If you've ever planted zucchini in your garden, you are familiar with my dilemma!
Seedlings usually come in 4 or 6 packs, and of course you put them all in the ground. Well come about August, you have zucchini coming out your ears! With the abundance of monster zucchini that came from my garden this year, I've been giving it away left and right, as well as trying lots of new things. Here are the three best things I did with mine this year:
I wondered how I could preserve my zucchini for later use, instead of having to go on zucchini overload for the entire month of August and September. After a little research online, I discovered that you can shred it and freeze it for later use! I tried it and it works like a charm! Shred it with either a food processor or the old fashioned way - with a box grater. I store it in 2 c. increments in zip lock bags in the freezer. Most baking recipes (like cookies and breads) call for it shredded. I am able to just pull out a bag, thaw and drain (freezing brings a lot of the water out), and throw it in any recipe year round.
Make Zucchini Bread or Muffins:
I've never met anyone that didn't love this recipe. It's moist, flavorful and delicious! My kids, who first said "Ew! Zucchini bread?!" Now say, "Yum! Zucchini bread!" I even make it gluten free and you can't tell the difference (instructions for gluten free version at the end).
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 1/2 c. apple sauce (you can just use 1 c. vegetable oil if you don't have apple sauce)
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 small can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple (I use no sugar added)
- 2 c. shredded zucchini
- 3 c. flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 c. finely chopped nuts
Beat the first 5 ingredients together until foamy. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Bake 2 loaves of bread on 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or 24 muffins for 20 - 25 minutes.
*To make this recipe gluten free, replace the 3 cups of flour with 2 cups of your favorite gluten free flour blend and 1 cup of millet flour. Add 1 tsp. of xanthan gum.
- Yields: 2 loaves of bread or 24 muffins
- Preparation Time: 30-60 minutes
Make Lasagna-Stuffed Zucchini:
This recipe came from a family member who made it on a grill when camping with us. I thought it was a fabulous and different way to use our zucchini. I am going to give you instructions for doing it in the oven, but remember it can all be done on the grill as well.
- 1 large or 2 small zucchini
- 1 small container of ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. parsley
- 1 c. of your favorite spaghetti sauce or pesto
Cut zucchini in half the long way (end to end). Use a spoon and scrape out seeds and some of the flesh to create zucchini 'boat' of sorts. Wrap in tin foil and put in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until it starts to soften but is still firm. (This time is for a very large zucchini, will be less if you use smaller ones.) Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients except for the spaghetti sauce (or pesto) and 1/2 c of mozzarella. When the zucchini comes out of the oven, unwrap it but leave it in the foil. Fill it with the cheese mixture (it will be really full and rounded - yum!). Spread sauce or pesto evenly across the top, then top with remaining 1/2 c. of mozzarella cheese. Re-wrap with foil and put it back in the oven for another 30-40 minutes (again, adjust if using smaller zucchini) until tender and cheese is hot through. Slice and enjoy with Italian sausage and garlic bread!
- Yields: 4 servings
- Preparation Time: 70-90 minutes
- Editor's Note: Gloria Freedman invites you her webpage for more Simply Wholesome Advice.