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If you love to garden then chances are you have zucchini coming out your ears round about now!
Here in the mountains, we are gearing up for a big freeze so everything is getting harvested. I have green tomatoes galore that I will have to box up and store in the basement until they ripen. I also need to hurry and bottle the rest of my beans, dig up the potatoes, and store the butternut squash, among a ton of other tasks.
My counter is completely hidden under a giant mound of zucchini that is getting in the way, so I’m going to tackle that later today.
One of my favorite ways to use excess zucchini is in baked goods. Don’t get me wrong, I love roasted or grilled zucchini as a side dish in the summer but when your kids forget their harvesting duties and you end up with some torpedo sized zucchini why not bake with it instead of letting your hubby use it for target practice? Of course, that’s always fun, too.
Since fresh zucchini only lasts so long, I freeze my extra so I can use it in the winter.
It’s so easy and useful. Here’s how…
Step One: Shred
Wash your zucchini and slice off the ends then get to work shredding. I like to use my food processor with a fine grating disk.
Just FYI, you’re probably going to make a big green mess so be prepared and just go with it.
Step 2: Strain
Zucchini is surprisingly juicy, which if not strained will leave you with a very mushy end result so the next thing you want to do is strain the shredded zucchini in a colander set over a bowl for a few minutes.
You’ll be so glad you did.
Step 3: Label
While your straining the shredded zucchini, pull out some quart sized zip-top freezer bags and label them with permanent marker.
I like to use the quart sized because I store 2 cups of zucchini, which is the amount most bread recipes call for. It makes it quick and easy to pull out only as much as I need.
Step 4: Roll Top and Fill Bags
I think I’ve shared this with you before, but one of the easiest ways to fill a zip-top bag is by rolling the top down. Not only does it help the baggie stand up, but it also keeps the zipper clean and free from food so it seals correctly.
If you are struggling to fill your bags, another quick tip is to stand the bag up in a mixing bowl or large yogurt container.
This frees up your hands to fill the bag.
Step 5: Press out the air, flatten, and freeze
After you get them filled, press out the air, then flatten like a pancake, and seal. I like to flatten my bags so they lay nicely in the freezer and don’t take up a ton of space. They also will thaw quicker when you are ready to use the zucchini this winter.
I stack my baggie pancakes up in the freezer and then freeze until solid. After they are good and frozen, I stand them up and sort of file them into a little box in my deep freeze.
Step 6: Make some deliciousness!
When you are hankering for some baked goods, pull out a zucchini pancake or two and let them thaw. After it’s thawed out, I like to strain the shredded zucchini one last time just for good measure. Then it’s ready to use in whatever recipe you’d like!
It works great in breads, muffins, soups, etc.
Hey, speaking of zucchini recipes, I found a really good one last month!
If you love lemon, like me, then you’ve got to try Eat Cake for Dinner’s Lemon Zucchini Bread with Lemon Glaze… it is seriously divine!
Honestly, I didn’t even get around to making the glaze because the bread itself was so good. I’m sure that the glaze would take it clear over the top, so next time I’ll make that first before everyone gobbles it up!
I’m serious you guys, you have to try it because it is soooooooo good!
Well, there you have it!
It’s that easy to save some of that prolific garden goodness for the bleak winter months. You’ve totally got this!
**While you’re here, what’s your favorite zucchini recipe?**