Today, as I stepped outside to train my first client, I let the brisk air awaken me to yet another beautiful day. One hour of torturing my friend and I was back inside to tackle my own workout, consisting of shoulders/core/hamstrings. At home, a whole foods protein shake downed, I am ready to continue my day. As I go through the list for today, I find that I am already hungry. I don't know what it is about cold weather, but I find that the "urge" for junk food heightens as temperatures plummet, and you'd rather stay cozied up in front of the fire than out on the town.
When those cravings strike, there are many options, and zucchini can help tame even the unhealthiest craving. Packed full of fiber and vitamin C, this fruit (technically a fruit, though we refer to it as a veggie) has a 95% water content, making it incredibly hydrating and low in calories. A good source of vitamin B6 as well, it is easy on the digestive system and completely versatile.
The next time a craving strikes, try one of these recipes instead:
Breakfast: Craving MUFFINS, try ZUCCHINI BREAD
(Tip: Make the bread the night before, so you can just slice it and go in the morning).
1 banana, mashed
3/4 cup soy or greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and coat an 8x4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, mix together the banana, yogurt, applesauce, brown rice syrup and vanilla. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Lunch: Craving CHIPS, try ZUCCHINI CHIPS
1 tbs. coconut oil (or olive oil)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel zucchini and cut into thin chips. Rub chips with coconut oil, place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
Dinner: Craving PASTA, try: ZUCCHINI PASTA
3/4 tbs. coconut oil
1 small glove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs. sesame seeds
Peel zucchini into strips, and heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium. Add garlic and lightly brown. Add the sesame seeds. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until desired texture is reached. (The longer it cooks, the crispier they will become.) Remove from heat and top with your favorite sauce! Feel free to add as many veggies to this dish as you like, to make it more of a complete "pasta" dish.