I’ve got the perfect thing for your next garden party to really ‘wow’ the guests’ eyes and tastebuds: Herbed Goat Cheese Zucchini Rolls Ups. These adorable little appetizers are brimming with life and flavour, and of course, nutritious goodness. They remind me of mini potted plants, and for me at least, it makes them all the more fun to eat!
Zucchinis (also known as summer squash) are a really awesome…fruit? (They don’t strike me as what one would typically think of as ‘fruity’, but they have seeds so there you have it!) They’re loaded with nutrients, notably potassium, vitamin C, and phosphorus. Potassium helps the body maintain fluid and electrolyte balance and cell integrity; and a medium zucchini contains 512 mg of potassium, which is 10% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). Vitamin C helps protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to your cells, which is why consuming enough vitamin C is super important. Just one medium zucchini will give you 35.1 mg of vitamin C, which is 39% of the RDA for men and 47% of the RDA for women. In a medium zucchini you’ll also find 74 mg of phosphorus (10.5% of RDA), which plays an important role in energy metabolism. (source)
So, you can feel very good about serving your guests these bites of goodness.
Now, let me tell you a little something about me and goat cheese. I didn’t fall in love with it until fairly recently. For the longest time I thought it was the strangest tasting cheese and that one would be better off staying as far away from it as possible. Now that my tastebuds have grown up a little, I’ve come to appreciate it’s creamy and tangy deliciousness. And even if you still don’t like goat cheese, give it a try with fresh herbs mixed in. The fresh dill and fresh garlic chives bring a wonderful flavour that helps balance the strength of the goat cheese.
The herbed goat cheese spread is so tasty that you can might find yourself enjoying it by the spoonful (nope…I did not do that…). It’s so good that it’s a recipe star all on it’s own: pair it with cut up veggies and crackers or spread it on toast.
I think what makes these herbed goat cheese zucchini roll ups really something special is the broccoli sprouts. Not only do sprouts make the roll ups absolutely gorgeous, they’re also a nutrition powerhouse. Sprouts are bursting with enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids and contain concentrated amount of phytochemicals. Since sprouts are itty bitty baby versions of a plant, you end up eating it’s root, stem, and head! What does this all mean? You’re consuming all the different glucosinolates (phytochemicals that convert to very healthy metabolites in the body) that are concentrated in different parts of the plant (Bowden, 238).
Broccoli sprouts in particular contain a significant source of sulforaphane. Suforaphane increases the production of phase-2 enzymes, which can disable damaging free radicals and help fight carcinogens. Pretty good for such a tiny little thing, eh? Sprouts are small, but mighty! And this goes for a lot of others things too, so don’t judge the strength of something (or someone) based on their size 😉 (Bowden, 238). Helen Nichols over at the Well-Being Secrets has written this incredible article all about the benefits of broccoli, as well as information on how to store and prepare it. I highly suggest checking it out. It’s incredibly informative and insightful into just how nutritious this cruciferous vegetable.
When buying sprouts, it’s best to opt for organic, since nonorganic sprout suppliers frequently attempt to “sanitize” their product by bleaching the seed that the the sprouts grow from with chlorine, which is definitely not something you want in your body (Bowden, 238).
Don’t they look like a little garden? 😀
I will admit, rolling these beauties up does take a bit of patience. The amount of rolls you get will also depend on how successful you are at slicing the zucchinis into long strips. I managed to squeeze out 17 rolls ups, but I think if you were to slice the zucchinis perfectly, you could get 25 to 30 rolls up. Alternatively, you can simply slice the zucchinis into rounds and make herbed goat cheese zucchini stacks.
And so, next time you’re throwing a party or are tasked with bringing a food dish to share (or just need a snack), put together these herbed goat cheese zucchini roll ups. They’re healthy, incredibly refreshing, and are sure to be a hit.
Herbed Goat Cheese Zucchini Roll Ups
- 3 small zucchinis raw
- 1 cup soft goat cheese
- 4 tbsp minced dill 2 tbsp dried, fresh
- 4 tbsp minced chives 2 tbsp dried, fresh
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp white pepper optional; white pepper is sweeter than black pepper
- 1 g package organic broccoli sprouts mine was 35
Carefully slice the zucchinis lengthwise to create long, wide strips. Alternatively you can slice them into rounds and make stacks.
Mix together the dill, chives, white pepper and goat cheese until you have a nice, smooth spread.
Spread 1 tsp of the herbed goat cheese on a zucchini slice.
Take a pinch of broccoli sprouts, place them at one of the zucchini, and roll.
Secure the roll up with a tooth pick.
Cook time = assembly time.
Any leftover herbed goat cheese zucchini roll ups (or stacks) will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Bowden, Jonny. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why. Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds, 2007. Print.