Courgettes, also known as zucchini, are low in fat and calories, and a good source of key nutrients such as vitamin A, the B group vitamins like folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and the mineral potassium. Don't be tempted to peel off the skin, as this is where most of these nutrients lie.
Courgette salad with lime and chilli dressing
This is a very refreshing summer side dish. It's best served cold with grilled fish or meat. Add goat's or feta cheese to make it more substantial.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 courgettes, ends trimmed, cut into slices lengthwise about 2cm/?in wide
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
juice and zest of one lime
large handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Heat a griddle pan until hot.
2 Brush courgette slices on both sides with oil. Place the courgettes, in batches, in the pan, making sure the slices don't overlap each other. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Place on a serving plate.
3 Add the chilli flakes, lime juice and zest to the courgettes, toss together and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4 Sprinkle courgettes with fresh mint just before serving.
Nutritional information per serving: 84kcal, 346kJ, 4.8g protein, 5.3g fat, 4.8g carbohydrates, 2.3g fibre
Like other summer squashes, courgettes are fragile and can only last for about a week in the fridge. If you find a couple of courgettes at the bottom of the vegetable compartment that are past their best, try this cake recipe. Ask your friends and family to guess what the mystery ingredient is.
Ingredients (Makes 12 slices)
150g plain flour
100g wholewheat flour
1 level tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
150g light muscovado sugar
250g (1 medium) courgette, grated
120ml olive oil
2 large eggs
50ml reduced fat milk
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 Preheat oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ 320F/ Gas mark 3.
2 Stir the vinegar into the milk and set aside for 5 minutes.
3 Line the bottom of a 18cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper, and lightly brush the sides of the tin with oil.
4 Mix the courgettes, olive oil, eggs and milk together in a bowl.
5 In another bowl, sieve together the plain and wholewheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar.
6 Add the courgette mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to combine.
7 Pour into the prepared tin.
8 Bake in the middle of the oven for about 50 minutes or until cooked (when a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean).
9 Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire tray to cool completely.
Nutritional information per slice: 211kcal, 884kJ, 4.0g protein, 9.9g fat, 28.7g carbohydrates, 1.1g fibre
Wynnie Chan is a British-trained nutritionist. If you've got a question for her or would like to be featured in this column, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org