Anyone who grows their own zucchini knows that once those suckers begin to appear, it’s zucchini picking every day.
When I begin my vegetable garden in June, I include two squash plants, and one is always a zucchini. Usually I have yellow squash too, but this year both plants are zucchini. Within the past few days I’ve picked two zucchini each day. My neighbor gets some, but she lives alone and won’t need all that many.
Most people know to pick their squash when it’s medium size. Any zucchini that gets overlooked, and it’s easy to do, may end up the size of a small baseball bat. I found the one pictured below, stuck under the stems of the plant last year. It was a monster!
Usually I just slice and boil the veggies, as it’s the easiest way to eat them. Fried zucchini is really good also. And of course there is everyone’s favorite – zucchini bread. In fact, if you search online, you’ll find a numerous variety of recipes that use the green squash as an ingredient.
Unfortunately the zucchini comes in at the time when summer gets hot. It’s the time of year when I do not want to heat up the kitchen by baking bread.
With all that squash ready to use, the only other way to keep it fresh to use for a later time, is to freeze it. This is the first time I’ve frozen my excess zucchini, but I don’t know why I haven’t done it before.
It’s so wonderful to pick fresh ingredients from the backyard, but if they are picked and then sit around for days, the vitamins deteriorate, and you might as well have bought them from the store. Preserving them fresh is most important, so pick, shred, package and freeze the zucchini as soon as you pick them.
Pick, shred, put in freezer bags (with date and label – it will keep for 8 months from what I’ve read), and store to use at a later time. Bake that bread on a cool day, or add to a batch of homemade soup. How simple is that?