Spring is about two-thirds over – the perfect time to put the finishing touches on one’s garden. One of the all-purpose vegetables you might want to consider planting is zucchini.
While not often considered as a premiere food source of antioxidants, zucchini can provide you with unique amounts of antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Zucchini contains very little overall fat (only ½ gram per cup), the fat it contains (mostly stored in its edible seeds) is unique in composition and includes omega-3s, monounsaturates and medium chain fats.
Zucchini is also an excellent source of copper and manganese. Additionally, it is a very good source of vitamin C, magnesium, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin K, vitamin B1, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, choline, and protein.
Think of all the health benefits your family will be receiving when you serve them a hearty bowl of this slow cooker zucchini soup.
- 1 ½ pounds sweet Italian sausage
- 2 pounds ½ - inch pieces celery
- 2 pounds zucchini, cut into ½ - inch slices
- 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into ½ - inch slices
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook and stir sausage in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease.
- Mix celery into cooked sausage; cook and stir until celery is softened, about 10 minutes.
- Combine sausage mixture, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, salt, sugar, oregano, Italian seasoning, basil, and garlic powder in a slow cooker.
- Cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours.
- Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.