Learn About Zucchinis

Zucchinis
Zucchinis

Zucchinis are a summertime staple. So much so that by the end of summer, we are usually inundated with them.

Zucchinis are part of the summer squash family and can grow up to a metre long. But, they are usually harvested when they are smaller and more immature.

They are usually light or dark green in colour. You may also see a golden yellow version, which is a related hybrid to the green squash.

One very interesting aspect of the zucchini plant is that both the squash and the blossoms are edible. If you haven’t tried deep fried zucchini blossoms, you absolutely must. Check out the video below for more information on cooking zucchini flowers.

Storage:

  • There is no need to wash zucchinis before storing. Brush them off lightly to dislodge loose dirt and any insect hitchhikers. It is recommended that you do not wash until ready to use.
  • Do not store zucchinis in the fridge. This can age them prematurely. Leaving them in a cool dark place will be fine for up to a week. If you must store them in the fridge, place in a zip top bag with a paper towel. Keep them in a crisper drawer for up to 4 days.
  • To store zucchini flowers, place in an airtight container or zip top bag and refrigerate. Use as soon as possible.

Zucchinis can be frozen. Keep in mind that they will not be the same texture once thawed. It is best to use frozen zucchinis in soups and stews or baked into things like quick breads or muffins.

Freezing

Zucchinis can be frozen and stored for future use.

  • Zucchinis can be frozen raw or blanched. Blanching will help to keep their colour and flavour for longer.
  • Wash the zucchinis very well before blanching.
  • Trim the ends off and slice into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Be sure to place in an ice bath after boiling to shock and stop the cooking process.
  • Once blanched, dry off the slices and lay flat on a tray and place in the freezer.
  • Once frozen, transfer into a freezer safe container or zip top bag. Label with name and date.

Uses For Zucchini

Zucchini can be used in so many ways:

  • Can be eaten raw or cooked.
  • Shred it with a grater and make zucchini bread or muffins.
  • Add shredded zucchini to coleslaw.
  • Cut zucchinis into slices, spears, or halves and grill, sauté, or roast.
  • Use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles in place of pasta.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel very thin strips of zucchini. Lay flat and spread on spreadable cheese or other spread (think hummus, avocado) and add finely chopped vegetables. Roll up into stuffed zucchini rolls.

Cooking Tips:

  • Since zucchini can be eaten raw or cooked, there is no need to cook it until it is a pile of mush. If you are grilling, roasting, or sautéing, cook for a little less time. This will allow it to be sweet and tender instead of mushy.
  • To help reduce mushiness (especially if you like to cook it longer), lay cut zucchini on a tray and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. This will draw a lot of moisture out. Wipe zucchini down with a paper towel to remove excess moisture and salt. Cook as you normally would. The end result will be much less mushy. This works with any kind of squash that you want to be less mushy when fully cooked.

Check out this video on how to cook zucchini flowers:


Do you love zucchini? Let us know how you like to eat or prepare it.

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