National Zucchini Day


Happy National Zucchini Day, everyone! Yet another one of those I-didn't-know-there-was-a-day-for-that days that we might as well celebrate, especially since we've had zucchini at our farmers market stands for the past few weeks. We thought it might be fun to share some zucchini-related facts and a recipe for all you zucchini lovers out there.

Zucchini Fun Facts
1. Botanically, zucchini is considered a fruit because it's the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.

2. The name for zucchini is derived from the Italian word "zucchina" meaning "small pumpkin/squash". Zucchinis as we know them today were also developed in Italy, after being brought over from the Americas.

3. Many other countries typically harvest zucchinis when they are still very small, around the size of a finger. This is especially common in South Africa.

4. Zucchini are low in calories and have useful amounts of Vitamin A, folate and potassium.

5. Zucchini flowers are considered a delicacy at vegetable markets since they're hard to store and transport. Picking them for culinary use before they can start to produce fruit can often help the over-abundance many gardeners experience with zucchini.

(Facts taken from the zucchini Wikipedia page.)

Zucchini bread is one incredibly popular use for zucchini, especially when you have an overabundance of them. Shredded zucchini, one of the components, also freezes well, making it easy to shred a large amount and then keep it for later zucchini bread baking. Here's a recipe for easy zucchini bread if you don't have one to try:

Mom's Zucchini Bread
(Makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients
-3 Cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
-3 eggs
-1 cup vegetable oil
-2 & 1/4 cups white sugar
-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
-2 cups grated zucchini
-1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions
1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.


Taken from allrecipes.com. (Link here)

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