5 Ways to Get Kids Eating More Zucchini

zucchini_friesI don’t know what it is about zucchini, but I have yet to find a kid that actually likes eating it. Zucchini doesn’t have much of a taste, certainly not an offensive one. Maybe it is the fact that it is a green vegetable? Maybe the name? Maybe it just doesn’t taste enough like melted cheese or chocolate?

Whatever the reason, I am always experimenting with zucchini as I seem to have a thing about getting my kids to eat more things from the squash family. Like butternut squash (which I put in this macaroni and cheese and kids love it), spaghetti squash (which really can be used in place of spaghetti) and zucchini which, it turns out, can be cooked, baked, pureed, curled and sliced into almost anything!

Some eat zucchini raw in salads or dipped in ranch but that doesn’t work here. Of these 5 ideas, the cookies are the runaway favourite.

5 Ways to Get Kids Eating More Zucchini

Zucchini Fries
You can’t go wrong with these. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then in half or thirds until you have sticks approximately 3 inches long. Dip in an egg wash and then roll in a mix of parmesan cheese and whole grain bread crumbs. Place fries on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once.

zucchini_noodlesZucchini Noodles
I hear amazing reviews about the spiralizer thingy that instantly transforms zucchini into noodles, but if you don’t have one of those a vegetable peeler works too. Wash and then slice away. Cook noodles in boiling water for just 2-4 mins and BAM – you have a gluten free, cholesterol free and practically calorie free base for your sauce.

Zucchini Chips
Of all the vegetables I have sliced and slow roasted into chip form, I must admit that the zucchini chips are my favourite. They are small, but they are tasty. Use a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice your zucchini and lay flat on a parchment paper lined cookie tray. I sprayed mine with extra virgin olive oil and gave a light dusting of salt.  Cook in a 225 degree oven for 1 hour or until crispy.

choc_oatmeal_zucchini_cookies-impZucchini Cookies
These Chocolate Oatmeal Zucchini cookies are a hit – I am sure it has more to do with the chocolate than the zucchini, but what ever works I say! The full recipe is here. Enjoy.

Zucchini Muffins
It is surprising how many vegetables work well in muffins and why not add a little vegetable goodness to your morning muffin? Carrots and apples help make these Chocolate Zucchini muffins a family favourites, or maybe it’s the chocolate again?

Zucchini also works sliced thin or shredded and added to lasagna or pureed and added to soups and stews. We like ours julienne and added to a vegetable stir fry but I haven’t managed to get the kids hooked on stir fries yet. I have a Pinterest Board dedicated to Zucchini for inspiration, but maybe you have a favourite zucchini dish to share?