I remember when I was a kid watching American movies most especially the ones that depicted this Halloween celebration where pumpkins were used to create various lamps, carving funny faces on the big orange ones.
That was in the USA, here in Cyprus we didn’t grow the round ones we grew the pumpkins that get long, and they look like giant peanut shaped pumpkins but still the same beautiful dark orange color.
When the young pumpkins are still green and soft, we use them in various ways in cooking. My mother would fry them with olive oil alone or with eggs, stuff them with rice and cook them in the oven, or my father when we had a barbeque would sometimes cook them on the charred coals.
She also used them in boiled beans dishes, so the small pumpkin, as well as the bigger one, was a big part of my diet while I was growing up.
The Zucchini as it’s known is a round, green fruit. Yes, you heard right, it’s a fruit; botanically speaking anything that has seeds is a fruit, like a cucumber and tomatoes also. Its skin is soft and tender and also contains a big part of the nutritional value, so like potatoes, it is not a good idea to remove it.
There are a lot of varieties, you can find green, yellow, blackish-green, speckled or striped Zucchini.
Like the potato, the origin of the summer squash is from the Central and South America, evidence shows that it has been in cultivation for the last 5000 years.
The term “squash” is probably a shortcut from the Native American word askutasquash which means “a green thing eaten raw.”
It belongs to the botanical family Cucurbitaceae which includes Squash, pumpkins, and gourds.
Zucchini is very nutritious, and it’s perfect for people that follow a strict diet because it is low in calories and at the same time is filling.
An 18 calorie serving 9 half cup of boiled zucchini gives us about 317 mg of potassium which is as much as a small banana!
Also, it provides about 20% of the adult RDA for vitamin C and 10% of the adult RDA for folate. It contains the carotenoids, zeaxanthin, and lutein which may be protective against cataracts and macular degeneration.