Zucchini is a summer squash that grows best in places with warm weather. It is easy to grow and is commonly found in Mexico and Central America. This fruit has a refreshing flavor that is perfect for the summer season. If you are getting bored with the leafy vegetables in your salad, you can make a zucchini salad instead and share it with your friends.
There are various types of zucchinis to choose from. The most popular are costata romanesco, tatume, golden zucchini, and yellow crooknecks. They come in different sizes and colors so consider these two things when choosing the kind of zucchini that you will put in your salad.
Aside from salads, zucchini is also added in soups, frittatas, and as a side dish. Since this fruit is very versatile, you can experiment with it to create unique dishes that even your kids would love.
The Health Benefits of Zucchini
If zucchini is your favorite summer squash, then you know just how tasty it can be and the flavor that it adds to recipes. However, do you know that it is loaded with health benefits? Once you discover these benefits, you will be tempted to keep a stock of zucchini in your pantry!
It can lower your blood sugar.
Eating delicious food is one of the things that everyone wants to enjoy. However, when you have diabetes or high blood sugar levels, you must be very careful about the food that you eat. To have a healthier diet, you can try including zucchini in your recipes. This would allow you to have a higher amount of fiber intake. It would let you feel full longer than usual. This means that you would be able to eat less every day.
It can improve your digestion.
The high water and fiber content of zucchini help your digestive system. In fact, it can reduce constipation and other issues in your digestive system.
Treat your puffy eyes.
If you’re looking for a quick solution for your puffy eyes, get two slices of raw zucchini and place them over your eyes for 30 minutes. Repeat this several times throughout the day, and you will see amazing results.
Gives you extra energy
Are you going to have a long day ahead? Having a healthy breakfast can give you that extra boost of energy so that you can perform at school or work better. Zucchini has a sufficient amount of B-vitamins that would allow your body to produce more energy. It can also improve your mood and your brain’s functioning.
Best Zucchini Substitutes
Zucchini offers a lot of health benefits, and it can be used in a lot of recipes. However, there might be times when you will run out of zucchinis in your pantry, and you badly need it now for your recipe. Don’t worry, because there are zucchini substitutes that you can use instead. Here are some of them!
You might find it difficult to find zucchini when you’re in Asian countries. While zucchini can be bought in grocery stores, it might not be readily available in smaller Asian stores or wet markets. In such cases, you will be thrilled that you can substitute zucchini with eggplant. The best kind to use is an Asian eggplant since it has the right size and texture. European eggplants have a tough skin that might not be as ideal when you’re looking for a zucchini substitute.
Eggplants are also quite flavorful so you don't have to worry too much about how your recipe will turn out when you use this substitute. Just like zucchinis, eggplants are also full of vitamins and nutrients that can help you fight health conditions such as diabetes and anemia. Eggplants are great substitutes because they are closely similar to zucchinis and widely available.
2. Yellow Squash
Another best substitute for zucchini is its fellow summer squash. You can substitute zucchini with yellow squash when you just can't seem to find zucchini in your local grocery store. Yellow squashes have a crookneck and could be easily used as substitutes for your recipe. You can use zucchini and yellow squash interchangeably in your recipe, but it would also be best if you mix them to give a splash of color to your dish.
Using yellow squash as a substitute is also beneficial to your health. It has really low cholesterol which is great for those who want to reduce their fat intake significantly. It's also a good source of beta-carotene and lutein. Having these antioxidants shields your body from getting damaged by free radicals and from eye issues such as cataracts.
Because zucchini and yellow squash come are both in the summer squash family, some people may think that they are exactly the same. But zucchini and yellow squash still have differences. Nevertheless, you can still achieve that flavorful dish when you use any one of these two summer squashes.
3. Chayote Squash
Chayote squash is a popular vegetable in some Asian and Latin countries. This vegetable doesn't have the same shape as zucchini, but it is also nutritious and delicious. The good thing about chayote is that it doesn't have a lot of seeds, so it's easier to work with. It has a mild and sweet flavor and a slight taste that is similar to cucumber.
As for the health benefits of chayote, it has a lot of the same vitamins and nutrients that you will find in other squashes like yellow squash and zucchini. It’s also a good source of trace minerals. These minerals strengthen your bones, improves your immune system, as well as your metabolism. By giving your body, these trace minerals allows it to be in good condition which helps you to do your everyday tasks properly.
4. Patty Pan
If you are up for a challenge, it can be a lot of fun to substitute zucchini with patty pan. This vegetable is also a squash family member. However, unlike yellow squash and zucchini, patty pans have a round and slightly flat shape. It comes in 3 colors which are green, yellow, and white. While patty pans are not the best substitutes, they can still be great options because of their texture that is similar to zucchinis.
The best way to cook this kind of squash is by baking and frying. So if you are planning on baking your dish, patty pan is an excellent addition to your recipe. But if you want something fresh and healthier, eating it raw is still the best. You can add this into your salad bowl instead of zucchinis! It’s going to be fast and easy to prepare since you don’t need to peel this vegetable. Just make sure to trim the ends and wash it before eating or putting it into your recipe. After using your patty pans as zucchini substitutes, you can explore further and cook various recipes to enjoy the flavor of this squash more!
Do you want to make zucchini bread and other zucchini recipes during the winter season? If yes, you might find it difficult to find this vegetable in the cold months. But don’t worry because you can still have your cravings by substituting it with pumpkin.
Some people might think that pumpkins are just for Halloween decorations. But according to studies, this vegetable can give you powerful health benefits. It’s also a versatile cooking ingredient. You can use it for soups, preserves, desserts, salads, and as a substitute for zucchini and butter.
Adding pumpkin to your diet all year round is a great idea. It contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. But what makes it an even better substitute are the similar texture and flavor that it has to zucchini especially when you try using it in your zucchini bread recipe.
For those who want to substitute zucchini with another vegetable for their salad recipe, cucumber might be the best choice. This is a popular ingredient in salads because of its fresh and juicy flavor. It’s also widely available in most countries so you won’t have much trouble looking for this vegetable.
The unique flavor of cucumber might be distinct from zucchini’s taste, but it would certainly give a new twist for your dishes. However, it’s important to note that cucumber is juicier than zucchini.
The Bottom Line
Zucchini is a favorite vegetable during the summer. It is flavorful, healthy, and is a very versatile ingredient to your dishes. You can prepare it for your summer picnics, or even as an appetizer for your dinner party. Unfortunately, there might be times when it’s extremely difficult to get this vegetable. In such cases, there are substitutes that you can use to complete your recipe.Since zucchini is a part of the squash family, other squashes would be perfect to be your substitute. Some of them are the yellow squash, eggplant, and the other substitutes included in this list. Before using a substitute, some of the things that you should consider are the texture, flavor, color, and even the nutritional value that the vegetable contains.