Too Much Zucchini? Dealing with All That Summer Squash

in food •  6 months ago

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After a recent trip, I returned home to find that our small garden had become a Jurassic jungle. The squirrels had eaten some of the vegetables, but they left the squash plants alone. These plants can get prickly and squirrels find easier pickings with the tomatoes and fruit trees. Under the giant foliage, I found some zucchinis (summer squash) that already were nearing the size of baseball bats.

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Squash plants growing in a garden. Creative Commons via Flickr.com by Barbara Samuel.

Zucchini is the young fruit of the squash plant, while these plants are better known for their orange-fleshed fruits that mature later in the year. In this family (closely related to cucumbers and melons) are pumpkins, butternut squash, Hubbard squash, acorn squash, and many other varieties of winter squash. They’re called winter squash because they can be stored and eaten during the cold months, even though these vegetables are generally harvested before the coldest weather arrives.

Zucchini (summer squash) is softer and it doesn’t last. So unless you freeze, can/pickle or dehydrate it for later use, you need to be ready to eat it within a few days. And when the summer weather arrives, the garden is producing additional zucchini on a daily basis. My problem is compounded this year because a couple of the squash plants I planted were labelled as winter squash, but actually turned out to be zucchinis (in addition to the others I planted). During the summer, 1-2 such plants can supply a family with plenty of zukes, but I ended up with 5 of them. So we have more summer squash than we can eat.

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Risotto with Zucchini and other veggies. Creative Commons via Flickr.com by jeffreyww.

In the first couple of weeks, no one seems to mind eating fresh zucchini. The family menu includes stir-fried zucchini, zucchini soup, and zucchini omelets. You can make thin zucchini slices and stir-fry them with a little oil, garlic, and salt. This is a quick, tasty vegetable side dish that’s also good for you.

By the third week, though, kids are complaining that they’re tired of eating zuchhini. That’s when we switch to zucchini pizza, zucchini muffins, and other dishes that do a good job of hiding the green stuff within other strong flavors. When in doubt, bake it into something (like muffins) or cover it with plenty of sauce or cheese. If you keep some grated zucchini around, you can drop a bit of it into just about anything for a small boost of additional vitamins and minerals.

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Grated and sauteed zucchini with pesto and a little cheese over flatbread. Author photo.

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Zucchini muffins. Creative Commons via Flickr.com by joyosity.

As the zucchini season reaches its peak, the neighbors start receiving gifts. Initially, they’re happy to share in the bounty also. After all, if one of them has too many lemons or persimmons or plums, they’ll be bringing those over to us when that time comes. Share the wealth.

But after a couple of neighborly deliveries of zukes, even the neighbors have had enough. They don’t look too happy to see you anymore. Then they stop coming to the door. When you ring their doorbells, suddenly no one is home. And if you leave the zucchini on their doorstep, who knows what they really do with it?

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Carved zucchini, which was part of a contest at a fair. Creative Commons via Flickr.com by thievingjoker.

When you just can’t eat another bite of summer squash, there are alternatives that involve wasting food. The zucchini skins are not hard enough to be dried and used like gourds for making into lanterns or decorations. Some good ideas include using zucchinis for carving, for target practice, or for playing baseball (the really big ones). Unless you are playing with foam Nerf balls or light whiffle balls, the bat will get shredded pretty quickly by any harder ball, but shredding it is fun also. Since the Fourth of July (Independence Day in the U.S.) is approaching, fireworks are popular, and some kids have bought firecrackers. When I was young, I remember rigging up a large zucchini with some firecrackers in such a way that it blows up into a million pieces.

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Zukes at a market. Creative Commons via Flickr.com by streamishmc.

