Sunday, July 31, 2011

What is Zucchini?

A)    An Italian opera
B)    A starting shortstop for the New York Yankees?
C)    One of Christopher Columbus’s ships?
D)   A very popular summer squash

If you picked anything other than D, then I suggest reading on.  In fact, no matter what answer you gave, understanding this tasty and versatile vegetable is well worth the effort.

Zucchini is one of the few varieties of squash that was developed in Europe, Italy to be specific.  Now popular worldwide and found in most gardens in the United States, zucchini probably migrated to America during the 1920s, brought over by Italian immigrants.  Being an Italian-American, may I be the first to say: “Grazie tanto!”

Now that we know how this delicious veggie got here, let’s take a look at how to prepare it.

I love dicing small zucchini and adding them to my salads.  Mixing with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and lettuce, zucchini add an additional crunch and nutritional value to a simple salad.

Another way to eat zucchini is grating them to use for breads.  My mother used to slice zucchini up, add tomatoes, onions and peppers, and simmer in a skillet, and then serve it up with fresh Parmesan cheese as a mouthwatering side dish to one of the many Italian meals she used to make.  You can even eat the zucchini blossom.

But one of my favorite ways to prepare this squash is slicing one of the larger ones in half, scooping out all of the yummy insides, and mixing that with anything from rice or quinoa, along with tomatoes, black olives, artichoke, carrots—anything you can think of—and then topping it off with mozzarella cheese and baking it.  Oh, and don’t forget to drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil—can you say: “Buon appetito!”

Zucchini is very low in calories, and therefore a good food to add to your daily diet if you are trying to lose weight—and who isn’t, right?  It also is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and manganese.  Also a good source of beta-carotene, zinc, potassium, and dietary fiber.

Consuming this versatile and delicious vegetable may also help combat many cancers, improve prostate health, and act as an anti-inflammatory.

No matter how you slice it (pun intended); zucchini is one of the most popular squashes in the world.  Easy to grow, tasty, healthy for you, and simple to serve.  What’s not to like?

Until next time…



Monday, July 18, 2011

How to...Eat

Come on, who doesn’t know how to eat, right?  But there are certain foods that we eat all the time that are not that simple to prepare.  Take, for example, my latest video:

If you’re like me, you love asparagus, but may not know the best way to eat it.  The above video should help.

Some of my most popular videos are those where I demonstrate how to prepare and eat many of my favorite foods.  Like this one:

Simple, right?  I know, we all have been chowing down on watermelon most of our lives.  Okay, how about a more challenging food?

There are few veggies I love more than the thistle-laded artichoke, but, man, those guys are a chore to prepare…but well worth the effort.

And these tasty fruit:

That’s right, avocado are a fruit, not a vegetable, but amazingly delicious and good for you just the same.

Another one of my favorite fruits is mango.  What’s the best way to eat one?  Thought you’d never ask:

Every time I visit my favorite vacation destination, I always try to add a few more local delicacies to my palate.  Like papaya and passion fruit.  Here are the best ways to ingest them:

We all know how to eat, but some foods need more assistance than others.  My websites and my channel at YouTube have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world discover and eat myriad fruits and veggies, all of them quite healthy for you.  Like these guys:

And some just for fun:

Until next time…