Left too long in the soil, and they’ll grow huge and bloated with water. While these green monsters might look magnificent, the best tasting courgettes are the short, slim ones – the Kylie Minogues of the marrow world.
If you’re trying to lose weight then you should make the courgette number one on your shopping (or growing) list. They’re super low in calories because of their high water content so you can pretty much chomp to your heart’s content (providing you don’t deep fry them!). They may not pack the nutritional punch of other green vegetables (broccoli, kale etc.) but they do contain significant levels of potassium to control blood pressure and vitamin C to boost your immune system.
The courgette’s thin dark skin is high in soluble fibre, which slows digestion and stabilises blood sugar levels – potentially getting rid of those pesky mid-afternoon sweet cravings. Soluble fibre can also prevent constipation and help with those horrible IBS symptoms so many of us endure.
You can buy courgettes from most big supermarkets as well as small farmers markets (when in season). Try to buy locally sourced courgettes as supermarkets are known for shipping vegetables thousands of miles despite them being in season a few minutes down the road.
Now – how to prepare courgettes? Try not to cook courgettes with too much water as they can go quite soggy. The best way to cook them is to get a good crunch. Slice them in thin chip shapes, place them on foil and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, spices and herbs, then place under the grill until golden. You can eat these as a snack, or with a salad. Alternatively, you can roast courgettes up with a selection of other vegetable to enjoy with classic meat and potatoes, or you can make Greek style fritters on the BBQ with lots of chopped dill.
The guide price for courgettes is around £1.60 per kg. Although they keep well in the fridge, don’t leave them too long or they’ll develop a slightly bitter taste.
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