Zucchinis are a Low Carb Treat + Kolokythia Krokettes Recipe by Dana Carpender

In a few weeks, we here in the US celebrate (if that’s the word) National Sneak Some Zucchinis Onto Your Neighbor’s Front Porch Day. This is because a single zucchini seed will flood an entire neighborhood with zucchini. And heaven forbid a novice gardener should make the error of planting more than one zucchini seed! We’re talking Revenge of the Killer Squash, here, as zucchini take over your town, loitering on the sidewalks, bumping into old ladies, scaring the children.

Zucchini is nothing if not prolific. Further, if you leave it on the vine long enough, it will grow into something about the size of a baseball bat – handy for dealing with burglars, but troublesome in the kitchen.

All of this means that there are some of you out there with far more zucchini than you know what to do with, and even the non-gardeners among you should be able to get zucchini dirt cheap, or even free – complete with grateful thanks from your gardening friends for taking the things off their hands.

With all of this zucchini around, clogging up the joint, isn’t it a blessing that the stuff is very low carb? A cup of raw, chopped zucchini has a big 3.9 g of carbohydrate, of which 1.5 is fiber, for a total carb count of just 2.4 grams per cup. It’s a good source of potassium – 307 mgs – and of folate – 27 mcg. It’s also a pretty good source of pro-vitamin A, with 421 IUs in that cup.

So, what are you going to do with the things?

When I serve zucchini at dinner parties every scrap disappears. How to cook it? Cut it in chunks, along with an equal volume of fresh, sliced mushrooms (another very low carb vegetable), a sliced medium onion, and a crushed clove of garlic, then saute everything in olive oil until just tender. A little salt and pepper and oregano is all the extra seasoning this needs. Delicious!

Another thing you can do with zukes is to run them through a food processor with a julienne blade – this makes fine strips, more substantial than the shredding blade – or the julienne blade of a mandolin slicer. Also run through a yellow summer squash – all summer squashes are low carb – and a carrot or two. (Don’t panic about the carrot; it won’t add enough carb to bump up your blood sugar. It just adds color, flavor, and nutrition.) Again, saute this vegetable “hay” quickly in olive oil, butter, or a combination of both – do not overcook – and season with just a touch of garlic. This is very pretty on the plate; I stole this idea from an excellent restaurant!

If you’re cooking out, don’t forget that zucchini is very nice grilled. Split small zukes lengthwise, brush with a little olive oil – you might crush a clove of garlic into the oil – and grill until just tender. This is a great, easy side dish for a cookout.


Kolokythia Krokettes (Zucchini) Low Carb Recipe

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Here’s a recipe that uses up the zucchini, goes well with most plain meats, especially with roast lamb, and even makes a good vegetarian main course.


Units Scale
  • 3 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt or Vege-Sal
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced fine (or just run it through the food processor with the zucchini.)
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unflavored protein powder – I use rice protein powder – or CarbQuik


  1. Sprinkle the salt over the grated zucchini and let it sit for an hour.
  2. Squeeze out and drain the excess moisture.
  3. Mix in everything else, and combine well.
  4. Spray a heavy skillet with non-stick spray, and add a good tablespoon of butter; heat over a medium burner.
  5. When the skillet’s good and hot, fry the batter by the tablespoonful, turning each one once. Add more butter between batches, as needed, keeping the ones that are already cooked on a plate in a warm place. The trick with these is to let them get quite brown on the bottom before trying to turn them, or they tend to fall apart. If a few do fall apart, they’ll still taste incredible.


  • Carbohydrates: 12g Net Carbs
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So there you go! Next year, only plant one zucchini seed, you hear?

(Note: For those of you in other parts of the world, what we call a zucchini is often called a “courgette”.)

© 2010 by Dana Carpender. What do you think? Please send Dana your comments to Dana Carpender.

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