In the age of processed foods and unhealthy ingredients, people are now moving toward healthier greens with rich fibers.
Zucchini is an excellent choice if you’re looking for nutritious and flavorful food to add to your diet. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals.
There are many different ways to prepare zucchini. It can be used in salads and stir-fries, but have you tried cooking it in an air fryer?
Air fryers are an excellent way to cook zucchini quickly and with minimal oil, resulting in a crispy and delicious snack or side dish. We’ll explore some healthy and flavorful air fryer zucchini recipes that are easy to make and perfect for any meal.
A Little About Zucchini
Zucchini, also known as courgette or baby marrow, is a summer squash that belongs to the same family as pumpkins and cucumbers. It is a versatile vegetable commonly used in various dishes, from salads to stir-fries and even baked goods.
Here are some of the benefits of zucchini:
- Low in calories: Zucchini is low in calories, making it a great option for those who are watching their weight or trying to maintain a healthy diet.
- Rich in nutrients: Although low in calories, it is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and folate.
- A good source of fiber: Zucchini is high in fiber, which is essential for maintaining digestive health and preventing constipation.
- Helps with weight loss: The high fiber content in zucchini can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce overall calorie intake, aiding in weight loss.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Zucchini contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Good for heart health: The potassium in zucchini can help regulate blood pressure, while fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels for better overall health.
Zucchini Around the World
Zucchini can be prepared in various ways and is consumed in different forms worldwide. Let’s look at some of the famous zucchini dishes around the world.
- Italy: In Italy, zucchini is served in several ways – baked, fried, or boiled. It’s often combined with ingredients to lift the flavor.
- Mexico: The zucchini flower (flor de calabaza) is often cooked in soups or used as a filling for quesadillas, and the fruit is used in stews and soups.
- Russia: Zucchini is often covered in flour or semolina before being fried or baked in vegetable oil and eaten with sour cream in Russia. “Zucchini caviar,” a squash spread created from thermally processed zucchini, carrots, onions, and tomato paste.
- Turkey: Mücver (zucchini pancakes) is a popular item in Turkish cuisine. It’s made of shredded zucchini, flour, and eggs, gently cooked in olive oil, and served with yogurt. It’s also often used in kebabs and with different meat dishes.
- Thailand and Vietnam: Mature zucchini can be used to cook bread pieces.
- Australia: Zucchini slice, a frittata-like dish, is popular among Australians.
- Bulgaria: Fried Zucchini is served with yogurt, garlic, and dill dip. Some people bake it with a mixture of eggs, yogurt, flour, and dill.
- France: Zucchini is a key ingredient in ratatouille stuffed with meat or other fruits.
Air Fryer Zucchini Recipes
Once you’ve decided to start a healthier diet by consuming greens like zucchini, this will beg a new question — what’s the healthiest way to prepare it?
By using an air fryer, you’ll consume the most nutrients while avoiding fat from excess cooking oils.
Here we will show you some creative air fryer zucchini recipes.
If you are new to air frying, you should check out a few tips for successful air frying before getting started – they’ll come in handy.
Air Fryer Zucchini Boats with Sausage and Cheese
These stuffed zucchini boats are the perfect choice for dinner. The best thing about them is that you can use whatever stuffing you prefer.
Start by cutting your zucchini in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds – the hollower the zucchini, the more room it will have for stuffing.
Cook crumbled sausage in a skillet, then fill the zucchini boats with the sausage and top with shredded cheese. If the zucchini is tender, you should pre-cook it in a fryer to make it firm enough to hold the fillings.
Once the zucchini is stuffed, put it in the air fryer and cook it at 360°F for 10-14 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the zucchini and sausage are well done.
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
This is another of our favorite air fryer zucchini recipes. Crispy goodness with healthy ingredients — zucchini fries are a great addition to any meal. It can be combined with the main course or served with dips like marinara sauce.
It’s also an excellent way to use any leftover zucchini from your garden rather than letting it go to waste.
Zucchini fries are not only easy to make but also require minimal ingredients. In addition to zucchini, all you’ll need is some panko crumbs to give these fries a delightful crunch, parmesan cheese for flavor and crispiness, Italian seasoning to add a pop of taste, garlic powder for a savory flavor, and salt to enhance the overall taste.
Lastly, the batter will need all-purpose flour, eggs, and water.
First, slice the zucchini into sticks. Coat the sticks thoroughly with flour.
Add panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt to the breadcrumb mixture in a bowl. Whisk the water and eggs in a bowl, dip the zucchini in it, and then dip it into the panko mixture.
Now it’s time to get your air fryer ready. Sprinkle the air fryer basket with avocado oil and the zucchini with olive oil, then put them in the fryer. Let the sticks cook at 350°F for 7-12 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crispy.
Finally, serve the crispy zucchini fries with some ranch dressing or marinara sauce for dipping.
Air Fryer Zucchini Parmesan
Parmesan air fryer zucchini is a quick and easy low-carb recipe you can whip up in less than 15 minutes. And guess what? You only need a few ingredients.
After you have your zucchini, which you can either pick from your garden or buy from the store, and some spices, you’re ready to put this recipe together.
First, cut a medium-sized zucchini into 1/2-inch slices, keeping the peel on. Then, in a medium-sized bowl, add the zucchini slices, olive oil, Italian seasoning, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
Toss everything together until the zucchini is coated evenly with the spices. Put the zucchini slices in the air fryer basket and cook at 375°F for 5 minutes. Be sure to shake the basket once or twice to ensure they’re cooked evenly.
Once they turn golden and crisp on the outside, they’re ready. You now have a healthy and delicious side dish or snack to enjoy. This zucchini dish is perfect for adding to any entree or simply eating as a snack.
Why Use an Air Fryer for Vegetables
If you’re interested in cooking zucchini or any other veggies through healthier methods, an air fryer is your best bet.
The beauty of air frying is that it uses very little or no oil, so your final dish will have a lower fat content. This makes air fryer veggies a perfect fit for those watching their calorie intake.
The air fryer method of cooking preserves more nutrients compared to other methods like boiling or frying. The hot air in an air fryer also gives vegetables a crispy texture on the outside while retaining moisture inside, allowing you to enjoy a tasty and healthy meal without sacrificing texture or flavor.
Air fryers are also very convenient and easy to use. It takes just a few minutes and requires minimal preparation.
Next time you have an air fryer and zucchini, you’ll know what to do. With these delicious air fryer zucchini recipes, it’s easy to incorporate this versatile and nutritious vegetable into your diet.
Whether you’re in the mood for something savory or sweet, zucchini is sure to satisfy your cravings and provide you with the nutrients your body needs to thrive.