The Giant Zucchini Dilemma
When I left for an eight-day vacation recently, I asked my wonderful friend, who looks after my garden when I’m away, to help herself to any of the squash, zucchinis and tomatoes as they ripened. She was tickled to have the fresh produce and I was thrilled to have her keeping my containers and flowerbeds watered! But, upon my return, I found she had missed one zucchini that was now approximately the size of Chicago! Two and a half feet long, this ball bat of a vegetable was intimidating in both length and girth.
Now I come from a real “Waste not, Want not” kind of background and challenged myself to find ways to use this monster up. I wracked my brains to think of ways to use up such a large quantity of zucchini . A little background here, my sweetie really views zucchini as one of the dreaded green vegetables, and I just recently got him to like it grilled. So my work was cut out for me!
First I thought to myself, “What have I liked with zucchini in it?” Well, there were those tasty pancakes with fruit jam I had years ago at a friend’s house. Just throw some egg, a few tablespoons of pancake mix and the zucchini together until it is the desired consistency and fry it up. For a real sweet and savory mix, top the pancakes with a fruit jam (plum and strawberry were the favorites).
Then, I already knew we could grill the zukes as a nice side dish with dinner. Super easy to make, all you have to do is cut the zucchini into rounds, brush on a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I used Trader Joe’s 21-spice combination this time and it was extra good!
Off to the computer for a Pinterest recipe search and, lo and behold, I found a chocolate zucchini cake recipe! That’s what I’m talking about! The recipe I used is below and I would recommend it. Only a box of cake mix, 3 eggs, 3 medium zucchini grated finely and a little water are needed. Mix it up and bake in an oiled loaf pan or two small loaf pans. Takes a little over 30 minutes at 350 F and you have a super moist chocolate cake. Something my husband is wild about is chocolate cake and this was a big hit. Since I had so much zucchini, I made a couple extra loaves and gave them to friends. We just drizzled a little chocolate syrup on ours, but you could make a confectioner’s sugar glaze or use icing as you please. Fairly low in calories and what a great way to sneak some veggies into your unsuspecting family : )
It all looks so good! Where do I sign up for the cooking classes?
Jacki~ This was desperation to use up an ENORMOUS zucchini that was overlooked in the garden! All’s well that ends well however : )
You’re in the same dilemma as me! I came back from New England on Monday to find 8 huge zucchini – apparently my friends didn’t want to bother the garden while I was away. Had one day at home to deal with them before heading back to the big city to deal with some health issues my mother is having. What to do with all this zucchini? I got the food processor out, shredded 5 of them, packed them in freezer bags and put them away. Took three to my city friends who don’t have gardens and kept one for myself for frying up this weekend. If you turn your back on those babies, they grow up fast!!
I feel your pain, Heather : )
We have had a very wet summer and it seems to swell those zucchini overnight! I swear one grew 3 or 4 inches yesterday! Looking into making relish now too, but the chocolate zucchini cake was the biggest hit so far!
I don’t like zucchini, but grew it for the sake of saying I could. I found that you can dehydrate them after boiling them in grape juice or kool aid to make chewy fruit snacks. Going to do that with the leg I just pulled from the garden.
Another great idea, Sarah! Loved that you called your zucchini a “leg” because that’s just about what this one looked like. My husband really isn’t keen on zucchini either but loved the chocolate cake – you might want to try it too!
I freeze up zucchini and make cookies, bread, and casseroles with it in the winter.
That’s also a great idea, Tanya! I got so busy trying to use that large zuke up that I completely forgot about the freezer : )
I want to make this cake. How much zucchini is 3 medium zukes? 3 cups? I don’t now if my zuchini’s are medium, large or small.
3 medium zucchini as far as I could figure was about 3 cups, give or take a little, Nina Jean. I mixed the grated zucchini with the eggs and dry cake mix until it was about the same consistency as a thick cake batter. The grated zucchini is pretty moist – I didn’t even have to add water like the Pinterest pin had suggested.
It was amazing!
I am trying the grilled zucchini tomorrow Barb..looks yummy!
It is, Nancy! Best of all, it is quick and easy and healthy too! Even my husband who thought he didn’t like zucchini liked it prepared this way!Hope you like it too.
I feel your pain. Our squash have gone crazy this year and more is on the way. I feel like Bubba on Forest Gump when he was reciting all of the things you can do with shrimp. I have made fried, baked, stewed, mashed, and grilled zucchini; zucchini breads, cakes, fritters, pizza and my favorite,deep fried zucchini sticks. I even grated the big ones, measured enough for a batch of bread and put bags of it in the freezer to use this winter. Going to try the chocolate cake today.
Lyn ~ Sounds like you are the zucchini master!! I only planted two plants because it is just my husband and me here at home now. We still have a ton of zucchini to use! I hope you love the chocolate zucchini cake as much as we do!
It is in the oven now. Looks and smells wonderful.
Expecting another drought, we planted 10 hills of squash: 6 zucchini and 4 yellow squash with 4 or 5 plants each. After an initial dry spell, we have had regular rain and it is unseasonably cool. The plants are waist high. Even my co-workers are tired of my bags of squash. I may resort to leaving some in unlocked cars!Hate to let it go to waste.
That is a lot of produce, Lyn! Around here, folks with extra produce take it to the homeless shelter downtown or put it out on a table in front of the house labeled “Free”. Then there’s always those unlocked cars … kind of a “Veggie Bomb” : )