BEST ZUCCHINI RECIPES | easy & healthy recipes to love!

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– We are in peak zucchini season and if you haven't gathered by now, zucchini is one of my favorite veggies. It's not only healthy
but incredibly versatile and can be baked, grilled,
sauteed, and of course eaten raw. So today I thought I would
share five easy zucchini recipes that are perfect for summer. I'll show you how zucchini
can replace pasta in dishes, be baked into crunchy and salty chips, be turned into a light
and fresh summer soup, be leveraged as a base
for tortillas tacos, and to be turned into lightly
sweetened zucchini muffins. There's so many tasty
ways to use summer squash so grab a handful of them and let's flip up these recipes together. The first recipe we'll
make our zucchini muffins and they're moist, healthy, and a great way to start the day. Line a muffin pan with 10 liners, and I'm using 10 rather
than 12 as I like them filled all the way to the top then preheat your oven
to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grab a medium zucchini. Slice the end off the
zucchini and use a box grater to grate it up. You'll need one and a half
cups of shredded zucchini and this measurement is the raw zucchini before you've squeezed
the liquid out of it.

I'll usually dump the grated
zucchini into a measuring cup to make sure that I'm close. Place the zucchini into a nut milk bag or a few layers of cheese cloth and bring out all of the liquid. You'll notice that I tend
to twist then squeeze, then twist then squeeze,
just to make sure that I get every last drop of
water out of the zucchini, because if you don't squeeze
the zucchini hard enough and remove all of that liquid, you may end up with soggy muffins.

In a medium mixing bowl add the zucchini and three large eggs, a half a cup of apple sauce, four tablespoons of maple syrup, which is also a quarter of a cup and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Those of you who've made my baked goods know that you don't taste the vinegar but it reacts with the baking soda to add a little extra
fluff to the muffins. In a separate bowl, add one and
a half cups of almond flour, half a cup of tapioca flour, a
quarter cup of coconut flour, one teaspoon of baking soda,
two teaspoons of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of nutmeg
and half a teaspoon of salt.

Give that a stir to mix all of
the dry ingredients together then pour the wet ingredients
on top and stir again until you have a well
blended muffin batter. (upbeat music) Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and you do want them filled
pretty much to the top. What I'll often do is at a large scoop to each of the 10 muffin cups and then go back and scoop
again just so I can make sure that the batter is evenly distributed. (upbeat music) Place the muffins in
the oven and bake them for about 28 to 32 minutes, or until they're lightly golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Given the moisture in these muffins, it's best to slightly over bake them rather than under bake
them as you don't want them soggy in the middle, but when they're done they should be beautifully golden on top and super moist in the middle with a cozy, slightly sweet and spicy flavor and just look at all of that
nutritious zucchini as well.

For the next recipe, preheat your oven to
200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a low and slow temperature because we're gonna bake thin
and crispy zucchini chips. Amanda Lynn is your best
friend when it comes to slicing one large zucchini very quickly
and into evenly thin slices. And while you can use a
knife to do this as well, just before warn *that if your
slices are slightly thicker, they may get crispy on the edges, but stay soft in the middle.

I set my mandoline on
the thinnest setting, which is 116th of an inch for
wafer thin and crispy chips. And if you're in the
market for a new mandoline, I highly recommend mine,
which I'll link to below. Add the zucchini slices to a small bowl and drizzle one tablespoon
of olive oil on top. Then use your hands to gently
mix the zucchini slices with the oil, trying to make sure every piece is lightly
coated and that means you'll sometimes have to
pick apart several slices to try to coat them, but don't stress if you don't get them
all individually coated, just try to get most of them.

Line two baking sheets
with parchment paper, and then place those zucchini
slices on the baking sheet. You can place them really
close to each other as they'll shrink when they bake and if your zucchini was extra large, you may even need three baking sheets. Once the zucchini is
all on the baking sheets lightly sprinkled the
slices with kosher salt. You can always add seasonings as well and I have a few flavor ideas
for you on the full blog post. Bake the zucchini chips for
two to two and a half hours until they're lightly
golden on top and crispy, then turn off your oven and
let them cool in the oven for another 30 minutes. When they're done simply remove
the crispy zucchini chips with your fingers.

