Ways I’m using produce this week

The winner of the 2013 Almanac is commenter #30 Rebecca. Congrats, Rebecca!

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We’ve hit the time of year when keeping up with the garden takes several hours a day. Stir-fries and pizzas with lots of veggies are on the menu every day or two. Green beans and grated zucchini and raspberries are going into the freezer. Yesterday we canned pickles and tomatoes. Today it was applesauce. And still we have produce. I’ve been looking for interesting ways to use the veggies in new ways, and boy, have I found some!

These French Fried Green Beans might even make me a bean-lover.

I’m looking forward to trying these traditional Haitian picklese.

This Sweet and Sour Eggplant recipe was recommended by a friend.

But this recipe for Zucc-Raisins  wins as THE most unusual way to use zucchini in the universe!  Diced zucchini is marinated in a brown sugar syrup overnight, and then dehydrated.  Sound odd? I thought so too, but our garden is cranking out half a dozen zucchini a day.  Why not try it?

Turns out they truly have a nice chewy sweetness and even look a bit like golden raisins. Every single member of our family enjoyed them, and that rarely happens, especially with zucchini. These tasty little guys will be great on granola or in yogurt. They can be baked in bread or muffins or even cookies.  We like raisins around here.  We probably go through $3-5 worth a month.  Maybe we won’t entirely stop buying raisins– I suspect they’re a bit healthier than candied zucchini. 🙂 But with all this zucchini I’m thrilled to have found one more way we can enjoy our harvest this winter.

{ 14 Comments }

  1. Here is a zucchini recipe that I tried this week and my kids chowed it down. I thought of you and your zucchini woes. 🙂

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2011/07/28/baked-zucchini-sticks-and-sweet-onion-dip-that-bloomin-zucchini/

  2. Oh! Can you freeze grated zucchini? That’s something I’ve been wondering about. We’ve got a chocolate zucchini muffin recipe that my kids love (lots more chocolate than zucchini, I’m afraid) but I didn’t know about freezing the grated zucchini. Any advice on freezing/reusing? Thanks!

    • I have frozen zucchini with good results. For breads, I just use it thawed without draining it. For something like an omelet, I would drain it first.

  3. Absolutely yes– I just freeze it in sandwich bags.

  4. If you make the eggplant dish, please let us know how it is! I have plenty of eggplant, and I really should use it somehow. Maybe I’ll just go for it and try out the recipe. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

  5. All right, I cooked the eggplant recipe, and it’s a five-star winner! The recipe was so simple, and the ingredients were all on hand. I used both white and ichiban eggplant from the garden, fresh garden basil for the mint, and a combination of pecorino romano and farmer’s mozarella for the ricotta salata. I also used home canned tomatoes. I am so impressed with this recipe. Compared to breaded eggplant dishes, I actually like it much better (plus, it was much easier). And this one is relatively low fat and gluten free. Win, win, win!

    • That eggplant recipe sounds great, but I’m struggling to figure out what to pair it with. What else did you serve?

      Nancy

      • We made pizza and served the eggplant as a side dish. It was good. I bet it would be good with chicken too.

        • Pizza – I would not have thought of that. I was almost thinking of baking Chicken Thighs with the Eggplant, but I think I want to taste this dish on its own first before I start to tinker with it.
          Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. LOVE your blog! Could you please tell us how you freeze your beans?
    Thank you!

    • Juli, We cut the ends off, cut them in half, and freeze them in ziplocks. Easy peasy. I mean beany. 😉

      • Don’t you have to blanch them first?? Thanks for the recipe suggestions. Do you have any ideas about what to do with beets? We’ve got a super abundance of them this year and I’m looking for new ideas. Thanks.

  7. I have been making up summer squash noodles to freeze up for later. I have also done it with zucchini.