The rest gets frozen. We’ve tried canning or dehydrating it, but for us that’s more trouble than it’s worth for zucchini. To freeze this stuff, I usually chop it or shred it with a grater. Then it can go in small Tupperware-type containers or Ziploc freezer bags and frozen. Long after zucchini season is done, we can take these out and defrost them or put the frozen zucchini directly into soups, stews, or stir-fry recipes. It’s best to freeze them in small quantities that are usable. If you freeze it into too big of a bag or container, then you find yourself trying to hack out some frozen zucchini from a big block of icy zukes. It’s much more efficient to keep it in smaller quantities, just a few servings in each one for easy use.

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Oh, and I almost forgot: the dog gets some zucchini, too. Squash is good for dogs, but only in limited doses. Pumpkin or winter squash is great for their digestion and helps against worms. But even if I was tempted to unload more of it on my dog, he is too smart to eat very much of it. Put some zucchini in his bowl and he won’t touch it. But I can cook him an egg or some chicken and include a handful or two of shredded zucchini.

Eat it, dog. It’s good for you.

Top and bottom images are by the author. Others are credited within the text.

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The Zucchini land,...I'm impressed...Especially this Zucchini Pizza & More over Curved Zucchini. Such an Art. Personally, I like Zucchini burgers meet free. Very cool.
Your Jurassic Zucchini Land - Zucchini jungle it seems it will be cleaned, soon 😋😋😋

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Burgers? That sounds good. I'll have to try those!

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thank you for sharing your feedback and cheerfulness in enjoying the culinary. very interesting that you describe. I am very happy to read it

Hi @donkeypong, I'm pretty stunning to hear you Zucchini (summer squash). Zucchini soup, zucchini omelets, zucchini pizza & zucchini muffins feel like my tongue just now. It taste so cool. If your garden like as Jurassic world why you didn't put photo clicks in to this blog. I've big hope will you show to us coz I've never seen squash plants. Vegans & fruits growing much better for our body and mind. We can control better both physical & mental through your Zucchini gardening.
I guess your children have fun to see young plants and ate various foods of Zucchini. Nice you decided to share steemit community.

Hi I've no idea about Zucchini, Very nice to know about this . This is the first time i know about this. I liked your Zucchini pizza that was really a good idea. All the photographs really very nice. Thanks to share your valuable post. I also like gardening and I'm growing lots of fruits and vegetables. Really gardening is a very relaxing things, it's refreshes both our body and mind.

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That's certainly true. Gardening is quite relaxing.

Hah, all interesting uses for zucchini, especially that Carved zucchini?!
So nice you have a garden full of zucchini, it's my favourite vegetable :D

Thanks for sharing. I also make pancakes with them too, as in the video below:

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Wonderful! I'll have to try that recipe soon. Thank you.

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You are very welcome, Tom.

Well it would have been very funny if I got to see the Jurassic park that your garden has suddenly become hahahaha, I don't think I've seen or heard of Zucchini at all, but I don't know if I can call it a vegetable hahahaha, oh it looks nice processed into food

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I should go out there and take some better pictures of it. I would have thought this vegetable was fairly widespread, but I'm sure you have many other interesting ones where you live.

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yeah we do have a whole lot as well, it may be that we may even have different name for this that I may not even know @donkeypong

I have something out here that eats squash leaves. And so, i am not enjoying any zucchini right now. :-(

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Sorry to hear that. They are tough leaves and a little spiny, not usually the first choice for critters. Maybe it would be best to cover the young plants with some kind of plastic or wire mesh until they are big enough to fend for themselves?

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Yep! And then they dug under the wire mesh.
They don't eat the spines of the leaves, and they prefer the young leaves, so they have killed, stopped the plant from growing, without killing the plant

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Sorry to hear it. Perhaps you need to lay some wire mesh on the ground also. I use the long landscape staples that sink way into the soil.

Hahaha. I don't if zucchini is here. How do they taste? Tasteless? I used to confuse them for cucumber until I learnt that they were different.
I'd like to taste the zucchini muffin. Looks yummy.

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It tastes like a muffin, since the zucchini has little flavor, but in eating that muffin, you're also getting some vegetables.

