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Zucchinipalooza!

I had an out of garden experience. Looking at the bounty of my zucchini bonanza from my One-Acre Garden my head was spinning from the realization that there could be at least a zillion ways to cook with zucchini.

Zucchini is delicious any way that I slice, puree, bake, fry, steam or sauté it. The dark green fruits have creamy white flesh and are best when picked 6 to 8 inches long. Zucchini is nutritious – they happen to be a beta-carotene gold mine, high in vitamin A and an excellent good source of dietary fiber too.

Some of my favorite zucchini dishes include sautéing slices in a skillet with butter, onion and tomatoes. It’s also great in casseroles, quick breads and pies, sliced into salads, and even as a veggie for dipping. I love to use it in veggie lasagna, soups, salads, and casseroles.

My new favorite way to use up a lot of the fresh vegetables and to satisfy my pasta cravings is to use a vegetable peeler to cut pappardelle-width ribbons that I steam for about 3-4 minutes. Top with either a red or white spaghetti sauce and it makes me think I’m eating the flour-made counterpart, except that there’s a satisfying crunch you just don’t get with pasta.

With a little imagination I have come to love zucchini season because over the years I have gathered quite a few ideas and recipes from having to figure out what to do with the bumper crops. Here are some suggestions.

Cut it up raw and add it to crudité trays to dip it in Ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Dunk squared-off zucchini fingers into egg wash, coat with flour or breadcrumbs, then fry in olive oil, season with salt and dip into marinara sauce.

Make your favorite breadcrumb and egg batter again, dip slices of zucchini in it and deep fry for a delicious treat. Use a horseradish sauce to dip.

Make zucchini bread loaves and freeze them for later. These are handy for bringing to potluck dinners or giving out as Christmas gifts.

Shred it, then measure it out into 1 or 2 cup portions and freeze in a freezer bag. When you want to use zucchini as an ingredient this winter, all you have to do is thaw a bag out and add it to the recipe.

Shred zucchini and add it to spaghetti sauce, meat balls or meat loaf. This adds nutrition and fiber to any meal, plus it sneaks in vegetables that kids aren’t even aware that they’re eating.

Zucchini is excellent in a stir-fry. Heat a wok or large frying pan on high heat, add a little oil and stir-fry until crisp-tender. Add other ingredients or serve it plain.

So you see, zucchini overload doesn’t have to go to waste! This recipe combines two of my favorite summertime harvests into one honestly tasty and nutritious treat.

RECIPES

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 cup soy oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups soy flour
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoon soy milk

Directions:

Heat oven at 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the zucchini and blueberries and mix well.

Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then slowly add in the dry ingredients to make sure that everything mixes through well. If the mix is still too crumbly, add another tablespoon of soy milk until the batter has a silky consistency. Pour into a metal loaf pan and bake for 30-55 minutes. Check if done when a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving. Serves: 8