When you’re planting your vegetable garden this year, and want something really good for your eyes, don’t forget to put in some zucchini!
Actually, it has two names because it’s also called courgette, which to me sounds like it comes from courage, but it’s really from the Cucurbitaceae plant family. That makes it a cousin to melons, spaghetti squash and cucumbers. And to make it more mysterious, it’s really botanically classified as a fruit, even though we generally treat it like a vegetable,
While we can take credit for zucchini originating in the Americans, it was really the Italians who first cultivated and develop it in the 1800s. But we all know, at least those of us who practice folk medicine know, it’s used to treat colds, aches, and various other health conditions, although they’re not accepted by science.
What science does accept is that zucchini is rich in many vitamins and minerals, all of which are great for the heart and very helpful in combating AMD. It contains almost half of the Vitamin A everyone should have in a day, plus more than 10 per cent of the manganese, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin K, along with some iron, calcium, and zinc, all great for eye health.
There’s more Vitamin A after you cook zucchini rather than raw, but not sure why; perhaps the heat brings out extra strength. On the other hand, there’s more Vitamin C in raw zucchini, but either way, it’s loaded with antioxidants and we already know how great they are for the eyes. And since most of the antioxidants are found in the skin of the plant, the yellow zucchini probably has more than the green ones.
Eggplant is another vegetable that’s got lots of lutein and zeaxathin, both antioxidants that are great for eye health. Lutein especially has a reputation for helping prevent AMD, so it’s worth a try.
Here’s a great recipe for zucchini fries if you’re into air cooking:
1 Zucchini, cut lengthwise into strips
1/2 Cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 Cup flour
Salt and pepper
Put flour with a pinch of salt in one bowl, whisk the egg in another with another salt pinch. Pour breadcrumbs into third bowl, add a bit of garlic salt if desired. Coat the strips in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs, spray with oil and air cook at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy, flipping half way through.. Serve with garlic mayonnaise or a hot sauce. Or try it with eggplant for a different taste. Use either coating for both treats.
Eggplant and Zucchini Chips
Cut 1 large eggplant into strips,
Cut 1 zucchini into strips
Coat the veggies with
½ Cup cornstarch
2 tsp olive oil
Salt as desired
Place in air fry basket for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy, flipping half way through.