This time of year, zucchini can show up just about anywhere you look and if you’re gone from home any length of time, you may come home and find your front porch covered. Never happen to you?…..then thank your lucky stars. One year, my husband insisted we plant two, count them…two, zucchini plants because one might not be enough. We had zucchini coming out our ears and we definitely couldn’t keep up with the picking. If you decided to leave a smaller one on the vine until the next day, invariably, it would be twice the size the next day.
Of course, the bigger they are, the more seeds they have and the flavour just isn’t as sweet as the smaller ones. I had dealt with a few zucchini in the past, freezing them in the normal ways…..shredding it for breads, cubing it for sautéing, slicing it for frying but as far as I was concerned, there were only so many ways to use zucchini. But, with so many to deal with, I had to get creative in my dealing with it or let it go to waste. So, I thought I would share some of the more inventive ways I preserved or used my zucchini, in hopes it might help some of you deal with any excess you have this year.
This is a wonderful recipe and would also make great gifts for family and friends!
- 2 lb. zucchini
- Juice of two lemons
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 1 – 13 oz. can drained crushed pineapple
- 1 pkg. powdered pectin
- 5 c. sugar
- 3 Tbsp. minced, candied ginger
- 6 each 1/2 pint canning jars
Have canning jars sterilized and washed and ready for use. Wash zucchini, slice and peel well. In kettle, combine lemon juice, lemon zest and drained pineapple together. Bring mixture to quick boil and immediately lower heat to simmer. Cook for additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix in pectin and again bring it to a boil. Add sugar and ginger while continuing to boil for another minute stirring constantly.
Remove the kettle from heat and skim off foam which has risen to surface. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then ladle into hot sterile jars. Seal according to manufacturer’s instructions. Process jars for 10 minutes in boiling water bath canner, adjusting time according to your altitude.
This is my absolute favourite zucchini bread. It freezes well and also makes a great gift.
- 2 c. shredded zucchini
- 2 c. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. cocoa powder
- 3 lg. eggs
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place shredded zucchini in paper towels and squeeze to remove the excess moisture. Set aside. In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla and butter. Stir in zucchini. Whisk in flour mixture gradually. Fold in the chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Grease a 9 1/2 x 5 1/2 loaf pan with a little butter and spoon in the mixture. Cook 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool in pan for about 30 minutes. Remove from pan, place on cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.
I came across this recipe one year when I have a large over-abundance of zucchini and was running out of ways to use it. I can attest that you can use this as a replacement for shredded or cubed pineapple and no one will know the difference. Pretty amazing!
- 4 qts. cubed or shredded zucchini
- 46 oz. canned unsweetened pineapple juice
- 1-1/2 c. bottled lemon juice
- 3 c. sugar
Peel zucchini and either cut into 1/2-inch cubes or shred. Mix zucchini with other ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes. Fill jars with hot mixture and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process 15 min. in water bath canner, adjusting times for altitude.
Cutting Your Costs
These ideas will be a win-win situation for you at home…..it saves on your grocery bill as you’re using produce you’ve either grown or purchased at a minimal cost (or, if lucky, it’s been given to you). You have a replacement for items you would have to purchase, you have a gift of homemade love to offer and you also have things that are yummy eat – how can you go wrong? If you have any different ideas of using up zucchini, I’d love to hear about them.
Mary Cunningham would never claim to be a financial expert but has worked in the area of finance with personal taxes for over 15 years. Those personal taxes included all personal aspects, rental property and small businesses. She will be offering some Canadian insight to this venture but she came to live in Canada by way of Kentucky.