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Zucchini – Best know of the summer squashes, resembles a cucumber in size and shape.   It has a smooth, thin skin that is either green or yellow and can be striped or speckled.  The entire vegetable, including skin, seeds and flowers are edible.  Zucchini is 95% water content, therefore low in calories.  It also provides a fair amount of potassium, carotenes, and vitamin C.  Summer squash is particularly healthful during the summer months due to high water content (to help with hydration), and carotenes (to help protect against the damaging effects of the sun).

How to buy/store: Look for summer squash that are heavy for their size and have shiny, unblemished rinds that should not be very hard.  Select those of average size.  Summer squash is very fragile and should be handled with care, small punctures can lead to decay.  It should be stored unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep for about seven days.

How to use:  Zucchini can be eaten raw or cooked, can be grated or shredded over salads, soups and sandwiches.  It’s delicious steamed, stir fried, grilled or in recipes.  Can also be added to your favorite muffin or bread recipe by decreasing the amount of liquid in the recipe by about 1/3.  Zucchini is one of those vegetables you can sneak in lots of places – so enjoy!

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