As published in Ecoparent Magazine  www.ecoparent.ca

Zucchini and other types of summer squash are often recommended for digestive issues and diverticulitis. Why? They are surprisingly hydrating and provide essential electrolytes (potassium and manganese) and vitamins (vitamin C and vitamin A). Zucchini is easily digested since it is composed largely of water, low in starch (a fabulous low FODMAPS vegetable), and a good source of dietary fibre that can bring natural constipation relief or, at the other end of the spectrum, remedy loose stools or diarrhea! Recent research has shown that zucchini offers anti-inflammatory protection within the GI tract that can reduce IBS, leaky gut syndrome, and stomach ulcers. Eating anti-inflammatory foods and non-starchy fresh vegetables like zucchini can be a great aid in reducing digestive issues and calming systemic inflammation. To get the most from your zucchini dishes, it’s best to eat the whole vegetable, including the nutrient-rich seeds and skin. Making crispy sticks in the oven is a great way to prepare this vegetable with the skin and seeds intact and will please even the pickiest eaters (or those who have an upset tummy!)..

Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
4 zucchinis, tops and bottoms cut off
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
*Optional: ground sumac or mint leaves for garnish

Optional Dip
1/2 c yogurt (unflavoured, unsweetened) or vegan “mayonnaise”
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1 Preheat oven to 375°F.
2 Wash zucchini and slice in half, widthwise, and then again, lengthwise.
3 Cut halves into four sticks (more, if zucchini is larger). The shape will be like pickle spears.
4 Pat dry with a clean dish cloth to soak up excess water.
5 Toss zucchini with oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
6 Spread on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing so that they aren’t touching.
7 Bake until tender, brown and crunchy, flipping once.
8 This will take approximately 10–18 minutes, depending on the water content of your zucchini. Watch for them to brown.
9 While waiting, whisk the dip ingredients together or use your favourite prepared dip.
10 Sprinkle fries with additional sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve with dip.

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