Not only is zucchini one of the easiest foods to grow at home, it has a number of awesome nutritional and healing benefits. First of all, it’s an excellent source of fiber (which is why you should never peel its skin…you’d be missing out on some great stuff)! Zucchini will not only help keep you regular, but will lower the risk of digestion issues like constipation, hemorrhoids, and even colon cancer!
Speaking of cancer, zucchini contains another nutrient that is known to contribute to preventing cancer. Specifically, it contains flavonoid compounds that fight free radicals in the body. Zucchini protects more than just your colon.
One study included zucchini along with a number of other foods like avocados, cabbage, and cauliflower, and found that women who increased their intake of those foods had a significantly lower risk of mouth, throat, and stomach cancers!
Zucchini is also a fantastic source of potassium. Your cells absolutely need it to function (it’s especially important for red blood cell levels). Not to mention, a serving of zucchini can provide you with almost a third of your daily Vitamin C intake. Your body uses this powerful antioxidant to maintain healthy bones and teeth, help absorb iron from your food, and repair injuries.
Zucchini as a Healthy Baking Substitute
Many people already use zucchini as a part of a well-balanced dinner, but baking with zucchini is becoming more and more popular! Once you’ve tried it, it’s hard to turn back. Here’s why I love using zucchini as a baking substitute:
- Adds moisture to recipes (bye-bye, dry baked goods!)
- Easily add more veggies to your daily diet
- Up your fiber intake
- Very low calories, but filling (hello, bread for weight loss)
- Cheap gluten-free alternative
- Lets you bake without the inflammation!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe
This Chocolate Zucchini Loaf makes for an awesome snack for any time of day. It’s a satisfying pick-me-up that won’t leave you with that weighed-down feeling in your gut that wheat products give. I especially love that I’m tricking my taste buds… never has a vegetable tasted so chocolatey-good.
What You Need:
- 1 Cup Chocolate hazelnut butter blend (NOT Nutella… use a non-dairy, low sugar Nutella Alternative)
- 1 cup zucchini, shredded then squeezed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Pinch of sea salt
What to Do:
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Combine hazelnut butter, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt until smooth.
- Add baking soda and ACV, mix.
- Add shredded zucchini
- Scoop into greased loaf pan, bake for 35-50 minutes (for one large loaf pan) or 24-28 minutes (for 2 small loaf pans). It’s done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for several minutes, then enjoy!
Original article and credits: HLL