Preserving the Wave of Zucchini
Everyone who has planted zucchini knows about how there is a huge wave of zucchini to eat up all at once. Often times people do not know how to deal with the huge amount of food and end up trying to unload their zucchini on neighbours, relatives and anyone who complements their garden! Here are a couple recipes that I use to make the giant wave of fresh zucchini turn into bountiful preserved garden goods for the winter.
There are dozens of recipes for zucchini bread but in mine I really like to stretch the amount of zucchini I put in there to try and use up as much of the harvest as possible. I have found that this recipe stores really well in the freezer and after I half the loaves, wrap them individually then put them in freezer bags, it stores well for a year. The key to preserving the bread properly is letting it cool completely before wrapping then, wrap it well! Don't be shy, you want as little air around the loaf as possible to prevent freezer burn. If you want to avoid plastics you can also use wax wraps. To use up my zucchini I load up the batter with as much shredded zucchini as I can, sometimes I'll put as much as 4 cups of shredded zucchini in the recipe, sometimes less, all depends on how much I have. If you think you've added too much shredded zucchini, add another egg to bind it all together.
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups white sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 cups of shredded zucchini
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
In my quest to find new ways of preserving the wave of zucchini to minimize my garden waste and prevent zucchini resentment I tried zucchini pickles! I found that I much prefer the texture of zucchini pickles over cucumber pickles. During the height of garden season I never seem to pick my cucumbers at the right time for pickling but zucchini, that works for me every time. I made them the same way as I did cucumber pickles!
Relish is a versatile condiment that enhances the dish that it is paired with. Sometimes I'm more in the mood for vinegar flavoured dishes and this is when i really pile on that relish, this typically happens late in the winter. Also, If you're like me and love eating fish, making your own relish is half way to homemade tartar sauce!
- 10 cups finely chopped zucchini
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 2 finely chopped bell peppers
- 1.5 cups white sugar
- 3 cups vinegar of your choice
- 1.5 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp celery seed
- Finely chop vegetable ingredients, add them to a large bowl with the salt, mix and let sit at room temperature for 10 hours to get as much water out as possible.
- Strain and rinse vegetables, push out as much water as possible and let strain well.
- Add mixture to large pot and add the rest of the ingredients, stir well until incorporated. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for 40-50minutes.
- Can in sterile jars.
I try to minimize the amount of things from the garden I freeze, to save freezer space, but there is nothing that comes as close to eating it fresh as blanched and frozen zucchini. Pick the zucchini before they start getting the bulgy end and slice them into medallions.
- Chop zucchini into medallions about a half inch thick and bring a pot of unsalted water to a rolling boil.
- Boil zucchini medallions for 1 minute.
- Place zucchini in ice bath to stop cooking.
- You can place these into a large freezer bag and freeze if you plan on eating the whole bag at once because all the pieces will freeze solid together.
- If you want to have it so you don't have to use the whole bag at once you can pre-freeze the zucchini on a baking sheet then when they are frozen place them in the freezer bag, this way they will not all freeze together in one big chunk.
Which ever way you choose to preserve your zucchini drop us a comment and let us know how it goes! Happy zucchini harvest!