I love zucchini and I use it often in my dishes. I also love different kinds of squashes in my soups.

I had huge zucchinis growing in my garden few years ago, so I was really busy finding all kinds of recipes and they are so easy to cook or bake with.

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They do make good soups.

Would love to have some of that zucchini to make some zucchini bread or muffins.

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Can I send you some on the blockchain?

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We love zucchini pasta (made with a spiralizer) with red sauce and fresh parmesan.

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That's a great suggestion! Tomato sauce and parmesan will make just about anything taste good.

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Its so delicious that way! You're right though, anything with red sauce and parm would be good. : )

Zucchinni looks so delicious and healthy, love the green ones. Wish it!

Is summer squash is available in your area now ?

In fact, everyone likes to enjoy gardening at the time of the summer. In your blog post, you understand that you have done some nice gardening and from there they get some good crops and these vegetables are very good and they play a good role for the body.

During the summer, there is a certain amount of vegetables that provide very good proteins and vitamins for each person's body, because during summer time, all the essential ingredients from the body are taking away from the body the harmful kiran from our body, it is rediscovered by the vegetable.

This blog's food is very good for the body! Each of your blogs is extraordinary. All of them are from your thoughts.!7

It seems very good to me that in the summer of each of the topics you discussed, you discussed here with some of the more valuable things, and here you have detailed descriptions of the gardening and meals, these are very tolerant and very good to me.

Thank you very much for discussing the essentials during the summer. I think all the things you are discussing for human life and for the time of summer, what kind of food should each person should eat and how to enjoy life should you enjoy it during the time you mentioned it If everyone lives in the life of the people,in summer time So everyone will be able to enjoy the right and adequate benefits during the summer.

first time i know this, only for you, thanks for share this..

my hobby is gardening, i always give time to my garden,
zucchini first time see, food looikng so yummy.

Mr. @donkeypong,

Thanks to your valuable and important blog post, you have analyzed the relation between each time you spent time and analyzed the content properly.Vegetables and food are an important part of the things that are presented in the field of gardening and summer, and every person should be careful about the time of cooking during the summer. This is a very good direction for the life of every human being or health.

After all, you have sincerely expressed your sincere thanks for writing an important and creative blog post.

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Come on to eat it 😀😀

Excellent fantastic post friend

I have a different filing work for meals. I take any of my meals until my stomach is full. And all of them are my favorite food. I produce different types of vegetables in a small garden beside my house which is the best thing to do.
However, it was very good to read your post. Thank you very much and good luck.

make some Zucchini noodles!

Wow I didn't know all those ways to cook zucchini! Definitely I'll try them, to don't get bored of eating it! The most amazing part is how healthy it is, and it's amazing that you keep giving them to the kids, even if it's made in a way to cover it, because it's good for them to eat vegetables..

I am sorry that I do not own garden.
I like the zucchini.
As a child, I loved fried thin slices of zucchini in breadcrumbs. My mother cooks delicious "zucchini Meatloaf". And my little son eats steamed zucchini. It is also great, but I'd add salt. ;)

the courgette is very tasty although there are many people who do not like it but that is everyone's taste.
At least you harvest your own vegetable it hurts that the squirrels ate your tomatoes ..

This is delicious food and I like this food..
Actually this vegetables like all people and many people huge deal with from market and many people favorite it..
So thanks a lot for sharing your valuable post..

There is a lot to learn from your post.

You will use that philosophy to use that sounds pretty beautiful

Thanks for sharing such a teaching post

AJ picked your post @donkeypong for his #TOP5 FOOD POST. Visit AJ's FOOD ROUNDUP to view where your post is ranked.
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Wow. Life goals for me, to plant my own organic vegetables. Props to you!

