Learn How to Cook Healthy Oven-Baked Zuccini
There's nothing more pleasant that appetizing fried zuccini, garnished with a garlicky yogurt sauce and a cold beer glass. Even though you don't think about cleaning your oven hob and panels from the oil and food splatters. It's the crispiness of the final meal your are focused on.
One of the best advantages of zucchini is, they can be eaten raw, as well as cooked. With a hard peel, that looks like cucumber's, they are one of nature's work of art, that, as a rule of thumb, have to be counted as vegetables, but, are in fact, fruits.
There's just a small detail – somebody has to fry those zuccini. It takes a considerable amount of time. It's also effort-consuming and, let's face it, nobody wants to spend two hours over the hot oil and poke constantly to turn, take out or toss new zuccini. Not to mention that it is so difficult to clean the stove after frying a huge batch of vegetables.
From the other hand, we are completely aware how bad for your healthy is every fried food. It forms trans-fats that bring down the immune system and lead to obesity and diabetes.
Even if it's clear for us that frying is unhealthy and unpleasant, the fried zuccini are so delicious that we can't give up on them. Zucchini recipes by themselves are as healthy that scratching them off the menu is absolutely insane. Berkshire, close to London, even had until recently their very own local zuccini festival – talk about the popularity of the product!
There's one more little detail – during the frying itself you waste a lot of oil. Two decent-sized zuccini will take up about 200-300 ml of oil. After that you have to take the vegetable out to rinse the fat on a paper. All of this – from the beginning till the end – takes more than 2 hours. Who's got 2 free ours to spend?
Yes, I don't have them either. Apart from that I constantly look for all kinds of ways to replace fried food. That's why I will give you an offer – stop frying the zuccini.
Let's show you a way to cook the zuccini in 30 minutes, with only 10 minutes of preparation in advance. Apart from that, you will avoid frying in huge amounts of oil. The best thing is – the taste will remain the same – incredible, aromatic, crispy and heavenly delicious.
*Tip: Make sure you cook the dish in a spotless oven. Why do I bring up the issue of dirty cookers? Their charred stains might easily interfere with the resulting taste of your meal. On top of that, numerous oven cleaning London companies advice against cooking in a dirty stove, due to dangers of fire incidents or ruining the appliance. Therefore, it's of high importance to keep an eye on the cooker's level of cleanliness from time to time and tend to it when needed.
Even though there's some arguments about whether or not cooked vegetables are less healthier than their raw versions, zuccini are simply required to cook. In this version of cooked zuccini, we won't fry them but we will oven-bake them in a fireproof dish. You will need:
- Spices at your own choice
I won't give you exact quantities, because it all depends on how many zuccini you will cook. So, here comes the method:
Slice the zuccini – round or square-shaped. It's better if they have the same thickness. Salt them and leave them aside for the water to leak. Rinse their juices afterwards and dry them. Nothing different than the usual so far.
Pick a nylon bag, make sure it's intact, and put the zuccini inside (or a part of them, if you sliced a lot). Toss in a couple of tablespoons of flour and nicely shake the bag so that the flour can spread out everywhere.
Here you can experiment – use cornflour or whole-grained flour, breadcrumbs, all kinds of dry herbs and spices at your own choice – whatever you decide. I just give you the idea.
Prepare a large baking tray, cover it with baking paper and order the zuccini. The baking paper will not only help you clean the tray afterwards, but it will also serve as a non-stick coating. The zuccini will probably stick to one another but that again depends on the size of the baking dish and their quantity.
*Tip: do not overfill the dish – otherwise your vegetables will boil, rather than bake crisply.
After that pour olive oil on top of them. But don't overdo it – a drop or two of oil on each one is more than enough.
If you wish, smear the zuccini with a cooking brush, slightly dipped in oil.
Finally, toss the baking tray in a preheated clean oven, roast at 180C for around 20-30 minutes. It's best if you check on them from time to time.
What if you cook them in a wood-fired oven? I guarantee you will like them, since they are completely the same as the fried ones. And, apart from that, they are one of the healthy dishes that can also satisfy your hunger.