Are you looking for recipe ideas for zucchini? I am sharing year ‘round ways to prepare healthy zucchini recipes.
Zucchini and other summer squash are prolific toward the end of summer. If you are looking for ideas to eat your zucchini bounty, read on! You can always find zucchini in the produce department year ‘round.
Zucchini left on a neighbor’s doorstep is a common joke of summer. Our growing season ends with the first hard frost, which is expected by the last week of October.
If you have played more than your share of “zucchini doorbell ditch”, you may need some ideas for using this treat of summer all year long.
When one of my rose bushes died a few years ago, I planted zucchini in its place for ground cover during the summer. My boys expressed concern that someone might walk by the front yard, see the plant, and take zucchini without asking. My reply? Let them! We will have more than we can eat!
Common recipes for fresh zucchini are:
• Raw slices or sticks for snacking
• Sautéed with onions, fresh tomatoes and garlic
• Small fruits sliced in half length-wise and grilled until tender
• Large squash, cut horizontally to make 2/3’s bottom and 1/3 top pieces. Remove all the seeds from 2/3’s bottom and fill hollow space with your favorite cooked rice and hamburger mixture, similar to stuffed peppers. The 1/3 top piece is placed on top of the filling and the entire squash is baked in a 350 degree F oven until the squash is fully cooked, usually 45 minutes. When a knife slices easily into the squash you know it is done.
• Slices of zucchini coated with flour and fried in a small amount of vegetable oil until tender.
• Slices or chunks added to homemade soups.
• Zucchini Fries – sticks of zucchini dipped in egg and coated with a mixture of almond flour, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic and onion powders that are baked in a 400 degree F oven until the coating is brown and crispy.
Even with all these ideas, you may more zucchini than you can eat in a summer season.
Here are three ways to enjoy zucchini throughout the year.
1. Shred for bread. Measure 3 cups of shredded zucchini in a 1-quart zipper top freezer bag. Be sure all the air is removed from the bag before freezing. When ready to use, place the bag in the bowl and thaw in the refrigerator. When thawed, squeeze the extra water from the thawed shreds. The result will be about 2 cups ready to stir into your favorite zucchini bread recipe.
2. Spiralize for vegetable noodles. Similar to the shreds, fill a 1-quart zipper top freezer bag and remove all the air before freezing. When ready to use, place the bag in the bowl and thaw in the refrigerator. When thawed, pour the noodles and any liquid into a microwave safe bowl. Cover and cook on medium high until the noodles are tender. Drain any remaining liquid and use as noodles in your favorite dish. Mine is one with more vegetables and shrimp.
3. Make zucchini chips.
Slice medium to small fruit in ⅛ inch to ¼ inch slices. If you use a mandolin be sure to use the guard to avoid accidently cutting yourself on the sharp blade.
Blanche the slices in boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer to ice water to chill immediately and stop the cooking process. Drain the slices and arrange on trays of a food dehydrator.
Sprinkle the slices with no-added-salt seasoning mixes, such as chili lime, lemon-herb, or garlic and onion powder. Dehydrate until chips are crisp. Store in a sealed, airtight bag or container for up to 3 weeks. Great for snacking or using as croutons on salads.
PRO COOKING TIP#1: Blanching is the process of placing fruits or vegetables in a basket in boiling water for a couple minutes, then moving the basket of produce to a large container of ice water to chill quickly. Blanching is used to help loosen the skin of tomatoes and peaches for easy removal. In zucchini chips, blanching stops enzymes in the zucchini slices that would cause the chips to spoil.
PRO COOKING TIP#2: Remember to both label and date your food packages before putting in the freezer. Chances are you will prepare over several different dates during the summer. Be sure to use the oldest frozen item first. Many freezer bags have a space for writing with a permanent marker, or use a mailing label or piece of masking tape to write your date and contents.
Zucchini is an easy-to-grow, plentiful summer vegetable that you can enjoy year ‘round. Keep these ideas handy for year ‘round use. Zucchini is often an affordable fresh vegetable choice and a taste of summer during the winter months.
Are you looking for other healthy recipes?
Check out my ideas for Glazed Garbanzo Beans, Citrus Beet Avocado Salad, and Greek Yogurt – perfect for your family.