This post is like ''the art of zucchini'' hahahah

Great veggies looks very delicious dish.

wow..... It is looking so yummy and full of nutrition, I just love your taste specially Risotto with Zucchini and other veggies Great it is very helpful food in summer.
Thank you for sharing with us ;)

feel fee to see my post and give me your valuable feedback =>>@amar15
it will be very helpful for me.
Thank you ;)

From where you went to some forest area a few days ago, you got inspiration from squash cultivation and started working in the same way that you and your home. Farming is very profitable in the Swiss method. It is possible to earn 2 lacs for 75 days in 30 thousand taka 1 bigha land.

Mulching

Maliciously plays an important role in the cultivation of squash. If the plantation is lasting, if the surrounding area is mulching, then the temperature is fine and the soil retains moisture. This issue helps to advance and increase the yield of squash.

Irrigation Provide:

Squash trees dry up to 2 inches of water a week. So irrigation must be provided if needed.
Squash seeds can be sown one by one and more than one can be sown in a single mother. About 2-3 feet away, a seed of 2-3 seeds was sown in a mada. Seeds should be sown in about 1 inch deep. After planting, lift the soil up to 6-12 inches high and must be absorbed by 1-2 feet. After 4 to 6 weeks of seed sowing the fruit will start.
Playing with a lot of fire is different. When we were young, I played with a lot of fireworks, but now in our country it is absolutely prohibited, so that in this age, the people of Poliyapani refrained from fireworks.

Lesson learned: you can have too much of a good thing :)

I had a friend who used to make the best chocolate cake, loaded with zucchini so her kids had no idea and would eat it. Also, chopped and blended works great mixed with chickpeas for humus.

Lol. Jurassic park indeed. It's impressive how many kinds of food the zucchini can go with. Would definitely recommend wanna try out the pizza

It is very creative as you combine the zucchini to create so many recipes that look very delicious, it is normal for children to get tired of eating the same thing so many times but there is when you do what you mention, change the shape of the recipe to give another touch of flavor and continue to eat healthy :)

Fine dishes on your photos, my friend and I did not even think that with zucchini you can come up with a lot of dishes, since we basically fry them in batter and I was curious to know how you cook them. I really liked the option with pizza, I will definitely need to try to cook it! Thank you @donkeypong

Vegetable is very useful for our health. I like gardening gardens, I have cultivated many vegetables in my house. It feels great to me. Vegetables add nutrients to our body. In our country many vegetables are cultivated in the village. Which satisfies the nutritional needs of the people of the city. We all should have fresh vegetables in our homes.

Hello @Donkeypong,
I am from India where hindi is our mother tongue and zucchini in hindi is know as turee (तुरई). Many children do not accept to eat zucchini in India. But the zucchini is treated as a green vegetable which has number of benifits.

But the way of presenting Zucchini by you is really great. I means according to you we can present zucchini in Pizza and Burgers.

Nothing taste like homegrown vegetables. I love organic foods, especially that are grown locally. I haven't heard or see zucchini before this post. I wonder how many varieties of vegetables and cereals are available in this world. Mother nature has given us a lot.

I love your photos there @donkeypong Zuchinis are not really available in my country for an everyday vegetable although at one point I see them in the supermarket and that was years ago when I was still able to walk. They are a member of the squash family and are nutritious.

Kebun yang menghasilkan

this is the first time I saw such a pumpkin type
I want to try it sometime
maybe tasty @donkeypong :D

This is really awesome and amazing to know about this never experienced about zucchini,thank you so much for sharing,have a great day.

Good to know that Zucchini is the young fruit of the squash plant, i am not aware of this stuff but your words are reflecting that this is really awesome plant and you've mentioned some amazing dishes, and hopefully i will try to find this plant here and will try to make some stuff with it.

Good to know your family menu, and specially i liked the idea of Omelette and in my opinion it's unique stuff with this thing and i personally like Omelette and we use more Onions in Omelette.

Yes, children always want to explore new foodie stuff and if they get everyday veggie stuff they will get bore and they will mostly move towards some different stuff and basically in most cases children prefer pizzas.

