An Abundance of Zucchini

An Abundance of Zucchini
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Zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, and certainly provides one of the most abundant harvests. A single "giant" zucchini can provide enough grated squash to bake a dozen or more loaves of bread. A large zucchini works well for grating and the smaller tender zucchini are perfect for slicing.
Pick most zucchini at about 6 to 8 inches for the best taste, and save those "jumbo" squash that you miss for grating and using in baking. Squash blossoms will continue to set all the way up until fall IF you continue to pick the squash before it fully matures. If you miss even one, the entire plant will stop producing. This may be something you want to encourage if you over planted and are looking at a zucchini explosion, but if not, watch for those blossoms to drop off and harvest the squash!

Remember too, if you have an over abundance of any vegetable, contact your local churches, shelters or soup kitchens to see if they need fresh produce! You can share the harvest with those less fortunate.

To freeze zucchini simply grate, and place in resealable plastic freezer bags. For sliced zucchini choose the younger squash that is still tender skinned. Wash, and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes; cool and drain. Package in containers and freeze. The zucchini bread and cake also freeze well. Cool after baking and double wrap with foil.

Shredded zucchini is a versatile ingredient. Mix 1 cup into into your favorite brownie dough, meatloaf or meatball recipes. Whenever you need extra moisture try experimenting with a cup of shredded zucchini.

Zucchini Recipes

Spicy Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Dash salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1 cup grated zucchini

1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Beat sugar into eggs, add oil and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients, add beaten egg. Stir in zucchini. Beat until batter in very smooth. Add nuts. Pour into greased, floured 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to cool.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 tsp. allspice

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking soda

4 Tbsp. cocoa

2 1/2 cups grated/shredded zucchini

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Cream sugars, butter, and oil. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir to mix. Sift together dry ingredients. Mix all together except chocolate chips. After mixing well, gently fold in chips. Pour into pan. Bake for 45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. Dust with powdered sugar or a fluffy light frosting.

Honey Spice Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup shortening

2 cups honey

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup sour milk

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. allspice

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

Cream shortening and honey. Add in eggs. In another bowl sift flour, soda, powder,salt and spices. Gradually add milk and flour mixture, taking turns, to egg mixture. Fold in zucchini. Pour into loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Zucchini Casserole

3-4 medium zucchini, unpeeled

2 tablespoons butter

2 tsp. parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp. salt

1 garlic clove, minced fine

1 tsp. fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup buttered, seasoned bread crumbs

Wash and slice zucchini in thin rings. In a large skillet sauté parsley and onion in the butter until soft, add mushrooms, then garlic (the last minute). Stir in remaining ingredients, except bread crumbs. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top, and Parmesan cheese if desired. Cover with foil and bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 15 minutes longer or until browned.

Zucchini Italian

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, sliced into very thin rings

1 medium zucchini, cubed

1 pound green beans, sliced into one inch pieces

1 can tomato sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

pepper and salt to taste

Dash of dried tarragon

1 tablespoon fresh basil or oregano, or 1 tsp. dried

Brown onion, add other ingredients in order and simmer until tender.

Zucchini Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

2 cups cubed zucchini

3 tablespoons minced onion

1/4 cup butter

3 tablespoons flour

3 1/2 cups evaporated milk

4 cups skim, 1/2 or 2% milk

3 cups grated colby-jack cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Fresh chives or green onion for garnish

Sauté zucchini and onion in the butter. Blend in flour. Add milk gradually and heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and soup is smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with green onion or chives on top of soup.

Zucchini Salad

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini, sliced thin

2 medium tomatoes, sliced thin

1 cup red onion, sliced thin in rings

Dressing: 1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons wine or herb vinegar

2 tsp. fresh chopped basil leaves

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Pour dressing over zucchini, tomatoes and onion rings. Allow to marinate for several hours.


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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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