Last week, TESCO “Eat Happy Project” sent us an interesting recipe for Courgette Muffins. Our chefs, have already elaborated the recipe. These muffins are the perfect alternative to typically sweet muffins which both kids and adults will love.
Ingredients (for 12 muffins)
1 small Courgette
100g light cheddar cheese
225g self-raising flour
50ml vegetable or sunflower oil
175ml semi-skimmed milk
Pinch black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6. 2. Place the muffin cases in the muffin tin. 3. Cut the ends off the courgette. 4. Grate the courgette and cheese 5. Mix all of the ingredients together to form a smooth batter. 6. Divide the mixture equally between the muffin cases using 2 spoons 7. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. 8. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
A few days ago we had the pleasure of receiving a visit from more than 50 students from the school Mirasierra which is in Las Norias de Daza (El Ejido). From ten o’clock in the morning the youngsters enjoyed a breakfast in our dining room and then, in groups of ten, had a guided tour of our installations to get a first-hand view of the traditional process of preparing and packing Courgettes from when they are picked in the greenhouse to when they leave our Pack house heading to all countries in Europe.
In just 24 hours our Courgettes are harvested, classified, packaged and sent!
The children followed the processing of the Courgettes that their parents, our farmers, had collected only a few hours before arriving at our Pack house and were eager to learn how it is possible to ensure the quality and freshness of our vegetables all the way to the final consumer.
At the end of the tour the students had a group photo to leave a beautiful memory of their visit to King Courgette.
With new advances in cultivation techniques every year you may think that tradition is lost but this is not the case. Our way of farming hasn’t changed an awful lot over the last 30 years, the most important thing is that the product retains the affection with which it was planted and cared for during its lifetime and it’s the traditional way of farming that guarantees the superior quality harvest of this healthy, tasty and nutritious vegetable which is very low in calories.
To germinate courgette seeds you need warm weather.
It is possible to plant directly in the ground or on a layer of sand using two or three seeds per hole, placing them to a depth of approximately 2cm, the secret is that these seeds are planted together so that they join forces and break the Earth.
Cover the seeds with two or three centimeters of soil or sand, give them a little water and if everything is done with care they will germinate well. Once they start to sprout you can separate them into individual seedling containers until they’re strong enough to be transplanted to the field.
The plants resilient nature adapts well to almost all weather conditions and to almost all soil types and the use of an organic fertilizer is enough to get a healthy productive plant bearing in mind that the plant has access to plentiful supply of clean water and a humid atmosphere. Once established the plant grows quickly and can produce up to 4 courgettes per day for almost 4 months!
Here at king Courgette we have 3 plantings a year, one in autumn, one in winter and another in spring to guarantee us 10 months of superior quality production.
When we think of dieting we always imagine boring dishes with little or no taste that are certainly far from being appetizing. When our aim is to lose weight we, more often than not, play with our health by starving the body of nutrients required to operate properly, therefore the ideal diet would be one which balances the intake of food and nutrients without any excess of calories and fat.
For the perfect diet our ally is certainly the courgette, it’s made up of 95% water and therefore it doesn’t have any caloric content and is beneficial to the organism to the absolute limit. There are scientific studies that show that there is only a contribution of 15 grams of calories per 100 g of courgette, you may be thinking that it can’t be very nutritious but those same studies corroborate that it’s rich in vitamins a, b and c and also contains minerals and trace elements including phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium,Carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, iron and zinc. Its natural flavor is suitable for a wide range of recipes and you can also grill, bake, boil, stuff and sauté this versatile vegetable, but remember, you shouldn’t skimp on the quality of the product, since it’s always sold at an affordable price.
To get the most out of your courgettes they’re best boiled or consumed raw, this will not only protect your cardiovascular system the most but, due to the great amount of vitamins that benefit your skin, they will also improve your appearance in general, your beauty, therefore increasing your feeling of well-being, thus making you happier!Scientists also recommend that not peeling them guarantees the maximum benefit from their rich source in dietary fiber.
So the courgette really is perfect for people who want to lose weight with responsibility and used in tune with some safe exercise the pounds will fall off. As a snack the yellow courgette, thinly sliced, sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with a few drops of lemon juice, salt and pepper, is delicious and much better than any greasy snacks which are usually consumed to “keep hunger at bay” during the critical hours between meals.
Senior chefs have also taken the floor on the matter and they recommend that you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables from a young age and by preparing fresh and imaginative dishes using a varied amount of different vegetables you can create appealing colours and textures, they say getting used to eating healthily will avoid you ever needing to diet!
