Thursday, September 9, 2010

Getting Kids to Eat Their Vegetables - Zucchini Cookies

Most children are resistant to the idea of eating vegetables. I don't fully understand it myself, having been a voracious vegetable eater in my youth.... that is, aside from zucchini and lima beans. I don't remember when I began enjoying zucchini, but as a child I thought they were gross. Oh I loved Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Green Beans, Kholrabi, Turnips, Kale, Spinach, Snow Peas, Sweet Corn, Jicama, and Lettuce (not that iceberg stuff though). I even liked cabbage, but I could not stand zucchini. It seemed like a "squishy" version of a crisp cucumber. Then again, I had never eaten cooked cucumbers as a child. If I had, I probably would not have liked them either.... It was a textural thing. I still don't really like squishy vegetables.

Enter the cookie. Yep, the cookie... The worlds most perfect food.

My parents always grew the dreaded zucchini in the garden EVERY year. The plants themselves seems to be plotting against us, as they were quite prolific producers.

As a result, after giving copious amounts of zucchini to neighbors and church members, there always seemed, regrettably, PLENTY for us to have to eat. As a result, it became a challenge for mom to find ways to get we 3 boys to continue eating this green Italian squash. When she was tired of baking and freezing zucchini bread (which we liked as well), she would resort to cookies with zucchini hidden in them. We never had a problem with eating them. In fact, this one of my childhood comfort foods.

Thus it is again, with only three plants, there are zucchini encroaching upon every counter space. Every day, more zucchini... Even though I am partial to zucchini now days, there is just WAY too much for me to eat as a veggie.....

So it is time that *I* resort to baking these lightly sweet, mouthwateringly limey and deliciously moist cookies. Like little vegetable laced tea cakes. I usually have to make 2 batches, cause they really don't last that long.

Zucchini Cookies

200 g (7.1 oz)(1 cup) unpeeled Zucchini; grated finely
285 g (10 oz)(2 cups) AP Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
170 g (6 oz)(3/4 cup) unsalted Butter
153 g (5.3 oz)(3/4 cup) granulated Sugar
1 Large Egg
Zest of 3/4 Lime (your gonna use the remaining in the glaze)
115 g (4 oz) (1 cup) Walnuts or Pecans, chopped

135g (4.8 oz) (1 1/4 cup) confectioners’ sugar
Remaining Zest of the Lime
2 TB Lime Juice (depending on the humidity)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (180 C) (GM 4).
Grate the zucchini finely.

In a small bowl, whisk the Flour, Salt, and Baking Powder together, then set aside.

Cream Butter and Sugar in a medium bowl

In a small bowl, combine the Egg and Lime Zest, beating them together slightly with a fork before adding them to the creamed Butter mixture.

Stir in the flour mixture until well combined. (you will have a fairly stiff dough)

Fold in the shredded Zucchini,

then the Walnuts. (the dough will be soft and sticky)

Spoon rounded Tablespoons (which is about 1 1/3 TB) of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes (Cookies will be only slightly brown around the edges)

Move to a cooling rack and make the glaze while they are cooling.

Remove the remaining zest from the lime, then squeeze the juice.

Make glaze in a small bowl by combining confectioners’ sugar, lime zest and lime juice, stirring until smooth.
Drizzle the cooled cookies with glaze (I use a squeeze bottle, but a little spatula works too) and let them dry.

Now eat your veggies.

Incidentally, 2 cookies provides about 233 calories with about 16 grams of sugar. Maybe not the healthiest way to eat your veggies... But it does contain Vitamin A, Folate, Potassium, Phosphorus, Vitamin K and Calcium, with only 98 mg Sodium. I am sure that beats Chocolate Chip Cookies and Oreo on the food value scale... LOL



Dajana said...

That's a gorgeous idea for zucchini lovers like myself. I only recently made my first zucchini bread and was totally knocked off by its superb flavour.

Danielle said...

I'm just now building up to possibly trying zucchini bread (its a head wrap thing)...and now this? LOL
They look beautiful! I so wish I had been able to plant zucchini this year. I really miss my fresh squash

Cookiebaker said...

I'm glad to see this post! These cookies look delicious....I love baking with zucchini.

RetiredWithNoRegrets said...

Each gram of nutrition wipes out 25 calories! So that makes them healthy! :)
Love the idea of those cookies. something new to try. I have only made zucchini bread.

RetiredWithNoRegrets said...

I have made these several times (gluten-free, of course) and loved them!