What to Do With All That Zucchini

| 9/9/2014 10:08:00 PM

Zucchini plant

Zucchini plant in bloom

Ah, zucchini. One of the first summer veggies to fruit. You know summer is officially here when your zukes are flowering and producing nice long fruits. By mid-summer, the novelty has worn off. By August, you can't give the things away! I even saw a box in my local hardware store with free zucchinis.

So, what's a gardener to do with all that excess bounty? Well, you can donate them to a food pantry, you can preserve them in a few different ways, or you can use them in ways I'd never even thought of!

How to Preserve Zucchini Harvests

For preserving, you can freeze them, can them or dry them. I don’t care for canning zucchini as they are not acidic enough to just use a water bath; the full pressure canner set up is required. You could pickle them, lowering the pH enough to use a water bath. There are all kinds of fun pickling recipes out there. Adding peppers is a way to add zing to an otherwise bland taste. Just make sure you follow the recipe exactly as the proper pH is critical to safe canning.

I am exploring the freeze and dry methods. For freezing, first slice them, lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. After they are frozen, you can put them in a freezer bag. When you need a few, they are easy to get out of the bag. If you put them into the freezer bag fresh, they will freeze together. I am trying a few frozen whole. With a sharp blade, I can slice them when I need them, kind of like frozen cookie dough.

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