Zucchini! Zucchini! Zucchini!
This zucchini, as you can see, is monstrous! It was hiding in the midst of this:
giant zucchini plant monster.
This is why people complain about zucchini every summer and start dropping it off surreptitiously on other people’s door steps. I even read one blog that said if you have to buy zucchini in the summer then you don’t have any friends. Hahaha…A little harsh? Maybe…but also kinda true! BTW- if you need any zucchini, I have some! No, I won’t deliver. Come and get it.
Anyway, so I have not only monster zucchini above, but tons more smaller zukes, too!
Of course we have been eating them fresh, but now we are getting to the insane point where more must be done!
So, what am I doing with all of this bountiful harvest?
Well first we cooked it on the grill. Nothing fancy, slice it up, drizzle with some olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe some garlic powder or chopped jalapenos. Put on some foil or in one of those grill baskets and cook on your grill, next to your delicious salmon, until it reaches your desired degree of doneness. My personally desired degree of doneness is barely cooked because mushy food makes me want to gag, especially mushy zucchini. BLECH!
I came across a recipe for parmesan broiled zucchini. I read it and then I have no idea what the actual process was, so this is what I do: Put the zukes through the slicer blade on my food processor. Put in the bottom half of a broiler pan. Cook on the grill or in the oven until starting to get crispy. Top with fresh shredded parmesan, broil until the parmesan is starting to brown and get crunchy. EAT!! Oh, I also season this with my typcial olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic mix. That is my basic go-to seasoning set.
I also decided to dehydrate some! After doing some research, turns out that some people will eat dried zucchini as chips! I dried my first batch yesterday, 2 medium size zukes filled my four trays and got me 1 pint of dried zucchini chips. These ones are unseasoned, but I might try adding some cumin or garlic or salt to the next batch(s).
I opted for dehydrating rather than freezing for two reasons. 1-dehydrating was simpler. Most freezing recipes call for blanching and cold shocking and then freezing. 2-everything I read said that the frozen zucchini when defrosted will be mushy. See above for information regarding mushy zucchini. BLECH!
Okay, so dried zucchini is a way better option for me. Everything I read said you could dry slices OR shreds. Slices would be better for adding to soup, stew, casserole, etc., while shreds would be ready for adding to meatloaf, bread or muffins, cookies and whatnot to up the veggie content. Today I will be trying shreds. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll let you know.
What ELSE am I doing? Making muffins of course!! In fact, I used the monster above to make muffins yesterday.
That thing garnered about 10 cups of shredded zucchini.
I made 5 batches (60 muffins!) of a variety of zucchini muffins.
Zucchini Currant, Zucchini Cranberry, Zucchini Chocolate Chip, Zucchini Lemon and just plain Zucchini.
The base recipe is the same; I just tweaked the add ins.
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup white flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground clove*
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
2/3 cup lowfat milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2-2/3 cup add in (currant, cranberry, chocolate chip)
(see post script for lemon muffins)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Spray liners with non-stick cooking spray (do not skip this step!)
In large bowl combine first 9 ingredients, flour through salt, (*omit these items if making lemon muffins).
In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients, zucchini through add in. Blend together.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until moist and blended. Do not overmix. Mix will be fairly dense.
Spoon mix into lined muffin pans. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Muffins will spring back when tapped on the top and a cake tester should come out clean. Remove from tin and place on cooling rack immediately.
LEMON MUFFINS: skip adding the * items (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove) to the dry ingredients. To the wet ingredients add the zest of one lemon and the juice of one lemon. (I also added about a tablespoon of olive oil just for an additional flavor component-totally optional). I found that the lemon muffin mixture, after mixing the wet and dry ingredients was quite wet. I added about another 1/4 cup or so of whole wheat flour and that seemed to thicken it up nicely.
Now, you do not have to make 5 batches in one sitting, but if you do you can end up with something like this:
If you are anal enough to take the time to count the muffins in the picture you will see there is only 59. My taste tester, Mr. Chris Beebe, stole one of the chocolate chip ones! He said they were good. Not sticky or too sweet. A good muffin for breakfast or lunch. Thank you, Mr. Beebe!
We packaged these babies up in freezer ziplock bags and into the deep freezer they went. Now we have tons of muffins available. You can take them out of the freezer, microwave for 30-45 seconds and they are ready to eat!
Also, for the calorie conscious, they are pretty darn low calorie for a muffin. They start at about 150 calories for the base recipe, so the various additions would up that a bit, but they are still less than 200 calories a muffin.
If you have a fabulous zucchini recipe I would LOVE to have it! Add it in the comments or send me an email!