Category Archives: zucchini

IMG_3112[1]

Chunky Mustard Zucchini Pickles

Had a little time this morning, and so decided to make some of these pickles. I made them last year and my brother just went wild over them, so I am definitely making more for us and for him for Christmas. We all agreed that the original recipe had too much sugar and could use a little more kick, so I adapted the recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving to be a bit more to our taste.

Chunky Mustard Zucchini Pickles
14 cups seeded peeled zucchini
6 cups chopped onions
1/4 cup pickling salt
1 cup granulated sugar (original recipe called for 3 cups)
4 T low sugar pectin (original recipe called for ClearJel)
1/4 cup dry mustard
1 T ground ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup water
2 cups white/apple cider vinegar (original recipe called for all white, but I ran out and had to supplement with apple cider vinegar)
1 bell pepper (original recipe called for red, I used green)
1 jalapeño, minced (original recipe didn’t have jalapeño)

1. Peel zucchini, split in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and cut into chunks. Peel onions and roughly chop.
IMG_3105[1]

2. In large stainless steel bowl, combine zucchini and onions. Add salt, mix thoroughly, and let sit 1 hour. Drain.
IMG_3107[1]

3. In saucepan, mix sugar, pectin, mustard, ginger, turmeric, water, vinegar and peppers. Mix and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes.
IMG_3108[1]

4. Fill jars with zucchini and onion mixture, then ladle spice mix over the top. Leave 1/2″ headspace. Remove bubbles, wipe rim, place lid and put in canner.
IMG_3111[1]

5. Process 10 minutes at low altitude. I processed 15 minutes, as we are 1500 ft above sea level, and the recipe said to increase by 5 minutes for 1001-3000 ft. Remove to towel-covered countertop and wait for the pings.
IMG_3112[1]

6. Remove bands,wash the outside of the jars, label and store. (I “label” by writing on the side of the jar with a thick permanent Sharpie. It is easy to scrub off with a green scrubby when washing, or for more stubborn ones, a Magic Eraser.)

This yielded me 6 pints plus another not quite full pint that I decided not to process and instead just eat. It was very, very good.

Zucchini fritters

My goodness, is this going to be a blog about zucchini?  Well, no, that isn’t the plan, but with bucketsful coming out of the garden that is what I am spending most of my free time thinking of how to use.

So, zucchini fritters.  As you know, I am trying to eat paleo, so using flour is a no no.  The Zucchini Flour is a nice substitute for this recipe.

Once again, I used a zucchini bat. I used one that was about 15″ long, and this recipe yielded 6 fritters. I cut the ends off, split lengthwise, and scooped out the seeds just like in the zucchini flour post. Then, I laid it cut side down so I wasn’t cutting a moving round boat and cut it into large strips.

zucchini strips

I put this into the food processor and shredded, then set into strainers to drain. I sprinkled salt on and worked the salt into the zucchini and waited about 15 minutes.

shredded zucchini

 

I then squeeeeeeeezed the zucchini between my hands to get the moisture out.  Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze.  You want it to be quite dry and firm when you are done.  My notes, in fact, said “squeeze the piss out of it.”  So do that.  Then just add the spices, an egg, and the flour.

zucchini fritter ingredients

I used:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Jack’s Seasoning (an all purpose seasoning salt…with less salt flavor than most)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 cup zucchini flour
  • 1 tsp salt – but this was too much salt when combined with salt used to get the water out.  I will eliminate this next time.

Mix together (with your hands) and make into patties.  If it still feels too wet, add more zucchini flour.  I used an electric skillet on 350* and cooked them in lard.  You can use any other oil, of course, but then you will be missing out on the yummy goodness of lard. You want them to brown nicely on one side before flipping them.  Messing with them too much will make them fall apart, so just leave them alone until you need to flip, then flip carefully.

cooking zucchini fritters

Perfect!  These are very filling, and each of us could only eat one with our meal.  They turned out almost sweet.  I had tried these before with almond flour, and the almond taste completely overwhelmed the rest of the flavors, so using the zucchini flour is definitely the way to go if you can’t use regular flour.  To warm leftovers, I would use a skillet on pretty low heat so you can warm them up all the way through without burning.

done zucchini fritters

Zucchini flour

I’m currently trying to eat Paleo, to help with weight loss and fertility issues.  I have PCOS and am insulin resistant, and following a low carb/whole foods diet is really helping with my hormonal and weight problems.  So, of course, that means no flour.  I’ve tried just not using it (impossible with some recipes), I’ve tried almond flour (expensive, and gives some recipes a strange flavor).  And of course, I have zucchini coming out the wahzoo, so I might as well experiment.

Turns out, zucchini flour is easy peasy.  Takes a while (the drying part), but isn’t difficult.

First, grab a zucchini bat.  You know the one.  The one hiding under the leaf that you haven’t check for a week or two.  The footer.  Grab that one. Cut off both ends.

large zucchini

 

I then stand it up on one flat surface and carefully cut it in half.  Carefully.  If you have crappy knife skills, don’t do this.  In fact, if you have crappy knife skills and/or bad hand eye coordination, why don’t you just go ahead and skip this post…

zucchini standing up

Now, scoop out the seeds.  I use a large heavy spoon and just scoop scoop scoop.  It doesn’t have to be perfect…this isn’t fine furniture.  I discard the seeds into the scrap bucket to go to the chickens.

scooping out seeds

 

 

I don’t have a mandolin slicer, so I tried a few different things.   I tried just slicing with a knife, but they were uneven.  I tried the food processor, but that gave me little chips, not long slices.  Not efficient.  So, I came up with this way…again, if you have clumsy hands, just look away now, please.

Use the stem of your food processor and put the slicing disk on it.  Hold the stem like a handle.

stem and disk

Now, carefully use the slicing portion of the disk to slice the zucchini lengthwise.  The zucchini is a semi-circle at first, and I slice the bottom portion off, and keep slicing that plane until the two sides fall apart.  You can see in this picture that I am pushing the zucchini to the left with my right hand over the slicing disc, and the slice of zucchini is coming out underneath.  You have to really pay attention to where your fingers are and how close you are to that sharp knife edge, but if you are careful, this really saves some time.

sliced zucchini

 

Once the zucchini falls apart, and the two sides are left, repeat for each of those sides.  The slices come out perfectly the same width.  I then cut in half lengthwise so more will fit on the dehydrator.

sliced zucchini

 

Ready to put on the dehydrator.  I dehydrate this until super dry on 140 degrees.  I usually wait about 24 hours, but that is because it takes me that long to get back to it.  It could be done earlier…just be sure that it is crisp.

IMG_1957[1]

 

When the zucchini is completely dry, put it in your blender and blend into a fine powder.

zucchini flour

I store mine in a quart mason jar.  You could oven can this if you get enough, since it is dry.  (Oven canning isn’t safe for anything other than dry ingredients, though.)

zucchini flour in jar

I have the following Food Processor and Dehydrator:
Cuisinart DLC-2007N Prep 7 7-Cup Food Processor, White

Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator All-In-One Kit with Jerky Gun