Zucchini (also known as courgettes) comes from the Italian, “zucchino”, meaning small squash.

A highly versatile summer squash, zucchini can be served both raw and cooked in a number of dishes both savoury and sweet. Zucchini is often thought to be a vegetable but botanically, it’s a fruit.

The zucchini’s bright yellow blossoms can also be used in a number of dishes.

Popular varieties include:

  • Golden
  • Tatume
  • Costata Romanesco (Cocozelle)
  • Yellow Crooknecks
Summer squashes are low in calories, carbs and sugars. Zucchinis are high in essential nutrients like Potassium, Manganese, and antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
Dark, firm, and heavy zucchini are best. Avoid spongy textures and wrinkles! A small zucchini will be crisp and sweet but once it grows and softens, it will become bitter. Smaller zucchinis are also more likely to be seedless.
Zucchini can be stored up to 3 days wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag. Squash blossoms are highly perishable and should be consumed within a day of purchasing.
Slice, chop, shred, or spiralize! For recipes that call for the moisture to be removed, place rinsed and sliced zucchinis in a colander over a bowl or sitting in your sink, sprinkle with salt, and let them stand for 15 to 30 minutes. There’s no need to remove the skin! Zucchini blossoms should be inspected for insects and wiped with a damp cloth.
Grill, fry, bake, steam, roast, sauté or eat them raw, the possibilities are endless! Zucchini can be frozen for later use as long as it is blanched beforehand.

In recipes that call for squash or shredded yams, zucchini can act as a substitute. Note that if used, the final product will be dense and sweeter.

stacked zucchini
Seasonal Availability
July to October

Nutrition per 125 mL of zucchini (95 g), sliced, boiled, and drained:

Nutrient Value
Calories 15
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrates 4 g
Total Sugar 2 g
Total Dietary Fibre 1.3 g
Calcium 12 mg
Iron 0.3 mg
Sodium 3 mg
Potassium 241 mg
Magnesium 21 mg
Vitamin A 53 RAE

Provided by Health Canada