Spiralizing zucchini to make “zoodles” is a great way to introduce zucchini to your kids in an unexpected way. The zucchini noodles look a lot like pasta, taking a familiar food and giving it a healthy spin. If an entire bowl of zoodles is too much, try mixing in a handful with some whole-wheat spaghetti to start.
Table spiralizers are quick and easy, but can be somewhat bulky to store, so the handheld ones can work wonders, too. Or simply use a standard potato peeler to make zucchini ribbons.
When choosing zucchini, look for ones that feel heavy and firm to the touch, not spongy; or with wrinkly, pitted skin. Keep in mind that the smaller to medium-sized ones are tastier as the larger ones can get waterlogged.
Also, note that the darker the skin, the more nutrients it has. Store your zucchini in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer for 2 to 3 days.
Here are 7 fun facts to share with your kids about zucchini and this new spin on noodles:
7 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Zucchini
1) You can eat the blossoms. In fact, they are considered a delicacy
2) Largest zucchini on record weighed 65 lbs and was 7 feet 10 inches long!
3) The most flavorful zucchini are small-to-medium sized and the darker the skin, the richer the nutrients
4) Zucchini are a member of the cucumber and the melon family
5) Christopher Columbus originally brought the seeds to the Mediterranean region and Africa
6) One zucchini is called a “zucchina”
7) A “zucchina” has more potassium than a banana
Andrea’s Tomatoey Zoodles
- Extra virgin olive oil, for pan
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved (or heirloom tomatoes when in season)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 zucchini, spiralized (“zoodles”)
- Fresh basil, for garnish (optional)
- Flakey sea salt to finish (optional)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add sliced garlic, bunching it together in the center so it infuses into the oil without the stragglers burning. Let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with 1-2 good pinches of salt. Stir to incorporate. Top with cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally until tomatoes cook down and form a sauce, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add “zoodles” and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the zucchini is tender yet still a bit al dente, about 3 minutes more. Serve topped with fresh chopped basil and an extra sprinkle of flakey salt, if desired. Enjoy.
Food Channel: Top 10 Zucchini Fun Facts
Mobile Cuisine: Zucchini Fun Facts
Home Cooking: Zucchini History
Food Reference: Zucchini Trivia
Fillyourplate.org: Fun Facts About Zucchini
The Raw Food World News: Zucchini: A fruit that has more potassium than a banana!