For some inspiration you could check out our recipe section which includes some of these tasty and easy to prepare ideas,
Cream of Courgette soup Raw cougettes with a light pesto Courgette omelette Stuffed courgettes Vegetable brochette Pasta with chicken and courgette Roasted vegetable Salad Sautéed courgette and mushrooms Apple, celery and courgette soup Grilled courgette with blue cheese Raw courgette with tomato and feta cheese Courgette and bacon bread
Since we are talking about the extremely healthy properties that our product has, we will begin by addressing it by its scientific name Cucurbita Pepo, mostly because it is better known in medical terms. Both the fruit as well as the plant itself care for us both inside and out, and its healing properties add to its rich nutritional qualities.
Cucurbita Pepo has vermifuge or anti-parasiteproperties and these are applicable to several different remedies, in particular, the elimination of intestinal worms provided that the interior of the fruit, where the seeds are found, is consumed.
In addition, it is antipyretic, so it provides a great service in reducing body temperature. The leaf of the plant should be consumed in this case, the most effective way being an infusion made from the leaf. Its consumption has also proved to be an effective treatment for problems with colic and diarrhea due to its excellent antispasmodic properties.The infusions also act as a diuretic and are perfect against formation of kidney stones and urinary tract infections or cystitis.
On the other hand for use with problems related to constipation or slow digestion, the consumption of the fruit promotes healthy digestion mainly due to its high quantities of dietary fiber.
So its huge versatility and usefulness is clear, but it should also added that it can be used externally on the skin by applying the grinded or liquidized fruit, thus, the Cucurbita Pepo will give you a smooth complexion, soften the rough edges, reduce stains and eradicate the symptoms of skin irritation and In that sense, it is also useful for treating burns and rashes.
The 4th Technical seminar was held in the Hall of Cajamar yesterday. It was organized by the delegation of Agriculture of Almeria and Cajamar box Rural, Coexphal-FAECA Control measures and current problems with virus protection were discussed.
During the event problems caused by different viruses in crops from the South-East coast of Spain were discussed, including the latest ‘ New Delhi’virus which has caused serious problems in plantations of Courgettes and other Cucurbits in the area.
The objective of this seminar was to convey both how marketers and producers can tackle the problems caused by this virus from the point of view of research and how to adapt agronomic practices following the emergence of the new virus.
Various conclusions were reached, the most clear of which stated that this virus will continue to mutate as it has and potentially poses a threat to every variety of vegetable and fruit grown in the area.The only real solution lies with seed developers to find varieties resistant to this virus.
Grated courgette gives this cake a lovely moist texture – a great way to get your kids eating courgettes without them even knowing!
Ingredients 8-10 serves
350g self-raising flour.
50g cocoa powder.
1 tsp mixed spice.
175ml extra-virgin olive oil.
375g golden caster sugar.
2 tsp vanilla extract.
500ml grated courgettes (measure by volume in a measuring jug, but it’s about 2 medium courgettes; if using 1 overgrown one, peel first and take out seeds).
140g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped.
For the icing.
200g dark chocolate, chopped.
100ml double cream.
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, mixed spice and 1 tsp salt. In another bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence and grated courgette. Mix the dry and wet mixture until just combined and then fold in the toasted hazelnuts. Line a 24cm cake tin with greaseproof paper, then pour in your mixture. Bake for about 40-50 mins, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, and then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
To make the icing, place the chocolate in a bowl and bring cream to the boil in a saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until completely smooth and melted. Leave the icing to cool slightly and thicken, then spread it over the cake so it’s covered and the icing starts to drip down the sides. Serve with a cup of tea or enjoy as a pud with a spoonful of something creamy.
Harissa, a fiery North African seasoning paste based on chilies and spices, gives these simple but exciting appetizers their kick. If you’re not so keen on spicy food you could use fresh tomato or pesto.
Ingredients 5 serves
1 Courgette (medium).
3 tbsps crumbled feta cheese.
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil.
Harissa (About 2 tbsp., paste).
1 baguette (10 slices, brushed with olive oil and grilled).
Heat grill to high. Slice courgette lengthwise and grill, turning once, until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes. Let cool, then chop. In a bowl, combine courgette with feta and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread about 1/2 tsp. prepared harissa on each baguette toast and top each with about 1 tbsp. courgette mixture.
These cheesy courgette cakes are an excellent way to use up that abundance of courgette. Serve with a bit of tomato sauce or soured cream on top.
Ingredients 4 serves
225g grated courgette.
2 eggs, beaten.
4 tablespoons chopped onion.
8 tablespoons plain flour.
8 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
8 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese.
Salt to taste.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
In a medium bowl, combine the courgette, eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop courgette mixture by heaping tablespoonful’s with the mix, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the ‘parmesan style hard cheeses’ which are suitable for vegetarians.
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