This was our first year really putting an effort into our home garden. We have planted a few things here and there in the past, but this year we got serious. We did some research, planned things out and spent countless hours planting, weeding, and watering. As the summer goes on we are finally starting to reap the benefits of our hard work! Most of our plants are doing really well. And besides a rabbit taking out all of our lettuce and most of our beans, I think we are doing pretty great for first timers. Our garden zucchini has done especially well, so much so I am trying to come up with new ways to use them!
Want a full run down of all we planted this year? Head on over here to get all the details! At about this point in the season we are over run with garden zucchini and the six plants we have are showing no signs of slowing down! Even if you only have one zucchini plant you are more than likely going to have more than you know what to do with! I mean we have eaten garden zucchini with dinner every night for the past two weeks, and sometimes I am even sneaking it into breakfast and lunch as well!
So if you are like me and need some new ideas on how to get the most out of your produce, I’m you girl! I am going to share with you five of my favorite ways to use zucchini that you may not have thought of! Exciting, I know! Only us country girls will actually get excited about a new idea on how to use a vegetable. But when you are growing you own food and putting tons of time and effort into it you want nothing to go to waste!
OK this one may not be very new or inventive, but it is definitely a favorite in our house. And there are so many different directions you can go with flavor here. Some of my favorites are a simple fresh minced garlic and olive oil, garlic with lemon and pepper, or pesto. And there is just something that screams summer about cooking anything on the grill. Check out this week’s Meal Plan Monday for an awesome grilled zucchini recipe!
And by bake I mean in bread form! Wonderful, warm, delicious zucchini bread! As a mom we try to sneak vegetables into EVERYTHING! This is a great way to get the veggies in while they think they are having dessert. We are mostly gluten free in our home so check out my go-to recipes for Gluten Free and Paleo Zucchini Bread… one of them even contains chocolate!!
I actually made noodles last night for dinner and my kiddos did not even know the difference! Now the are good eaters, but they are even getting sick of zucchini lately. So noodles were an awesome change in pace! Top with your favorite tomato sauce, pesto, or even just butter for a delicious meal. So do yourself a favor and get yourself a spiral slicer and treat yourself to some Zoodles!
Who doesn’t love a good pickle? And Zucchini Pickles?!?! That’s right folks cucumbers aren’t the only garden veggies you should be pickling this summer! Zucchini works just as well and tastes freaking delicious! Dilly, tangy, garlicy, sweet… all taste great! Bread and butter are my favorite, but check out some of my other go to recipes below! I am not a huge fan of tons of added sugar, so these recipes have little sugar or give options for sugar substitutions!
If you are growing your own zucchini at some point in the season you will have had your fill. And let me tell ya we are reaching that point soon over here. And I have heard that zucchini plants will continue to produce until killed either by disease or frost, and if that’s true there could be a few more zucchini filled weeks in my future! That means its time to get to freezing, or to sharing some of the fruit of your labor with family and friends. Now I get a little greedy and like to have my freezer stocked before I just give some of my hard work away! Freezing is a wonderful way to preserve your fresh veggies for use over the winter!
My favorite method is slicing, blanching, shocking in ice water, drying, freezing on a baking sheet then transferring to vacuum seal bags. Then when I can use in soups, stir fry, fajitas and so much more all winter! I already have enough frozen for about 8 to 10 meals but I am planning on doing much more. Shredding squeezing out all excess water and freezing is also another option. This would be great for zucchini break, tossing into meat loaves or casseroles as well. So many options!
Hopefully this list gives you a few new ideas to help you put all your garden zucchini to good use! Feel free to leave me a comment with your favorite ways you use your abundance of garden zucchini. I am always looking for new ideas! Thanks for reading!