Avoid This Mistake When Cleaning Zucchini

Zucchini is the beautiful green or yellow squash that, per Mobile Cuisine, was brought to the U.S. from Italy in the 1920s. It might surprise you to learn that this fruit has many nuances. It contains more potassium than our favorite yellow banana, bigger is not better when it comes to this squash, and the darker the skin of the zucchini means the more nutrient dense it is. According to Healthline, zucchini is also lauded for its low calories and its high fiber, water and antioxidant rich contents. It's the perfect food to add to your diet whether you are watching your waist line or you simply want to eat clean and healthy. And while the Spruce Eats notes that this summer squash's season begins in May and wraps up around August, it is readily available year round. 

Zucchini is also pretty easy to prepare and you can make some incredible and versatile dishes using it. Whether you are using it as a side dish, like in celebrity Chef Thomas Keller's oven-roasted zucchini squash or readying it for the likes of Trisha Yearwood's zucchini bread, this fruit is bound to impress. However, when you are prepping your zucchini, you need to take great care to avoid this mistake when cleaning it. 

Do not use a scrubbing brush to clean your zucchini

The skin of a zucchini is soft and per Our Everyday Life, you do not want to use a vegetable brush or other type of abrasive scrubbing brush on squash or you risk damaging or bruising it. Instead, it says you want to clean your zucchini by running cold water over it and using your fingers to gently rub away any visible dirt. Once you've thoroughly washed, it suggests drying off your zucchini with a paper towel or clean cloth towel, particularly if you do not plan to use it right away. Moisture is not a friend to your raw zucchinis and can accelerate and diminish the length of its shelf life. In fact, Still Tasty recommends waiting until you are ready to use your zucchini before washing it. Zucchini that is stored properly can last anywhere from four to five days in the refrigerator.

One more tip, because of the zucchini's high water content — it is estimated it is 94 percent water — when you are ready to cook your tender squash, Chef Keller notes on Masterclass that you can use salt to help draw out that moisture and ensure your zucchini doesn't become a mushy mess. Bon appetit.