Zucchini flowers: delicious and rich in precious properties

Rich in water, iron and vitamin A, they are perfect for the summer season. Let's find out why they are useful for our health and how to cook them to take full advantage of their nutritional properties.

Excellent in batter, delicious in the oven, versatile with pasta: courgette flowers are a real delicacy in the kitchen and are popular with young and old.

Thanks to their delicate taste, they go well with many dishes and have different characteristics useful for our health.

We deepen them with Valentina Bolli, dietician, who explains in detail why they are healthy and suggests how to prepare them to best enjoy them with an eye to lightness.

Excellent source of hydration

90897 Warns Bolli "First of all, they contain a very high percentage of water about 94%", therefore they represent a good source of hydration for our body and for this reason they are very suitable for the summer season, when our body needs more water. and mineral salts.

Good iron content

156201 As for minerals, compared to other vegetables, the dietician claims "they boast a considerable amount of iron, or 2 mg. Per 100 g of flowers, which is a very important mineral for transporting oxygen in the blood and maintaining the proper functioning of the immune system. Obviously we are talking about a comparison with other vegetables, proteins of animal origin are always the best in terms of richness and bioavailability ".

They also have a better amount of calcium (39 mg. Vs 21 for zucchini) than zucchini, which is very important for the health of teeth and bones.

Benefits for the skin and sight

139101 Zucchini flowers also contain a significant amount of vitamin A, i.e. 252 mg per 100 grams (unlike courgettes which do not have the same characteristic).

Vitamin A protects the skin and cell membranes, but also preserves eyesight (like tomato). Thanks to the carotenoid content, it has a powerful antioxidant and anti-aging action.

They are low calorie

Finally, Bolli adds "The interesting aspect is that they are low-calorie (12 calories per 100 g) and that, combined for example with other vegetables, such as zucchini, carbohydrates and proteins, they represent a complete dish".

Not just in batter

In addition to the well-known version in batter, which is certainly the tastiest but also the most caloric, they lend themselves well to many other preparations in the kitchen.

"With pasta for example, accompanied by the right amount of Parmigiano Reggiano (50 gr per person) they are a perfect dish from a nutritional point of view". Or they can be cooked in the oven, in a thousand tempting and captivating ways. Bolli suggests “They can be stuffed for example with ricotta, which is a low-fat cheese, filled with the same zucchini and enriched with aromatic herbs, or even with meat.

In this case they go, combined with carbohydrates, they represent a tasty and inviting second course.

If you can't resist frying

If, on the other hand, you indulge in a sin of gluttony and prefer the fried version, it is good to follow a few tricks to make them lighter.

Bolli suggests "For example, it is important to use an oil with a good smoke point, such as peanut oil, changing it every time and dry the courgette flowers well when they are cooked to remove excess oil".

Alternatively, a lighter batter can also be used.

“For example, you can take a cue from tempura, the famous Japanese frying, and prepare a light batter, with rice flour, also suitable for celiacs and sparkling water to add ice. In this way they are still greedy but a little lighter ".

Elisa Nata

June 2018

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