If you've sliced them extra
thin, as I recommended, they'll almost have the
same texture as kale chips, just very lightweight and airy, but with a delicious salty crunch. And if you plan to store
these make sure to keep them in an airtight container
because if they're left out, they will start to
reabsorb moisture again, though, to be honest,
I can easily polish off an entire batch of these
all by myself in one sitting so there's rarely leftovers. Next, let's make some zucchini soup and this creamy zucchini
soup is dairy free as there's a secret ingredient, which I'll show you in a second, but first slice and dice one onion, and then place that in a bowl
to take over to the stove. You'll need four zucchini for this recipe or about one and a half
to two pounds worth. My zucchini are so jumbo today that my three zucchini equals two pounds so that's all I need. Cut the ends off those
zucchini then slice them in half lengthwise and then slice across into little half-moon pieces.

These don't have to be perfect as you're just going to boil them, but try to keep them evenly
sliced so that they cook evenly and then add them to another
bowl to take over to the stove. Heat two tablespoons of
olive oil or avocado oil in a large pot on medium
high heat and add the onion, saute the onion for four to five minutes or until it's softened and translucent, then add two minced garlic cloves and saute for another minute. Add the zucchini to the pot along with three to four cups of vegetable
broth or chicken broth.

I prefer my soup to not be super thin so I usually use three cups of broth, but if you like a thinner
more watery zucchini soup, by all means add four cups of broth. And here's our secret
ingredient to thicken the soup, a quarter cup of raw cashews. Lastly, add one teaspoon of kosher salt and a quarter teaspoon or so
a freshly ground black pepper. Give that a quick stir to
mix everything together, bring the soup to a boil then add the lid, reduce the heat to low and
simmer for about 15 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. While the zucchini soup is boiling, chop up two tablespoons of fresh herbs, and you can use a variety
of tender green herbs. I'm using a dill and
parsley combination today. When the soup has boiled
for about 15 minutes, remove the lid, add the two
tablespoons of fresh herbs and two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice then use an immersion
blender to blend it up.

If you don't have any immersion blender, you can also transfer the soup in batches to a high powered blender. It'll actually come out slightly smoother in an upright blender rather
than an immersion blender. So it's up to you on the
look and texture you prefer. This creamy vegans zucchini soup using soaked and blended
cashews to thicken it was inspired by my trip to Bali years ago, as I had a similar soup in Ubud and it was utterly delicious. Lay a little portion
of the soup into a bowl and if you'd like you can
drizzle a little bit of extra virgin olive oil
on top before serving along with a sprinkle of fresh herbs for the perfect summertime soup. Next step we're making my
zucchini noodle caprese, which might just be the
zucchini noodle recipe I make most often.

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And to start, let's make my
basil pesto recipe from scratch. To do that lightly toast
two tablespoons of pine nuts in a pan on low heat
for a couple of minutes, then remove those to a small bowl then add a quarter cup of raw cashews and toast those for another few minutes until lightly golden and
remove them to the same bowl. Add the toasted pine nuts and
cashews to a food processor along with one packed cup
of fresh basil leaves, one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, a quarter teaspoon or a three
finger pinch of kosher salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Add the lid to the food
processor and turn it on then stream a third cup of
olive oil through the top. The basil pesto will start
to blend but a lot of it might splat towards the
outside of the container so you can stop and scrape
down halfway through then blend again. And if you feel like you
need a little bit more oil for a thinner consistency, feel free to add a little bit more. This homemade basil pesto is vibrant green and vibrant in flavor
unlike store-bought pesto's that always seem to be funky in color I find that they're either a
weird muted yellowish green or a fluorescent green
from added preservatives.

It's always shocking to me
that store-bought pesto's aren't just a simple basil
green as they should be. All right, let's make some zoodles. You knows zucchini noodles are my jam and they have been for nearly a decade since I first went gluten-free. To make zucchini noodles cut the ends off three mediums zucchini
place them individually on a spiralizer and turn the handle to make zucchini noodles. I have a separate video
that walks you through how to make zucchini noodles five ways. So if you don't have a spiralizer make sure to check that out, but I think you should
buy a spiralizer anyway, as I use it all the time in my recipes and I'll link to my favorite one below. Once your zucchini are all spiralized add them to a large mixing bowl and then use kitchen scissors
to snip them in a few spots. Zucchini noodles can get very
long and cutting them makes them more manageable to
stir with other ingredients and to serve up so that you're not doing a whole lady in the tramp slurp though there's nothing wrong with that.

