PRESERVE THE HARVEST SERIES: MONSTER ZUCCHINI
Preserve the Harvest Series presents a new fruit or vegetable every Tuesday with the goal of helping you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, it is good to remember the best time to preserve your bounty is when it is plentiful. Preserving the harvest stocks your pantry shelves and freezer with whole foods that you can feel good about, foods that taste great, and this approach saves you money. A sane approach to sustainability! Next up…Monster Zucchini
LET’S TALK MONSTER ZUCCHINI
Growing zucchini is one of the easiest fruits you can grow in a garden and the most prolific as well. 2 zucchini plants can easily supply a family of four for the whole year with plenty to give away also. After all danger of frost has passed, 2-3 seeds are usually planted on a small raised mound of soil with each mound being approximately 36″ apart. Once seedlings have emerged and their true leaves have formed, thin out the weaker of the plants leaving 1 plant per mound. After plants are established, mulch around zucchini plants to help keep soil cool. When watering plants it is best to keep the water at the base of the plant and keep water away from the foliage. This will help to prevent the common problem of powdery mildew that has an affection for zucchini plants.
It is best to harvest the zucchini when the squash is 8 inches or smaller for best flavor and tenderness. In a perfect world this is easily done, but I swear there are days when the zucchini grows 10-12 inches overnight. What do you do with the zucchini that is 6 inches around and 20 inches wide; a monster zucchini that has taken over the garden? Preserving the Monster Zucchini is easier than you think and I have found instead of kicking myself for letting the zucchini grow too long, I can pat myself on the back for the great things to come from that Monster Zucchini later in the year.
PRESERVING MONSTER ZUCCHINI
A Monster zucchini has a few things going against it when it comes to preserving. Water content is higher and the flavor and taste has been compromised. Usually when someone cooks one of these monster’s it is usually covered with large quantities of sauce and cheese to cover up it’s shortcomings. The other way to use up these monsters is making baked goods, like bread, cakes, cookies, etc. The latter way is a great use of these monsters but you have to make a lot of baked goods to use the whole monster up at one time. Freezing the Monster Zucchini in the perfect proportions for the baked goods is the best solution. The added bonus is being able to use it all year long when the Monster Zucchini is just a distant memory.
HOW TO FREEZE MONSTER ZUCCHINI
Freezing Monster Zucchini is not difficult but the water content must be considered for best success.
- Monster Zucchini
- Wash Monster Zucchini and pat dry.
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and remove all seeds and pithy part from center of zucchini leaving only firm edge of squash. Discard seeds and pith.
- Grate zucchini and place on paper toweling in strainer.
- Allow zucchini to drain, lightly pressing on zucchini to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Place in 1 and/or 2 cup portions (depending on your particular needs for baked goods) into heavy duty freezer bag or vacuum seal as desired.
- Label and freeze.
Great recipes you might like to try with frozen (or fresh) grated zucchini…
A Mother’s Shadow: Moist and Tender Zucchini Bread
Yesterfood: Chocolate Pecan Zucchini Cake
Preserve The Harvest: Monster Zucchini shared with:
Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays *To Work With My Hands: Wake Up Wednesday *Ducks ‘N a Row: Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop * Yum Eating: The Yuck Stops Here *The Homestead Lady: Green Thumb Thursday *Organize 31: Inspire us Thursday *Calm. Healthy. Sexy: Let’s Get Real *The Crafty Wife: The Wednesday Roundup * Daily Dish Of Life: Friday Faves *Kitchen Dreaming: The Weekend Social *Oh My Heartsie Girl: Weekend Fun Party *It’s Your Life: Real Food Fridays *An Ali Event: Pretty Pintastic *Natasha in Oz: Say G’Day *Whole food Mom: Savory Saturdays *In The Kitchen with Jenny: Foodie Friends Friday *2 Crochet Hooks: Snickerdoodle Sunday *Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter: Mommy Monday Blog Hop *The Kolb Corner: Merry Monday Link Party *Plucky’s Second Thoughts
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