I am so grateful to have been gifted with large quantities of zucchini and zucchini squash from my friend's garden this year. I love roasting slices of zucchini for roasted veggie sandwiches and dicing zucchini to add to chili but I wanted to see if I could challenge myself to come up with a few new recipes to make use of our abundance of zucchini! I decided to mix up textures and flavours, some crispy, some creamy and a sweet option as well. Zucchini has a lovely, neutral flavour, it acts as a wonderful base for the seasoning you add to it.
I was pleased to discover that zucchini has quite a few health benefits to recommend it. Classified as a summer squash on George Mateljan's World's Healthiest Foods website, it is said to be beneficial for blood sugar regulation, as well as being anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. It is also said to provide prostate support and it's high anti-oxidant content serves as an anti-cancer benefit. For more details you can check out the World's Healthiest Foods site here.
Without further ado, here are the recipes. Happy Zucchini Cooking!
1 large zucchini
Olive oil to coat
A pinch or two of rosemary salt*
A pinch or two of lemon infused sea salt**
Thinly slice your zucchini using a mandoline (or your mad knife skills!).
Pour olive oil into a large bowl. Add salts and stir to combine. Add zucchini slices and stir until coated.
Dehydrate until dry and crispy.
If you don't have a dehydrator you can put your oven on at the lowest possible setting (I went with 200 F) and bake, checking frequently, until they are dry and crispy. At this temperature it took about an hour.
* To make rosemary salt, spread sea salt and fresh rosemary on a silicon mat in your dehydrator. Dehydrate until rosemary is dry, then add salt and rosemary to a mason jar (crumbling the dry rosemary into small pieces).
** To make lemon infused sea salt, zest some lemons and combine 1 part zest with 3 parts sea salt in a mason jar. Shake to combine, and let the salt sit at room temperature to infuse. I started using mine after a couple of days, however the longer you wait, the stronger the lemon flavour will be!
Creamy Zucchini Soup
I came up with this recipe because I was trying to make use of root veg from our CSA bag, in addition to zucchini. Feel free to substitute and use whatever veggies you happen to have on hand!
2 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 lg parsnip, diced
1 cup purple top turnips
2 cups zucchini, diced
5 apples diced
2 tsp all purpose seasoning (optional - I love the one by Harmonic Arts, or you can blend your own using this recipe here)
2 tsp herbamare or sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1" piece ginger, grated
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp masala rooibos chai (I used the one from Jaga Silk) or you can use a pre-prepared chai spice blend or make your own (equal parts cinnamon, cardamom, cloves & nutmeg)
1 can organic coconut milk
Sauté onions, garlic, celery and carrots until soft.
Add parsnip, turnip, zucchini and apples, and sauté until fruit and veg is soft.
Add all purpose seasoning, herbamare, pepper and grated ginger along with veg broth.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Blend soup in a high speed blender until smooth.
Whisk in masala chai and coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes more, to let flavours blend.
Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
Chocolate Zucchini Brownie Bites
This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found here. The recipe is very dense, hence the long cooking time for mini bites, but the end result is well worth the extra cooking time! My first attempt was in a brownie pan, however I found the batter didn't firm up in the centre. I throughly enjoyed the first batch, as I am a huge molten lava cake fan, but if you prefer a more solid brownie the mini muffin pan is the way to go!
2 cups zucchini purée (from 1-2 zucchini)
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 chia egg (see directions below)
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
1/3 cup raw cacao
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line a mini muffin pan with muffin cups (silicon or paper) or rub with coconut oil and set aside.
Prepare chia egg: grind 1 Tbsp chia seeds and whisk with 1/4 cup warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes to gel.
Mix together brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, arrowroot, raw cacao, baking soda and sea salt in a large bowl.
Add zucchini purée, coconut oil, coconut sugar, chia egg, apple sauce and vanilla extract to a blender and process until smooth.
Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
Scoop batter into mini muffin pan cups, and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.