Prep: Zucchini

Here in Arizona, we are blessed to have a spectacular organization called Borderlands Food Bank.  They provide a program called Produce on Wheels – Without Waste (POW-WOW), for anyone who wants to participate.  Essentially, for a $10 donation, one can gather up to 60-pounds of fresh produce!  It’s truly incredible what is available some weeks!

Well, many times POW-WOW offers a huge amount of zucchini.  One Saturday that I participated, I was allowed to take 24 zucchini.  24!!  Zucchini!!  That’s a lot of zucchini!  Time to get creative!

So, I cooked it in a variety of different ways…. breaded/baked, grilled, stir-fried…. but, still I had so much left.  In the end, I shredded it in the food processor and froze it in quart ziplock plastic bags.  Worked like a DREAM!  Took about 3 medium zucchini to fill one quart bag, by the way.  Many recipes only use 1-2 cups of shredded zucchini, so you might opt to freeze in smaller portions.

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Moral of the story…. in the summer, if your garden is bursting with zucchini…. or, if zucchini is on a killer sale at your favorite market…. shred it & freeze it!

Some of my favorite zucchini recipes:

Fudgy Zucchini Bread from Real Mom Nutrition – from Sally Kuzemchak, RDN, truly one of my favorite uses for frozen shredded zucchini!  Great to freeze in slices for lunches, too.  Another prep application!

Zoodle Basil Tomato Salad from Dr Jenn Bowers – Dietitian / Nutritionist – so, this doesn’t use shredded zucchini, it can still use up that excess squash you have!IMG_5588

Throw the shredded zucchini into soups during the last 10 minutes.  Cooks quickly & adds beautiful color and nutrients!

Recently, I added some shredded zucchini to a batch of homemade salsa!  Delish!

Chunked zucchini can be frozen and later used in stir-fry or calabacitas, a delicious healthy side dish native to southwestern cuisine.  Here is a fantastic recipe for Classic Calabacitas from Debbie Davis, RDN.

What are your favorite zucchini prep ideas?!

Cheers, Jennifer

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Author: drjennbowersnutrition

Dr. Bowers is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 25 years of experience in clinical nutrition, education and health promotion. Her down-to-earth philosophy is "All foods can fit!"

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