I currently have 12 zucchinis in my fridge, yup 12. On top of that whole issue, I am 100% sure my zucchini plants are currently spawning more at this very moment. One truth about gardening is that if you have a zucchini plant then the whole neighbourhood will get a zucchini. Which brings me to this post on 8 things you can do when you have 1000 zucchinis, which you will if you grow zucchinis. I say 8 things because 6 are zucchini recipes and 2 are methods or preservation.
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So with my zucchini plants spitting out zucchinis at an alarming rate. I did the only thing that made sense, I planted some more. I know, I know but hear me out. These plants will not start producing until the current plants have been removed to make room for my fall garden. Plus, the ones I planted were two new (to me) varieties that I got from my seed exchange group. They were costata romanesco and cocozelle zucchini, so I’m pretty excited to try them.
Zucchini is a great gateway vegetable into the world of growing your own food. Even if you are just starting to dip your toes in. That said, it is also an old faithful for the seasoned gardener. Zucchini will always have a spot in my garden every year. So let’s take a look at some of the things you can do with all the zucchini you will ultimately end up with. Just to be clear, there is no if about this people. If you grow zucchini, even a single plant, you will be inundated. Which is a good thing, but you will need to have a game plan so that it doesn’t go to waste.
Let’s actually take a moment to talk about that. If you do get overwhelmed with zucchini and you happen to lose some in the fridge you still have options. If the zucchini can’t be salvaged then rather than throwing it in the trash it is better to add it to your compost. This way I can still help contribute to next year’s harvest.
It is also important that you understand that there is more you can do with zucchini than just make zucchini bread. That said I did include two zucchini bread recipes in my list of 8. Hypocritical? Maybe a little, but trust me these aren’t your basic zucchini bread recipes so read on and then pass judgement.
1. Grill them
This is probably the simplest way to use zucchini (I mean other than eating it raw obviously). This is my go-to any time we fire up the BBQ. It is best to choose younger zucchinis for this zucchini recipe as the smaller the zucchini the smaller the seeds. I like to slice them into strips that are about 1/4″ thick and then pop them into a bowl.
Next, pour some extra virgin olive oil on them, add a little crushed garlic and season them with some salt and pepper. I leave them to sit for about 20 minutes and then pop them onto the BBQ for about 6 minutes (3 minutes per side). If you want to get really fancy you could top them with some grated asiago or parmesan.
2. Zucchini relish
My parents are British and they love them some chutney. As soon as I mentioned my overabundance of zucchinis to my mum, the first thing she asked was if I was making some chutney. So, of course, I did what any good daughter would do, I decided to make my mum some damn zucchini chutney!
But as I searched the net I quickly realized people make a lot more zucchini relish than chutney. So I settled on this zucchini relish recipe. As far as chutney goes I will stick to making them my mango chutney, which my dad requests every year for Christmas.
3. Zucchini fritters
Zucchini fritters are handy little things. They are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack. They freeze and reheat pretty damn good too. You don’t need much more than zucchini, eggs, flour and some cheese and you are well on your way to fritter town. I like this zucchini fritter recipe from Savory Nothings.
4. Baked Parmesan Zucchini
In my search for some delicious zucchini recipes, I came across this one for baked parmesan zucchini from Damn Delicious. I have made tonnes of her recipes and even picked up her book Damn Delicious Meal Prep. I love that she gears a lot of the recipes to being packed in mason jars. This is now my go-to lunch “box”, or at least it was before all this COVID craziness.
But back to the zucchini recipe at hand! I prefer to bake things rather than fry whenever possible so I loved the fact that there parmesan zucchini sticks were baked. They are delicious to have with chicken, fish or even just on their own.
5. Lemon Zucchini bread
When I was researching zucchini recipes for this post I came across this one recipe from Lemon Tree Dwelling for this lemon zucchini bread. Honestly, I was really intrigued as I don’t think I have ever come across a recipe like this before. This also meant that I would definitely need to give it a try. I do love lemons. I mean I even grew a lemon tree from seed using my Aerogarden Farm Plus. That said it’s probably about time that I started a new one!
6. Chocolate Zucchini bread
If lemon zucchini bread isn’t your thing then maybe I can interest you in some chocolate zucchini bread? I mean doesn’t chocolate make everything better? Ok no, it totally doesn’t, but it IS going to make zucchini bread better! I am in love with this chocolate zucchini bread recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.
Considering I have 12 zucchinis currently at my disposal there are a whole lot of zucchini recipes coming out of my kitchen at the present moment. But I love that this is an easy way to get a bit of veg into my boys!
7. Dehydrate it
Dehydrating is a great way to preserve your zucchini when it is growing faster than you can consume it. It is always a good idea to blanch it before putting it into your dehydrator as it will help it retain its colour and texture. I am currently saving up my pennies for a dehydrator like this one
8. Freeze it
If dehydrating isn’t your thing then you can always preserve zucchini by freezing it. The great thing about freezing zucchini is that it is quick and easy and you don’t need to buy anything. It’s as simple as peeling, shredding, blanching and then freezing it! Frozen (and then defrosted) zucchini is best used in casseroles, muffins and bread.
So there you have it, 8 tangible things you can do when you are drowning under a tsunami of zucchini. I mean, in all honesty, too much food coming out of your garden is a good problem to have. Plus, it gives you a chance to share zucchini with your friends and family, just like the memes say.