How to “Process” a Large Zucchini

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on June 23, 2010

So after we dropped my mom off at the airport this past weekend, we made a spontaneous stop at the 2nd Street Market in Downtown Dayton.  I don’t make it up there on a regular basis, but I thought since we were nearby we’d stop in.  I asked Steve how much cash he had on him…and he handed over 18 bucks.

I set out to see how much I could get for my $18.

I couldn’t have been happier with my first find.  See that zucchini up there…it was ginormous. And it was mine…for just $1!!!!! Deal of the day!

So far so good…we pressed on and found some other deals. Poblanos for $.50, Brussel Sprouts for about $1, the eggplant for $1, popcorn for $2.50. Garbanzo beans and black beans for $6-ish.

Then the bread. I’m embarrassed to say how much I paid for that bread loaf.

I’ll let you do the math.

That zucchini needed to be “processed” and put into the freezer. I cut the zucchini roughly into thirds.  I shredded a third, diced a third and cut a third into golf ball size-ish pieces (to mix into the smoothies…Shh.  They still don’t know I sneak it in there.)

The end result. About 4 cups diced zucchini to use for soups or in recipes, 7 bags of shredded zucchini to use in this recipe.  (And chances are, I’ll make these muffins 7 times.  They. are. that. good.)

If you encounter a ginormous zucchini and you’re not sure what to do with it, Amy has quite the list of zucchini recipes that you don’t want to miss out on!

See more $5 Dinners Cooking Tutorials here

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Susie's Homemade June 23, 2010 at 9:56 am

Squashes go a long way!!

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Amy June 23, 2010 at 10:18 am

How did you know the zucchini would be good?
I’ve have similarly sized squash be woody & inedible…
Thanks for the link to the zucchini recipes. (I have 2 favorite zucchini bread recipes & am now so in the mood to eat some!)

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FoodontheTable June 23, 2010 at 10:19 am

I can’t believe you got that huge zucchini for $1! That is such a great deal. I’ve never thought about putting zucchini balls in smoothies. Very clever.

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Shannon June 23, 2010 at 10:21 am

My mother in law swears you can’t eat the seeds when you shred zucchini. I always thought you could. However, she generally is all things kitchen and knows her stuff so I have doubts now. But I am looking at 6 almost done zukes and have got to know at this point. What is your take? Seeds in or no seeds?

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom June 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm

@Shannon,

I grated this zucchini by hand and took out more of the seeds…mostly because I was going to bake with the shredded zucchini and knew I would hear it from one of the boys if they found seeds in their muffins!

Cooking with the zucchini…or shredding it into a pasta dish or something…it could go either way!

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The Working Home Keeper June 23, 2010 at 10:44 am

Just had zucchini cakes last night using zucchini from our garden!

Mary Ellen

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Lois June 23, 2010 at 10:50 am

Perfect timing! We just got an enormous zucchini from a CSA box and needed ideas for using it.

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Tina June 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Really? $6 for bread?!?!?!?! I hope it was good! =)

I don’t think this recipe is frugal nor extremely healthy for that matter, but it does get in zucchini, carrots and raisins…and wheat germ! =) And the muffins are good, too!
http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/62387410/Carrot-Zucchini-Muffins/Detail.aspx

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom June 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm

@Tina,

I know. I’m embarrassed.

In truth…it was for Steve…and it was Father’s Day weekend…so I turned a blind eye! :)

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Aaryn June 25, 2010 at 6:42 am

Fresh baked bread at our farmers market is $5 a loaf. It’s absolutely amazing and my husband loves it, so I always buy it for him, even though it’s crazy expensive! I can cut back other places, it’s worth the price because my husband loves it (and we can afford it), and we’re supporting a local baker! Don’t feel bad!

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The Prudent Homemaker June 26, 2010 at 10:57 am

We let our zuchinnis grow that big on purpose. I have trouble getting very many zuchhinis to grow here in the desert. I hear that everyone else has the opposite problem. Right now I have 4 plants but only 1 zuchhini, and I’m letting it get big on purpose.

When it’s that big–or bigger–I’ll cut it all up for fried zucchini. We coat it in flour and milk, and fry it in batches. Serve it with homeamde ranch dressing, and that will be our dinner (for less than $1 for the dressing, oil, flour, and salt and pepper–for 7 of us!).

Amy–I’ve never had problems with it getting woody, even in our 116º weather. If it does get really big, with hard seeds, you can treat the seeds like pumpkin seeds–and roast them!

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Tina August 20, 2011 at 7:00 am

I live in a desert like area. I use a box garden. They have some organic soil at Walmart that I use. Once the first plant peaks through I put mulch or bark around it. That helps keep the plant moist in the hot sun. With one seed I have had a harvest like you would not believe. Happy gardening.

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Pat January 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm

My mom made an “apple” pie out of zucchini for my husband since that is his favorite and he could not tell the difference! Peel and seed the zucchini and substitute for apples in any pie recipe, add cinnamon and you too can be a sneaky vegetable cook.

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mandy August 10, 2011 at 8:26 pm

hehe. Love that idea Pat.

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Tina August 20, 2011 at 6:57 am

This was great to come across. I have a harvest of zucchini and this is what I will do today. Cut them up and freeze them.

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Tina August 20, 2011 at 7:04 am

Erin,
About how much did you put in each bag?
Thank Tina

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 20, 2011 at 9:46 am

About 2 cups each.

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Tina August 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Thanks a bunch. I have already cut up one zucchini and it made two, two cup bags. I was worried they were going to waste till I seen this post.
:)

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