I should have suspected that ideas for zucchini may be just as bountiful as the vegetable itself!
If you’re up to your ears in zucchini this summer, I highly recommend you read the comments on yesterday’s Help With Keeping Up with Zucchini post. I truly appreciate your good advice and links to recipes!
I also appreciate all the e-mails you sent. You all had great ideas for what to do with zucchini, too, and I so today I want to share some of those ideas with the rest of my readers. Too many good ideas not to share!
Norma writes: Zucchini ‘straight’ didn’t go over well with the kids when younger, so I ended up grating all the zucchini and freezing it in pint bags. Then I added the grated zucchini to spaghetti sauce and chili (can’t tell it’s in there) and made zucchini cake in place of carrot cake – yum!
Anne writes: I was just speaking with a fellow CSA shareholder and we were discussing the abundance of zucchini. She shared with me that she shreds or grates the zucchini, then places 2-cup quantities in freezer bags and simply freezes it. This quantity is what’s called for in many recipes for zucchini bread, muffins, etc. She also uses it to mix with ground turkey for her turkey burgers. Simply take the bag out of the freezer and thaw, then let the liquid drain before
adding to your recipe.
Kelly writes: I like to make zucchini bread. My recipe asks for 2 cups of zucchini per batch so I cube my zucchini up in two cup amounts, put it in freezer bags or wide mouth jars and freeze it until I am ready to make bread.
The tomatoes… Do you like salsa? If so make salsa. I plan on trying to make spaghetti sauce this year. It sounds like you may already have peppers to use all you would need are onions.
If I run out of time or patience I core the tomatoes leaving the skin on put them in the blender along with some onion and peppers and make tomato sauce that I process in a hot water bath canner. Then in the middle of winter when making spaghetti I can pop open a can of fresh tomato sauce to add to store bought spaghetti sauce. A girl I work with told me that she cooks down her tomato sauce in a large electric roaster. That way she doesn’t have to stand over it and she can do a large batch.
Tami writes: I take all of my veggies(tomatoes, zucchini, brocoli, mushrooms, whatever I have ripe that day) and put them in the food processer then cook on low heat all day in a Crock-Pot. Let cool and then spoon into freezer bags, lay flat, and freeze. I have veggie pasta sauce for pasta, pizza, whatever all winter!! Do the same with fruit for fruit smoothies, fruit preserves, and fruit syrup all winter long. Much easier than canning if you have the space! Make your own salsa, or pre-cook some pasta, just short of aldente, add chopped veggies and sauce (I usually make my own) and freeze flat in freezer bags for go-to dinners on busy days! We have a very samll garden, but this way I am able to enjoy our produce all winter long for a family of 6!! Also, just a thought but now is the time to start planting your fall/winter veggie gardens if you have not already!!
Melissa writes: I’ve been struggling with zucchini as well. Nonetheless, here are some of my favorites: It’s great in place of meat in lasagna. It’s fabulous sauteed as a side dish (especially with some tomatoes). It’s good with eggs, either in a frittata, an omelet, or a scramble. And when all else fails, shred it, put it in Ziploc bags, and freeze. There are great recipes out there for zucchini bread and chocolate zucchini cake. I freeze it in the amounts called for in these recipes. Then you can have fresh bread and cake all winter long.
So a big THANK you to all of you who responded to my plea for help! I’ve already made a couple of loaves of zucchini bread, froze some raspberries, and whipped up a tasty side for last night’s dinner (thanks, Lea Ann!) . I’ll be freezing some more zucchini for future use – love the idea of using it for baking in the winter or adding it to chili or spaghetti sauce.
Oh, and feel free to send any leftover raspberries my way.
@ Marta – Ha! I don’t share the raspberries! :-)
Reader Doug also e-mailed me and suggested donating excess produce to your local food bank or meals on wheels program.
You could also see if your local soup kitchen or area churches would be interested in your excess produce.