August 8th is National Zucchini Day. To be accurate, it’s National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day!
In honor of one of our favorite veggies, here are the best tips for growing, cooking, and preserving zucchini.
In early August, most gardens will be bursting with a bumper crop of zucchini. The squash can easily overwhelm you, so the idea of this holiday is to share the bounty with your friends and neighbors.
If you’re going to share the harvest, then consider packing the zucchini in a basket rather than a plastic bag. And don’t forget to leave a note explaining the mysterious vegetables. You want this to be a delightful surprise, not a terrifying mystery.
Secret Veggie Baked Goods
If you want to use up your zucchini yourself, there are a few classic ways to bake with it. Zucchini bread freezes well–especially if you make mini muffins! You can keep a few loves in your freezer for months after the harvest and enjoy it until the New Year.
You can also use zucchini in a spice cake, similar to carrot cake. Pureed zucchini is the secret ingredient in healthier brownies–seriously, you’ll never know the difference!
This is an unusual recipe idea, but it’s surprisingly tasty. Take grated zucchini and mix it with lemon juice, crushed pineapple, sugar, and crystallized ginger. Add a package of pectin and cook everything in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Voila! You’ve got zucchini marmalade. Eat it on your zucchini bread for maximum zuke!
Savory Zucchini Recipe Ideas
For a savory snack, fried zucchini rounds breaded with Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese can’t be beat.
Another classic use of zucchini is in quiche. Shredded zucchini adds a healthy, vitamin-packed punch to quiche. Make a couple extra and put them in the freezer for a lazy day.
Oodles of Zoodles
Zoodles–zucchini noodles–are a popular way to replace wheat noodles in a pasta dish. You’ll need a special tool to create the noodles. A spiralizer is the easiest way, although you can also use a serrated peeler.
Cook fresh zoodles in a skillet with a small amount of olive oil. Freeze raw zoodles for later. You’ll get hooked on the fresh, crisp taste–it’s so much better than traditional pasta.
Share the Love
If you still have too much zucchini for you, your friends, family, and coworkers, then call around to local food banks and soup kitchens to see if they can use a donation.