Shaped like the green zucchini but sweeter, the yellow zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in a mild climate, and it is known among home gardeners for overwhelming production.
Sometimes referred to as a summer squash, the yellow zucchini is said to be first grown in Central and South America and brought to the Mediterranean about 500 years ago. In the United States, it was first found in 1920 in California, and it is almost certain that it came from Italian immigrants. In fact, ‘zucchini’ comes from the Italian word ‘zucchino’, which means a small squash. Interestingly, it is Spain that is currently the biggest producer of zucchinis.
Zucchini grows in warm and dry conditions with moist soil that is about 15 to 24 C (60-75F). It is best to sow zucchini seeds 3 to 4 inches below the soil and thin them as they get bigger. We planted ours in a growing bag. The zucchini plant needs to be watered completely whenever the top inch of soil is dry.
Zucchini plants need at least 6 to 8 hours of sun to grow. Hence in colder climates, you can only harvest zucchini in the summer and are planted in May. In warmer climates, however, you can grow zucchini twice a year, one in the fall and one in spring. Harvest the zucchini when they are about 3 to 8 inches long.
Generally, zucchinis that are small and average sized have a tastier flavor than larger varieties, and the darker the zucchini, the more nutrition it contains.
Interestingly, the zucchini is actually a fruit, although it is almost always mentioned as a vegetable. The flowers of the zucchini plant are edible and sometimes deep fried as tempura.
Zucchinis are rich in potassium. A zucchini contains more potassium than a banana the same size. It is also a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, and manganese. Like its cousin the cucumber, zucchinis are 95% water.
Zucchini is normally cooked in savory dishes, although it can be made into bread. I recalled hiding them into cake and bread to ensue my son has some ‘green’ in his food 😊
In Italy, zucchini is normally fried, boiled, baked or deep fried, and is s a prominent ingredient for ratatouille in France. In Greece, zucchini is generally fried or stewed with other fruits while in Spain, it is used in many everyday dishes.
However you choose to cook it, the yellow zucchini makes a nutritious meal.
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