Sunday, August 4, 2013

What To Do With All That Zucchini: 7 Ideas

Zucchini (or summer squash) is one of our favourite veggies to grow in our garden. It's easy to grow, resilient & adaptable, isn't prone to attracting pests and the yield is phenomenal. This year we have 6 plants, and since early in July they've been producing close to one new zucchini per day. My father and stepmother have an even more abundant zucchini situation going on - probably closer to two per day! While it's awesome to have so much fresh, healthy veg, one can only enjoy so many zucchini & onion stirfries. So needless to say, we've done a fair amount of research and experimentation in our household to find other tasty ways to enjoy this prolific veggie. Here are our Top 7 ideas!


  1. Make muffins or bread. Like the aforementioned stirfry, this one's a bit of a given. Finely-grated zucchini adds nutrition, moistness and a depth of flavour to bread products without actually contributing a zucchini-like taste. This is a great way to sneak in some greens for picky eaters! And with zillions of different recipes out there, you certainly don't have to stick with the same one every time! Try gluten free, or combine it with banana, applesauce or carrot. Nuts work well too!
  2. Throw some into a casserole. Casseroles, of course, make for quick & easy meals, so naturally they're a favourite of many families. I made a variant of this dish the other day using four grated zucchinis instead of spinach, and ground turkey to bulk it up. The resulting dish was yummy, filling and super-healthy - definitely a keeper! (Stay tuned for a possible blog post on this!)
  3. Make zucchini "boats". Wondering what to do with those baseball bat-sized zukes you'll find after neglecting to harvest for a few days? They're pretty tough and seedy, so need a little sumpin' extra to achieve tasty status. Perfect solution - make stuffed zucchini boats! Basic technique - chop 'em in half, scrape out the centers, incorporate your choice of other ingredients (other veggies, meat, cheese, etc.), stuff the mixture back in and bake or barbecue until delicious. Lots of recipes out there to try out, or make up your own!
  4. Whip up some fritters. This is one of my favourite ways to use zucchini as fritters are ridiculously easy to make (especially if you have a food processor) and awesome as a side. I love frying 'em up in coconut oil for a little extra flavour and crispiness.
  5. Slice 'em into zucchini noodles (or "zoodles"!). This is a particularly awesome idea for those on a gluten-free (or completely grain-free) diet craving some pasta or noodle soup. I have to admit, I haven't mastered the technique for these just yet myself, but I'm going to keep trying. If I do end up embarking upon an anti-candida diet, this'll definitely have a place on the menu!
  6. Enjoy it raw.. I didn't even consider zucchini to be a veggie you can eat raw until I had the pleasure of trying it julienned into a salad at a cooking class last year. Crunchy, fresh and slightly sweet, this dish had me wondering why a raw preparation isn't more common.
  7. Freeze it. Got a row of zukes 3 feet long lining your counter, or simply out of inspiration? Then toss some in your freezer to enjoy off-season! To store chopped zucchini, you'll want to blanch it first, however grated zucchini (for use in baked goods, etc.) can be frozen raw - just squeeze a little liquid out of it first.

How do you like to eat zucchini? Got any favourite recipes?

12 comments:

  1. These are great ideas for zucchini! I don't eat a lot of zucchini because I've been trying to figure out more ways to use it, and these sound like some great ways for me to switch things up :)

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    1. Thanks! Hope you get a chance to try a few!!

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  2. Yes yes I do. Zucchini chips! They are so good. I love zucchini and this is the first year I did not plant any. My kids chose celery instead for a change and so we are learning about celery. I love having fresh vegetables all summer. There's nothing better. I have loads of tomatoes this year. And some pretty excellent lettuce too. Very happy with the lettuce. It keeps regifting us with new heads of lettuce.

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    1. Oh, we'll have to try chips for sure! We make a lot of kale chips but haven't thought to chip-ize zukes before now. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  3. I LOVE zucchini noodles - I have them at least once a week :)

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    1. Would love to hear your approach to making them!

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  4. mmmmm .... fritters!! so good!! :) these are all great ideas. Thanks!

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    1. I think we're going to make some fritters tonight! Hope you found a few new things to try out in your household!

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  5. Muffins and bread would be my favorite way to eat it. Probably only way. :) LOL.

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    1. Just made some bread last night with two gluten free flours combined (quinoa and the Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour). Turned out great!

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  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the tips. I love zucchini and my family doesn't understand why I think it is so great. Great ideas! Thanks

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    1. Hopefully with the addition of a few new recipes, they'll change their minds! Good luck!! :)

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