
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