Good to know that little bit of this stuff is also provided to dog, and in my opinion dogs are entertaining and sometimes their expressions towards the food stuff is really adorable and they are human beings best friends.

Thanks for sharing this post with us and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂

I really like green vegetables like Zucchini. But it would be very boring if every day eat Zucchini: D

This is my cooking, Zucchini Stir-Fried With Chicken.

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Thanks for sharing story of your day.



By the way, I have a poetry on my latest post. Maybe you want to read my poetry.

Thank you very much and have a great day

En Venezuela se conoce como calabacín! es exquisito como se prepare... los he cocinado en rodajas delgadas sobre una plancha, colocandoles un poco de sal y mantequilla y quedan muy buenos. Al igual que rellenos con carne y encima cubiertos de bechamel y queso! es un plato para repetir y repetir

I love zucchini! And we have a lot of it in the garden every summer too! And I get to know our families when I read the story that over time we start using zucchini with maximum imagination. Well, for example, in the autumn we made a train from zucchini for the exhibition in kindergarten and many other similar things! One of my favorite zucchini recipes is casserole. Garlic circles smear with mayonnaise and garlic, put on top of tomato circles, fill it all with cheese and herbs and bake in the oven. It's delicious. And of course pancakes made of grated zucchini - it also always works perfectly.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about my favorite zucchini! It's jam! Cut 1 kg of zucchini into small cubes, add 2 crushed lemon or orange, fill it all with sugar (about 1 kg) and cook on low heat for 2 hours. This jam can be eaten immediately or put it in banks and save for the winter time. The taste is very unusual and pleasant, like honey with a subtle hint of citrus.

Hey @donkeypong, thanks for sharing this. Love the ideas you listed. I don't grow zucchini in my tiny little garden, but have in years past and I know how they can get "out of control." Such fun! Earlier today I posted my mid-summer garden report. Check it out HERE. Gardening is my recreation!!!

We know a lot from you. I never knew before. You are a great person You are not comparisons.
Really impressive blog ! Dear sir, your thinking is always great!

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Yes, zucchini season is here ladies and gentleman. Nice @donkeypong

@donkeypong, reading your post can add my knowledge about the main fruit of pumpkin.
knowing closer to the season pumpkins and summer pumpkins can help us in the process of what pumpkins are suitable and suitable for serving beloved family or guests

Interesting your publication, I like it. Allow me to follow you. I invited you to my modest blog. God bless you.

I love zucchini fry it with olive oil put a little bit of balsamic vinegar salt and garlic! It's perfect!
Yummy blog:):)
next time I'll try it for our cats:)zucchini with ham/eggs
Have a lovely day.

Lol,I didn't know dogs eat Zucchinis too. Anyways, if you have some more zucchinis to get rid of, I used to cook them with some salted roasted pork. Toss it together with some pasta and pepper and you're good to go.

I once bought 2kg for charity and ended up cooking zucchinis for a week, will try it with flatbread and pesto next time.

Hi @donkeypong how are you
Excellent post that squash
I have tried to cultivate squash many times
But could not be successful
I liked the pictures of your squash
I saw the recipes with squash
I will definitely try

The incredible artwork that has been done on Squash
I see the eyes get stuck
Squash with pizza again
Although squash's pizza was never eaten
Unusual artwork of your full post tie
I can not write well
If you have said something wrong, look at the forgiveness
Be nice to be good
We will talk again
Bye

This post was great but this line in particular really got me!

Oh, and I almost forgot: the dog gets some zucchini, too.

I can just picture the poor dog staring at a bowl of zucchini with sad eyes.

We gardeners must be a sucker for punishment because we always plant zucchini and always struggle to give the copious harvest away! If you're looking for some new recipes we shared our Lazy Lasagna and a Spice Mix that pairs really well with BBQ'd zucchini. I've been thinking about sharing a zuccini salsa recipe I made a few years back but I will have to do some digging to find it again. Cheers, Aimee