What you see: Zucchini skin.
What it is: The skin of the zucchini!
Eat or toss: Eat, eat, eat!
Zucchini skin is edible! And nutritious
While many types of squash sport a tough, not-so-edible outer layer, you can definitely eat a zucchini’s skin. It’s nearly as soft as the rest of the tasty green vegetable, and is actually more nutrient-dense than the flesh of the zucchini.
Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C. It also contains other important vitamins like potassium, vitamin B6, folate, copper and beta carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A. Zucchini is even good for your eyes, containing lutein and zeaxanthin, which WebMD reports play an important role in protecting the cells in our eyes by filtering blue light. Other health benefits of zucchini are its high fiber content and low calorie count. It’s also fun to say.
Zucchini seeds are edible too
While winter squash, like pumpkin, have hard seeds which need roasting to be edible, zucchini squash seeds are more like cucumber seeds. They’re soft and don’t need any special preparation. Zucchini is an easy vegetable to prep because you only need to chop it. So, good news! Whether you’re prepping raw zucchini or making a side dish or low-carb zucchini noodles, peeling and seed removal is an unnecessary step.
Can you eat the peel on yellow squash?
It’s also fine to eat the peel and seeds in zucchini’s cousins in the summer squash family. Those include yellow squash (both straight neck and crook neck varieties), yellow zucchini, pattypan squash, cousa sqaush and zephyr squash. (TheKitchn has a pretty, visual guide to summer squash.) All are filled with healthy carotenoids, vitamin C and other nutritional benefits. Just like zucchini, the easiest way to prep any summer squash is to simply chop it up, without any peeling or seed removal.
What’s the shelf life of fresh zucchini?
According to SaveTheFood.com, zucchini should be refrigerated and should last at least five days. The best way to store these veggies is to keep them in a breathable bag in the high-humidity drawer of your fridge. Zucchini, with the skin still on, can make for great low-carb noodles, especially when tossed with olive oil. This good source of fiber is also a great choice for a baby food. An easy way to prepare it is to simply saute it until it’s very soft.
- Health Benefits of Zucchini. Nourish By WebMD. By WebMD Editorial Contributors.
- Zucchini. Solids Starts.
- Zucchini. Family & Consumer Sciences Extension. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
- Fruit and vegetable peels contain many nutrients. Heather Norman-Burgdolf, extension specialist in food and nutrition. Family & Consumer Sciences Extension. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. September 30, 2021.
- A Visual Guide to 8 Varieties of Summer Squash. The Kitchn. Kelly Foster. June 22, 2015.
- Nutrition Information for Raw Vegetables. United States Food and Drug Administration Accessed April 2022.
- Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. Food Central Data. Published 4/1/2019. United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. Accessed April 2022.
- Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw. Food Central Data. Published 4/1/2019. United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. Accessed April 2022.