Image Source: Learn, Eat, Live

*written by Andrew Akhaphong, Mackenthun’s Fine Foods Registered & Licensed Dietitian
Ready to give your summer goals a little more boost? Your Dietitian’s Choice is zucchini for $1.69 each from June 17th thru June 23rd. 

What is Zucchini?

a645-anatomyen-medium-original-150-7881307Image Source: kitchen stories

Zucchini, also known as courgette or baby marrow, is a summer squash whose a member of the Cucurbita family. The name, zucchini, comes from the Italian word, “zucca” which means pumpkin or squash. 

Within the Cucurbita family, the zucchini is also related to cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkins, and the majority of the winter squash family.

Most laypersons would classify zucchini as a vegetable; however, it is actually a fruit of the plant as it develops from its flowers (see image below).

Zucchini is mildly sweet with fruity and vegetable notes. It is picked young from the plant when the seeds and flesh are soft and underdeveloped while the skin thin. Mature zucchini can be eaten when prepared properly as the skin is tough and thick, it is bitter in flavor, its seeds fully developed with its shell covering, and meaty flesh. 

​Zucchini can be spiralized, shredded, sliced, stuffed, grilled, sauteed, fried. The posibilities are endless!


Image Source: kitchen stories

Nutritional Benefits

Zucchini is often used a substitute for low-carbohydrate dietary patterns such as a noodle substitute for pasta dishes. One cup of cooked zucchini provides approximately 17 calories while one cup of cooked pasta provides approximately 200 calories! For someone who is looking to cut down on their weight or incorporate more nutrients, zucchini is perfect! The downside of zucchini using it as a substitute for things like pasta is their water content – it cooks down a lot. It is recommended to plan to prepare more zucchini for uses like this, or, do a quick blanche in boiling water to soften it up a little bit but hold its shape.

Zucchini contains three types of Vitamin A – lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. All of these nutrients are vital for eye health, especially for the reduction in risks of age-related visual disorders. In addition, these types of Vitamin A also acts as antioxidants inflammation and risks of certain cancers. 

Zucchini contains two fibers – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber acts as a food source for your gut bacteria to create short-chain fatty acids which are important for skin health and absorbing certain nutrients. In addition, short-chain fatty acids help reduce inflammation and risks or certain gut disorders. Insoluble fiber provides bulk and supports gut regularity. 

Baked Parmesan Zucchini

By Chunga of Damn Delicious


– 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
– 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
– 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
– Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves​

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.

4. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.​