Nothing inspires a gardener to be generous to friends and neighbors like an abundant crop of zucchini! Anyone who has grown zucchini knows that a little planting goes a long way.
Here are some recipes to transform your crop into tasty snacks, as well as some tips for preserving your bumper crop for future dishes.
2 pounds zucchini, sliced (about 8 small)
1 pound sliced carrots, tops and root ends removed
1/3 pound onion, quartered and sliced (about 1 small)
1/4 cup canning salt
2 cups stevia
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 cups vinegar
Combine zucchini, carrots and onion in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand 2 hours. Drain mixture, then rinse and drain again. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour vinegar mixture over zucchini, carrots and onions and let stand 2 hours. Bring all ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes. Pack hot zucchini mixture and liquid into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps and process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner. Store in refrigerator. Lasts 2 to 4 weeks.
Yield: 4 half-pints
2 cups chopped zucchini (about 3 medium)
1 small head green cabbage, finely chopped
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped sweet green pepper (about 1 small)
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper (about 1 small)
2-1/2 tablespoons salt
2 cups stevia
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
Combine zucchini, cabbage, onion and peppers in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand 2 hours. Drain mixture, then rinse and drain again. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add vegetables and simmer 10 minutes. Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece lids and process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Store in refrigerator. Lasts 2 to 4 weeks.
4 quarts zucchini, diced or shredded
46 ounces canned unsweetened pineapple juice
1-1/2 cups bottled lemon juice
3 cups sugar
Mix ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes. Fill hot jars with hot mixture and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece lids and process in a boiling water bath (15 minutes for half-pints or pints). Store in refrigerator. Lasts 2 to 4 weeks.
Choose young, slender zucchini. Wash and cut into 1/4-inch slices for cooking purposes or 1/8-inch slices for chips. Dry in a single layer in a 125⁰F oven until brittle. Use slices in soups and casseroles, or sprinkle with seasoned salt and serve with dips.
To freeze sliced zucchini:
Choose young, tender zucchini. Wash and cut in ½-inch slices. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Cool promptly in ice-cold water before draining and packaging in freezer bags or containers, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.
To freeze grated zucchini:
Choose young, tender zucchini. Wash and grate, then steam-blanch in small batches for 1 to 2 minutes. For use in recipes, pack measured amounts into containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cool by placing the containers in cold water. Seal and freeze. If zucchini is watery when thawed, add to soups or discard the liquid before use.
The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She blogs for Vitacost.com and Momonomics.com on a weekly basis.