Tuesday, August 10, 2010

5 Ways to Love a Zucchini

Don't you just love zucchinis? The plant has leaves like an elephant's ear, tropical blossoms, and the ability to hide what's really happening under there. You'll check daily, and see nothing, nothing, then one day...kapow!

Zucchinis as big as a toddler!
1. Mmm...one of my favourite way to dispose of zucchinis is to slice them into rounds, dredge them in flour, then beaten egg, then either bread or cracker crumbs...fry them in butter and devour. Yes, if you cook them this way you'll be negating any health benefits of this lovely vegetable. And you won't regret it. This also works with green tomatoes, fresh pickerel or rainbow trout fillets, chicken strips..you name it. This is not something we eat on a weekly basis, so it's a real treat at zucchini time.

2. Grating them finely into spaghetti sauce or casserole is also a good way of using them up.

3. And then there's always:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use rice or soya milk)

Cream above ingredients together in a large bowl.

Then sift together:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp EACH cinnamon and ground cloves

Combine wet and dry, then stir in 2 cups grated zucchini and 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

Bake at 325 Degrees F (160 Degrees C) in a greased and floured 9"x13" pan for 45 minutes.
(I grate and store zucchini in 2 cup bags for winter baking).

4. As a treat for the chickens, I'll slice a zuke lengthwise, and they pick it clean leaving only a thin green rind.

5. Finally, the most popular way for a zucchini gardener to use up zucchini: shower your friends and acquaintances with "gifts"...leave one on their car seat when they're about to leave your house, bring them as hostess gifts to August parties, hand them to the lady who delivers your mail, the man who cleans your chimneys (yes, we get this done in August), and the guy on the street. Most people are too polite to refuse homegrown vegetables. One day we came home to find a BASKET of zucchinis left anonymously on our doorstep. I laughed and laughed at how karma works (I'd been dumping zukes on everyone I'd met for a week)...

Resisting zucchini love is futile. Surrender to the zucchini. Make friends with it. And let me know if you come up with any other ways to use the bloody things up!

17 comments:

  1. Zucchini-banana bread is a favourite of mine. I make a million loaves and freeze them all for when I need a snack in the winter!

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  2. Slice them into rounds and grill them on a BBQ! ...with cut peppers of all colours, chunky cut red onion, mushrooms and sprouts! Put them all in a bowl with balsalmic vinegar, some soya sauce, a litle olive oil, pepper or even some steak spice. Let them sit and then toss them in a BBQ wok, or cut bigger pieces of each and put them directly on the grill! Even my wee ones eat veggies this way!

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  3. Zucchini apple baseball always ends up being a favorite around here in the fall. After the freezer is full of is shredded, sliced, and in prebaked breads and brownies, after it has been consumed at least 2 meals a day for a month, and after the ducks have had their share, after all friends have said "no more, please". Only after all that it is "Batter up!" But it is a good time.

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  4. I use a bunch to make relish every year. I prefer the taste over cucumber relish.

    Zucchini Relish
    10 cups chopped (I grate it) unpeeled zucchini
    4 cups finely chopped onion
    1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
    1 can (4 ounce size) chopped green chilies (I use a fresh jalapeno or two instead if I have them)
    3 tablespoons canning salt
    3 1/2 cups sugar
    3 cups vinegar
    1 tablespoon ground turmeric
    4 teaspoons celery seed
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    In a large container, combine zucchini, onion, pepper, chilies and salt; stir well. Chill overnight. Rinse thoroughly; drain. In a large kettle, combine remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Add zucchini mixture; simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Adjust lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.

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  5. I have a delicious and healthy recipe for zucchini stuffed tomatoes.....baked and topped with grated resh parmesan. I'll see if I have it on my computer to post.

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  6. Just finished getting caught up since the trip.
    My zucchini busting recipe in something like spanakopita but you use zucchini instead of spinach. I will find the recipe and post it.

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  7. Yummy! Must try that cake. Those zucchini's are MENTAL! I can't believe they can grow that big. Wow.
    And please Julie, (Yummy) Please share Zucchini stuffed tomatoes!

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  8. Thanks for all your ideas and recipes! I HATE to waste them (even though they require NO effort to grow...)...keep the recipes coming!

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  9. All summer I've been taking zucchini's everywhere I go. I've tried all of the above. A new one this year: cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seed and some pulp. Fill with seasoned ground beef (or chicken, or turkey or whatever) and top with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until squash is soft. I put a little toothpick flag on them and told my kids they were boats. Clean plates!!

    Stephanie :)
    www.simplicitymom.blogspot.com

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  10. We managed NOT to grow them this year, and are still inundated with them :lol:
    I also pickle them. This makes them a lovely condiment with rice dishes. If you want the recipe, just holler. :D

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  11. Ah, like the relish Tanya already gave you the recipe for ;)

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  12. I am growing yellow squas instead of zucchini, and they are really starting to grow. Got to use a bunch up tonight for supper, I'm just going to saute them in some olive oil and toss them with some pasta, parmessan, and lots of black pepper.

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  13. Our zucchini plants have almost taken over the bed we planted them in! (I feel sorry for the beans and cucumbers that have to fight for ground.) We've let a few grow to almost 2 feet in length - at that point the skin and seeds are too tough to eat. We then skin them, cut into eigths lengthwise, remove the seeds, slice, and freeze them. You can bake them in a pie or crumble; use them in any recipe that you would normally use apples! It is delicious!

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  14. A couple good ways to use raw zucchini is to make zucchini noodles - you can use a vegetable peeler and make long strips or they actually make kitchen gadgets called spiralizers that will make veggies into "noodles." We have something called a mouli that we got out of a montessori catalog that grates thin noodle shapes. Anyway, these noodles are yummy with homemade pesto and chopped tomatoes. I also really like juicing zucchini if you have a juicer. It is delicious with cucumber, dark greens (like kale or chard) and apple. I also like zucchini cut into half moons in miso soup. Oh, I also have a zucchini pancake recipe where you mix zucchini with cheese, eggs and flour (I have used goat cheese and gluten free flour successfully) and cook like pancakes and then serve with a salsa of tomatoes and basil. YUM.

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  15. I put out a request for zucchini recipes recently and got showered with lovely ideas:
    http://6512andgrowing.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/firsts-and-homestead-happenings/

    My favorite is cubing the zukes, drizzling with olive oil and garlic and salt and roasting on high heat until they're crispy on the outside and soft and sweet in the middle like roasted marshmallows.

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  16. Can I tell a funny story? While in the Uk last year around Christmas time, Tom (aged 4) was read a joke from a Christmas cracker. Here's the conversation ...

    Cousin David: Tom, what is served but never eaten?

    Tom: [Pause] Zucchini.

    **Correct answer is a tennis ball.

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  17. We came home from WA and found a few rogue Zucc's that size. :)
    We use them to make creamy raw dressings.
    xo

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