Cookouts, pool parties, long days under the sun, finally it is here, summertime! Chilled watermelon, smoky barbecue, and fresh lemonade are permanent fixtures on the seasonal menu, but what about those pesky vegetables? No one sits poolside holding a margarita and handful of broccoli or packs a giant green salad to eat under the hot sun at the beach, but how about a light, crunchy alternative that packs the same nutritious punch as raw, bland leafy greens, crispy zucchini chips!
A heart-healthy superfood, zucchinis are touted by the American Heart Association as possessing life-saving properties. This subtly sweet summer squash helps control blood pressure with almost 300 milligrams of potassium per cup. A dense starch filled with electrolyte-balancing micronutrients, zucchinis offer one of the best ways to beat the stress your body endures from the summer heat. Providing 20 milligrams of vitamin C per cup, zucchinis also provide anti-aging benefits as well as collagen-producing support for young women trying to keep crow’s feet at bay and maintain their youthful, fresh complexion that is poolside ready with nothing but a quick splash of cold water. Here is a great way to incorporate zucchini into your diet. The zucchini base is filled with fortifying nutrients and topped with a rich combination of simple but powerful flavors baked to a crispy, golden finish that satisfies cravings and nourishes your body.
•Knife, mandolin or vegetable peeler
•2 cloves minced garlic
•1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
•2 tbsp. milk
1. Preheat oven at 425ºF while you grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
2. Pour milk into one bowl, mix Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in another.
3. Cut zucchini into thin slices. A vegetable peeler or mandolin will ensure full, thin slices. The thinner the slices, the crispier the chips.
4. Dip each slice into the milk, shaking off any excess, then press each face of the zucchini slice into the Parmesan mixture, coating to the desired thickness.
5. Arrange the zucchini slices across the baking sheet and top with minced garlic.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the slices are tender and golden brown.
Use these delicious zucchini chips as a flavorful side dish to replace unhealthy bagged potato chips. Pack them in Tupperware and take them to the neighborhood cookout for a crowd-pleasing treat that everyone will love. In the unlikely event of having any leftovers, they can be easily stored and saved for about a week. If you’re short on time, substitute garlic powder for the minced garlic. To avoid the oxidizing effects of heated olive oil, use coconut oil instead and enjoy the slightly sweeter flavor it adds to the chip. Different geographic elevations may affect the cooking time, monitor the chips closely to avoid burning them.