Have you ever met a zucchini convert, a child or adult who went from hating the vegetable to miraculously loving it? We’ve met hundreds in the JoyFoodly kitchen. This Friday, we are taking you on a yummy ride, transforming zucchini into boats filled with savory, comfort food cargo no one can resist!
When we introduce kids to zucchini, we love to show them that zucchini is really a fruit – the immature fruit of the zucchini flower. Many kids don’t know about zucchini’s beautiful yellow flowers that can be stuffed with good stuff and eaten.
We start with simple but delicious ingredients
- 4 fresh young zucchini
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2/3-cup panko bread crumbs (or your choice of gluten free breadcrumbs)
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1) We have the kids hold the zucchini, smell the nutmeg we’ll grate into our stuffing, taste a little parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, and we’ll show them later how to crack an egg.
Next, we show kids how this long, green vegetable is so cool that it can transform into a boat we’ll stuff.
1) First we remind kids about how to use the tunnel to safely hold the zucchini and cut down the middle.
2) Next, we use our spoons to dig out the pulp and seeds, which we’ll saute later. This makes our vessel we’ll stuff.
3) We make the boat secure by cutting the tiniest piece off the bottom to keep it from rocking.
On to the stuffing that will be our edible cargo!
1) I like to have the kids help me saute the flesh we scooped out of the zucchini with a diced yellow onion, some olive oil and salt. It’s fun to have them taste the raw flesh (which is somewhat flavorless) and then have them taste it sauteed with an onion, which is savory and meaty.
2) We let the sauteed mixture cool a little while we crack our eggs, whip them, and add some bread crumbs, nutmeg, and cheese. Finally, we mix everything together.
3) The fun comes in when we get to re-stuff the boats with the edible cargo we’ve created.
No one can resist the heavenly smells from the oven!
1) We bake the boats for about 20 minutes at 400F. This fully cooks and browns the stuffing and leaves the boats with a little crunch, a texture I personally prefer.
2) Let them cool slightly before you dive in. Some kids love eating the whole thing. Others just like the stuffing, but that’s ok because remember that there’s zucchini in that stuffing!
Here’s to you creating a few zucchini converts in your household who join the Zucchini Love Boat for a lifetime!
Read more about Hollie