Eat More: Zucchini
Zucchini the Bountiful
Around mid-August zucchini starts to pile up.
Huge baseball bats, full of seed ready to be breaded and fried and choked down.
We don’t want to waste food after all.
Giant zucchini should be a thing of the past. A relic of the old days when we were less sophisticated about food.
You know, before The Food Network.
Take a look at the inspiration below and bring zucchini back from the vegetable that nobody wants to the gourmet boon that it is.
5 Ways to Use Lots of Zucchini
Saute for Breakfast
A good way to squeeze more vegetables into your life is to include them at breakfast. A quick saute of tiny squash adds a gourmet touch to the morning eggs.
I pick my zuch’s when they’re about 6 inches long. That’s why I grow 5-8 plants every year.
Zucchini jokes abound, not because zucchini abounds, but because they are allowed to grow to enormous (and disgusting) sizes.
Scoop out the seeds of a medium size squash and add the filling of your choice. We’re trying to eat fewer carbs in the Living Laboratory. Stuff zucchini with anything that goes in a burrito or taco.
Save a shell, eat a zucchini!
Children will enjoy using a melon-baller – cool tool – to do the scooping and stuffing.
Add a little toothpick flag and call it a boat.
A parent can try…
Zucchini Pizza Boats at Cooking Classy is a good one.
Check out my Pinterest Vegetable board for a summer’s worth of zucchini stuffing recipes.
Freeze, Freeze, Freeze
Cut into slices (or chunks), zucchini is versatile to have on hand all winter.
The easiest way to do this? Use a pasta pot. Fill the insert with cut up squash and quickly dip it into boiling water. Heat slows down the enzymes in the food and results in a better quality product. Rinse in a pot of ice water and bag in freezer bags.
If I know I’ll be using it within 30 days I skip the boiling water and just freeze it.
We use these slices in soup, stew, or casseroles. Zucchini takes on the flavor of the herbs and spices it is cooked with so it will add a boost of nutrients, fiber and moisture without altering the taste of a dish.
This is an unusual (and fancy) way to slow down the harvest.
Eat the flowers.
Baked, fried, in soup, as pasta…
Grate It Up
And make some muffins or bread.
Here’s a classic zucchini bread recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff
A cup or two of shredded zucchini can add moisture to most baked recipes without changing the flavor. Experiment by substituting some of the fat in a recipe with shredded zucchini and see if anyone notices the difference.
Zucchini Recipes From Around the Web
Since I purchased Ali’s Inspiralizer (and then bought one for my daughter), we have been eating a lot of twisty, twirly vegetables.
I’m telling you, they taste better!
Inspiralized is packed with recipes to help with ‘Operation: Eat More Produce.’ Here are a few of my favorites featuring zucchini:
Chicken Zucchini Noodle Soup
Sesame Chicken and Box Choi Zucchini Noodle Bowl with Sriracha
The Perfect Pantry
My kids are old enough to deal with the green flecks in the batter.
Obviously, zucchini nutrition is skin deep.
But if your family’s going to throw a breakfast protest, peel the zuchs first.
Better nude zucchini, than no zucchini.
Maria at Two Peas and Their Pod
Makes me hungry.
Look at these:
Baked Zucchini Fries
Zucchini Coconut Bread – you had me at coconut.
Grilled Zucchini Nachos. Hello people, nachos!
Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake. I would eat anything doused in brown butter.
Gluten-Free on a Shoestring
Nicole shares Gluten Free Zucchini Tortillas.
The directions are great.
Head’s up: There’s a specialty tapioca starch ingredient you may not have in the pantry.
I Breathe, I’m Hungry
Melissa gets a prize for the most fun blog name. She gathered a collection of low-carb, paleo zucchini recipes. Very helpful.
She also creates her recipes, check out:
Zucchini is easy to grow – hence it’s reputation as the botanical equivalent of rabbits.
Seedlings are widely available at nurseries in the spring. Or, you can try growing your starts from seed, it’s easy.
Territorial Seed zucchini varieties.
Black Beauty is a consistent performer in my garden.
If you have space, plant a yellow variety too. Combining the two colors in recipes makes beautiful food.
My go-to source for planting instructions: Heirloom-Organics.
What Else are Zucchini Good For?
If a few get away from you, size wise, don’t force feed the family.
Get creative and make people.
Impressing Herb celebrates National Zucchini Day on August 8th, by repurposing zucchini into art.
Unlike refrigerator art, this has a shelf life.
Good news for clutter busters.
In Boulder Creek, they have
Pinewood Zucchini Derby Day. If your kids aren’t into making vegetable dollies maybe they will be inspired by wheels and ramps.
Do you have some Zucchini ideas to share?
Tell us about them in the comments. If you have a link to a zucchini-worthy blog post, I invite you to include a link in your comment.
*Some of the links in this post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission. That’s what keeps the site up and running. Regardless, I only recommend products and services I use personally and believe will add value.
Saturday Morning Goodness
A weekly note of encouragement and 5 ideas to build your home.
Plus fun dinner table conversation starters.