Next, slice up eight
ounces of cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. And I just love how the vibrant red color of the cherry tomatoes
compliments the green from the basil pesto which
you'll see here in a second and then slice up eight ounces of small little balls of mozzarella. These are called ciliegine and hopefully I didn't butcher
that pronunciation too badly, but they're small brown mozzarella balls and they're perfect as
they're the same size as the cherry tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and mozzarella on top of those zucchini noodles, then pour all that fresh basil pesto that you whipped up on top. Give it a stir to make
sure the pesto coats all the individuals zucchini noodles and then transfer it to a serving bowl. And if you're serving this
for a dinner party or crowd, it's always nice to add a few extra fresh basil leaves on top. And that's how easy it is to make my favorite zucchini noodle caprese.

The last recipe I'll show you today is my taco stuffed zucchini boats, which are a healthy gluten-free and low carb way to make tacos. Preheat your oven to
375 degrees Fahrenheit, and then slice four zucchini
in half length wise. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds inside the zucchini. You wanna take enough flesh out to make room for the taco filling, but you don't wanna scrape out too much otherwise you'll have
a wimpy zucchini boats.

I usually scrape one time through
to remove all of the seeds and then scrape another
time just to clean them up. (upbeat music) In a pan on medium heat add
one pound of ground beef, I'm using 90% ground beef and
use a spatula to break it up, continue breaking up
the meat while it browns for about seven to 10 minutes and when it's about 90% of the way done add two tablespoons of taco seasoning. I have a separate recipe
for homemade taco seasoning, which again is much
fresher than store-bought and it's just a simple
blend of a few spices. Now, somehow I managed to not feel myself adding the taco seasoning to the meat, but this is what it looks like after it's all mixed together. So just stir that up,
remove it from the heat and then add it to your zucchini boats.

The easiest way to do this
is to use a large spoon and carefully pour it
sideways into the zucchini. And if you didn't over scrape
the insides of the zucchini, you should have the
perfect amount of taco meat to fill the inside of the zucchini hubs. Now to soften the zucchini, you'll bake them for
about 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. And this is why I said you
can slightly under cook the ground beef on the stove because it's still going
into the oven for a bit. While the zucchini boats are baking, you can prepare your
favorite taco toppings. I'm slicing and dicing two roma tomatoes, because I think tomatoes
are an essential on tacos, and I'll also slice up some green onions, but you can use red onions
as well if you prefer.

When the zucchini boats
come out of the oven, the zucchini should still be soft, but firm enough that you can pick them up and they'll still have a
little bit of a crunch to them. And now you can add all of
your favorite taco toppings. I'm starting with some
dollops of sour cream, though if you'd like to
keep these dairy free, you can use a cashew sour cream, and I've got a recipe
for that on my website.

Then I'll add a few small
handfuls of diced tomatoes to each zucchini boat
and a few small handfuls of thinly sliced green onion. Another essential on tacos, at least in my opinion
is avocado or guacamole and I just thinly sliced
half of an avocado and I'll lay those slices on top. Lastly, I'll add a few
fresh cilantro leaves for that Mexican flair
and because fresh herbs make everything taste better and then I'll squeeze a
little fresh lime juice on top and that's it. That's how you make tortillas
taco stuffed zucchini boats. In addition to the five
tasty zucchini recipes I just shared with you don't forget that there's a few more favorites
already on my channel, including zucchini lasagna, zucchini bread, zucchini
fritters, zucchini fries and zucchini pasta with
lemon garlic shrimp.

But I have even more zucchini
recipes on my website and to make things easy for
you I've rounded them up into one blog post and
I've left a link for that in the description box below. If you're a zucchini lover like me, make sure to give this video a thumbs up, share it with your family and friends and let me know what zucchini recipes you'd like to see me make next.

(upbeat music).

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