Once upon a time a cute little princess with curly blond locks refused to eat anything but peanut butter, mac and cheese and apples (maybe a little more than that but those were her go-to's). The Queen of the castle had grown accustomed to her pickiness and was clever enough to work around it to maintain peace in the kingdom.
Clever indeed, it was not what was best for the cute little princess. Cutie was sick….a lot and missed school…a lot.
The Queen was tired of cutie not feeling good, tired of rearranging work/babysitter schedules, scheduling and hauling the troop to the doctor to be told, “meh, it’s viral”. The Queen had also grown weary of reacting to this little ones woes and letting it dictate the adventure of life.
Our cute princess needed proper nourishment, not picky kiddo fare. As all fairy tales do, this one ends beautifully with a life lesson learned.
Picky princess drinks her fruit and veggie smoothie daily. She admits (for a now almost 8th grader that is a big deal) to craving them when they have been skipped while on vacation. She also admits to no more intense stomach aches she experienced for longer than I care to admit.
The fairytale ends happily as we now consume blenders filled with goodness and whole food munchery became a consistent part of the cute little princess’ life.
What does the fairytale have to do with zucchini? Loads I tell you, loads.
When we first started blending fruits and veggies on a nightly basis I used a lot of spinach. It felt like I was at Costco all the time buying pillow and pillows of spinach. Oh, and don’t forget that it’s almost impossible to ONLY get a bag of spinach when shopping at Costco = not so budget friendly.
As the Queen, I wanted to make smoothies a nightly habit because it was the best way to get the power of produce into my picky people.
In my frugalista mind, the more I grow and use from my own garden, the more money I save. The more I save, the easier it is to make drinking our whole food smoothie each day.
Hands down, the humble zucchini (crook neck, yellow zucchini, all summer squash) is by far one of my favorite veggies to blend into our smoothies. Hold tight I'll tell you why in a second.
We throw all kinds of produce into the blender, sometimes we score sometimes not so much. The night we blended zucchini, I was shocked to find we could ADD A TON of zucchini and not even notice it.
Flavor SCORE! Veggie SCORE! Kids don’t gag SCORE! Eliminate a trip to Costco SCORE!
Zucchini has just started to come on in our neck of the kingdom. We have eaten 3 in the last two days, both in our smoothies and sautéed in a frying pan with olive oil and a little bit of salt.
They are sweet and fresh and fill you with the energy of summertime goodness.
It gets better. As the season goes on and you discover the giant zucchini that had gone unnoticed. DO NOT CHUCK IT. It is ideal for smoothies for a few reasons:
- it’s huge and it’s free = good math when blending nightly smoothies to keep you from donating plasma to pay for a regular smoothie routine
- huge ones usually don’t taste so great (sautéed, turned into zucchini chips, or stuffed) but they are virtually undetectable in smoothies
- huge ones make it simple to pack gallon freezer bags full with one type of produce - chop, place on a silpat and freeze to use garden fresh goodness year round
- you want farm to table, low carbon footprint? BOOM...nailed it with your own little micro-farm
If you haven’t planted it yet, it isn’t too late. I planted more seeds just yesterday (Zone 5) because around August-ish the plants we are harvesting off now will start to die off due to powdery mildew. Cue the newbies in just placed in the dirt to be ready to harvest when their older buddies struggle to produce.
I leave you with two tasks today. FIRST- try zucchini in your smoothie tonight. Let me know what you think. THANK YOU for - pressing the buttons to make like, share and subscribe happen...pretty please continue to do so!!!! It helps tremendously to get the word out about my blog filled with inspiration, laughter and real life whole food solutions one day at a time!