The zucchini is a long, dark green fruit that measures from 8 to 10 inches. A summer squash, zucchinis have a thinner and more tender skin than winter squashes. They also feature a mild taste.
Zucchinis make a nutritious addition to most diets. The fruit is low in calories, featuring 16 calories for each 1-cup serving of raw zucchini. Zucchinis also contain around 280 mg of potassium, 284 IU of vitamin A and 25 mcg of folate per serving.
When choosing a zucchini, pick a firm squash that’s free of blemishes and bruises. Zucchinis with hard skin and a dull appearance are likely to be overripe.
Consume zucchinis as soon as possible. They typically last up to five days when refrigerated in a plastic bag or container.
Italian immigrants brought the zucchini squash to the United States in the 1920s, according to the University of Illinois Extension. The squash caught on and became popular in the 1930s.