Okay - so this is the time of year that zucchini mysteriously shows up on your doorstep. Your well-meaning neighbor zealously planted a few extra plants this spring and they became overachievers.
Or, you grow your own and turned your back on those buggers and now they are the size of baseball bats. Hey, it happens!
Well, I've got a few tips on how you can preserve those beauties and have ooo-la-la wonderful zucchini bread this winter. Buckle up 'cause here we go:
- always give your produce a good bath when it comes into the house - because there's no dirt allowed at freezer camp (which is where they will be staying)
- trim off both ends and discard them. Now, if your zucchini is large, you may want to cut it in half and remove the seeds. Totally optional.
- Time to get grating. If you have a food processor, get it out - your arms will thank you later.
- Here is where I let you in on a few of my secrets. You're going to want to save this in two cup portions because that is what most bread recipes call for. Place a zipper type sandwich bag in your 2 cup measuring cup and filler' up. When you've got your two cups,
lay that bag on the counter and squeeze out as much air as possible and seal.
- Now that sandwich bag is not enough protection for those goodies to go into the freezer. If you have a vacuum sealer (like a Foodsaver), slip that sandwich bag into a foodsaver bag and seal it up. By the way, this double bag trick works with most moist foods that give you trouble with getting a good seal. If you don't have a vacuum sealer system, a quart sized freezer bag will do the trick.
- Label your bag and send it to freezer camp.
- Fast-forward to January - it's cold and snowy and you're thinking that the warm flavors of zucchini bread would be pretty nice with a cup of tea or coffee. Pull out one of those gems from the freezer and thaw.
- You will notice that your thawed zucchini gave you a lot of extra liquid. Carefully remove the sandwich bag from your freezer bag making sure that your sandwich bag is zippered up nice and tight. Using a sharp knife, pierce a few holes in one side of the sandwich bag. Gently squeeze out the extra liquid and now you are ready to use it in your favorite recipe.
By the way, grated zucchini can be used in more than just bread. Here's a recipe to get you thinking "out of the box":
Zucchini and Egg Breakfast Burrito
1 slice bacon - diced
1/4 cup shredded zucchini
1 Tablespoon red bell pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
1 6 inch tortilla
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Add the zucchini, red pepper, ad salt and cook until it begins to brown. Add your eggs and cook until desired consistency.
- Lay the zucchini/egg mixture in your tortilla and top with cheese. Roll up burrito style and enjoy with your favorite hot sauce or salsa.
Now it's your turn. What is your favorite zucchini recipe? Comment below and share it with us!