What Are Zucchini Bars?

Kelly Stoll

Zucchini bars are a baked, cake-like dessert that uses shredded zucchini as the main ingredient. This food will often have an icing that is applied to the top of the bars after they are done baking, usually while they are still warm. Zucchini is a summer squash that comes in both golden and green varieties. Both variations of this plant are renowned for their high yield. The inclusion of zucchini into the modern dietary dish is viewed by many bakers and gardeners alike as both cost-effective and inventive.

Raw sliced zucchini.
Raw sliced zucchini.

There are many recipes available for baking zucchini bars, ranging from rich decadent desserts to simple and healthy variations. There is a vast variety of recipe choices, so the taste, texture and flavors of each batch will depend on the ingredients that are used. Some popular ingredients that might be included in a zucchini bar recipe are carrots, oatmeal, raisins, nuts and chocolate chips. Various spices can be used, such as nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Other common ingredients include cream cheese, caramel, butterscotch and various types of fruit.

Zucchini prior to slicing.
Zucchini prior to slicing.

Some of the benefits of zucchini bars are that the zucchini is naturally low in calories, contains little fat and is high in several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Additional healthier ingredient options might also be substituted to replace high-fat ingredients in some zucchini bar recipes. Two examples of this would be substituting egg whites for whole eggs or exchanging applesauce for other oils and butter. Icing might be foregone altogether for the calorie-conscious eater, or a baker might choose to utilize a sugar alternative to assist with dietary modifications as needed.

As with any food product, proper preparation of the zucchini and zucchini bars ingredients is required before consumption. When one is selecting the best zucchini for baking, the outer shell of the zucchini should be closely examined, with the baker choosing a ripe, fresh and young premium produce that will contain smaller immature seeds. For most recipes, a green zucchini is utilized.

After all of the vegetables have been thoroughly washed, a freshly sanitized surface and clean equipment should be used while cooking. Organic zucchini might appeal to some consumers because of the lack of pesticides, but organic vegetables might also run a higher risk of being either underdeveloped or prematurely spoiling. Likewise, non-organic zucchini might contain chemicals or hormones that have been added to enhance plant growth.

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