Zucchini -- and many other types of squash -- is native to Central America, but we can thank the Italians for popularizing the veggie we know and love today. They coined a name (zucchini means "little squash") for this new food, which was brought to Italy by New World explorers and quickly incorporated into all sorts of dishes.
Zucchini spread to cuisines all over the world and for good reason. It's incredibly versatile, easy to cook and packs a big punch, nutrition-wise: A medium zucchini has only 25 calories and more potassium than a banana. It's also a great source of folates, vitamin A and manganese. And if you're a gardener, you know that zucchini is extremely prolific -- sometimes you can't use all your zucchini harvest no matter how hard you try!
Whether you get your "little squash" from the grocery store, farmers market or your own garden, we have five great ideas for you, including a few tricks to get this nutritious veggie into your kids' diet. Click to the next page for our first delicious idea.