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Putting Up: Zucchini

You know what makes me mad?  Picking up and buying a magazine that promises "great ways to use up your surplus zucchini!" only to find three recipes- fried zucchini, zucchini bread, and zucchini parmesan... three recipes anyone who has ever bought, grown, or eaten zucchini would already have.
Dried zucchini chips, a lightly salty healthy snack.

Never fear, though.  My insatiable appetite for new recipes and new information have led me to find my OWN new ways to use up that bumper crop of zucchini- who knows, maybe this year you won't have to drop bags of the veggie off at all your neighbors' houses!

Preserving Recipes:
  • From Martha Stewart: Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles  I make a batch or three of these every year- they're particularly good on BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. 
  • Zucchini Salsa  This salsa is amazing!  It tastes awesome, and using the zucchini adds a lot of bulk, so you don't need as many tomatoes.  Just be liberal with the acid- you have to keep the acid high in this recipe to make it safe.
  • Canned Pineapple Zucchini We like this one too.  Izzy took bowls of it in her school lunch, but I never tried any cooked dishes with it.
  • To freeze slices:  Blanch slices in boiling water for three minutes, then shock in cold water.  Drain well and freeze in air tight plastic bags.
  • To freeze shredded (for baking later): simply shred and freeze.  Some insist shreds should be blanched as well, but I don't and it works fine.  I think you can probably keep them longer if they're blanched.
  • Super easy and our new favorite- dehydrated zucchini chips.  Simply slice zucchini on the thinnest setting of your mandolin, sprinkle lightly with salt, and dry in your dehydrator or in your oven on it's lowest heat setting.  They keep well and are a healthy snack.  You could also dehydrate slices, dices, or half moons to add to soup later.
  • Use it to make Giardiniera or Indian Pickle/Piccalilli.
Entree and side recipes:
  • In case you don't already have a good zucchini parm recipe...
  • Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch thick planks, coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill
  • Saute sliced zucchini and diced onion and then stir in eggs for a supper yummy breakfast (I finish it under the broiler, or you can flip it, whichever floats your boat).
  • Two stuffed zucchini recipes from Grit Magazine.
  • Cut strips of zucchini with a vegetable peeler and add to the last minute of cooking pasta, then dress with a light cream or butter sauce.
  • Kale and Zucchini Lasagna from $5 Dinners- made this the other night... AMAZING!
  • And, because it's different from normal fried zucchini, I use THIS recipe... it's actually for fish, but I use the same batter/coatting for fried zucchini, except that I use stone ground corn flour instead of corn flakes.
All of the recipes I list above are either tried and true or very high on my "to try" list.  However, there are LOTS more out there:
And, last but not least, my zucchini bread recipe, which I adapted from a recipe I found on  I know I said I was annoyed with articles that gave only zucchini bread, fried zucchini, and zucchini parm recipes... and here I am giving the same.  But all three of my recipes are a little beyond basic.  Plus, that's not ALL I gave you!

Healthy(ish) Zucchini Bread
makes one loaf
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 cup honey (if using honey, you may need to add a little more flour)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 6 T. butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped fine
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and create a well in the center.  In the well mix the sugar, eggs, zucchini, butter, and vanilla, then incorporate into the dry mixture.  Fold in the nuts.  Grease a loaf pan and pour in batter.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

And remember, zucchini bread also freezes well!

I haven't yet tried soaking this recipe because I can't figure out how I would do it- the only liquid in the recipe is eggs and the zucchini.  If I were to work out a way to incorporate buttermilk (more flour, perhaps?) I would also eliminate the baking powder.  I'm open to suggestions!

Have any zucchini recipes to share?  If so, feel free to leave a link!  And be sure to check out the other whole food recipes on this week's Pennywise Platter at the Nourishing Gourmet.


I figured out finally how to make this a little healthier, kind of by accident.  I was thinking about zucchini bread and pancakes at the same time, and started wondering if I could merge my super easy sourdough pancake recipe into my zucchini bread.  I tried it, and it turned out wonderful.

  • 2 cups active sourdough (this varies by the consistancy of your starter- mine is the consistancy of a thick batter.  Use less if yours is firmer.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch nutmet
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sucanat
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 6 T. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
 Mix more or less like above, but with these differences:

Mix shredded zucchini with a sprinkle of salt in a colander and let it drain for about twenty minutes.  Rinse and squeeze out excess water.

There are no dry ingredients, so mix everything EXCEPT the baking soda well in a bowl.  Mix in baking soda and wait until it foams up and then stir it down a little, the pour into a greased or stoneware loaf pan.

Bake as above (probably longer...).



    Kimmers3 said...

    We finely chop zucchini and add it to our ground beef of turkey. It freezes really well this way and "hides" veggies in our tacos, spaghetti, nachos and anything else we make with ground meat. It's not an exciting idea, but my family loves it.

    Homemade Easy said...

    #1..I use skewer for zucchini, pineapple, tomatoes, onions and put over open pit fire. We love this. #2..make zucchini boats & fill them w/ garlic mashed potatoes & other veggies, they freeze well too. #3. Zucchini cheese balls. 1/4 cup roasted red peppers (no juice), pitted olives 5; 1 tub 12 oz. cream cheese; 1/4 up light packed basil; 1 clove garlic-crushed; 1 small zucchini fine chopped. form into cream cheese tub in layers. does freeze. #4. chopped zucchini w/ shrimp-freezes well. #5.Zucchini yougart sauce. 1 6oz plain yougart; 1/4 cup thin sliced green onion; 2 teaspoons snipped fresh mint or 1/2 teaspoon dreid mint, crushed; 1/2 teasp. ground cumin; 1 cup chopped & seeded zucchini. Goes well over grilled chicken. I use zucchini really fine chopped. #6. Shred zucchini, just like carrots. freeze them and use over beef & chicken. #7.Zucchini Casserole, freezes well......let me know if you want this and a few more.

    Brandislee said...

    Great suggestions, love that they're not the usual things, too. I particularly like the idea of the skewers with the pineapple... will definitely try that one!

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