It’s zucchini season! That time of year when the pride of having your first ripe zuchinni from the garden soon turns to horror when you discover five new baseball-bat-sized zucchinis waiting outside for you every morning.
Here are 3 zucchini recipes that I love because they do “double duty” – my toddler Beatrice loves them and so do I, which means less cooking for me.
1. Italian Zucchini Frittata
- 8 beaten eggs
- 1 chopped scallion
- 6 ounces veggie sausage, or my favorite thing to use is frozen Quorn brand crumbles. You also could use real sausage if you’re not a vegetarian
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb blend
- 1 TB olive oil
- 2 ounces shredded cheese of your choice (I do 1/2 parmesan and 1/2 cheddar)
- 1 medium/large zucchini
To make: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook the scallion and sausage in the olive oil over medium heat in a large oven-safe skillet for about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for another 8 minutes or so. Remove from heat and stir in the eggs and cheese, plus the seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper (or add the salt/pepper separately at the table for adults.) Move pan to preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, until set.
If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can pour the mixture into a oiled pie pan and put that in the oven, increasing the cook time to about 25-30 minutes.
2. Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread
This not-too-sweet, super moist bread is much lower in sugar than traditional zucchini bread plus it’s made with healthy coconut oil, which adds a sweet distinct flavor of its own. This recipe makes one 5 X 8 loaf pan PLUS 6 muffins. I like making the extra muffins because they pack/travel nicely as snacks for Beatrice, and also freeze well.
- 2 cups shredded Zucchini (approximately 1 medium-large zucchini)
- 1/2 cup sugar (or maple syrup/your favorite sugar alternative)
- 2 mashed medium/large bananas
- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degreed F. Mix all the wet ingredients (including the zucchini) in one bowl, and all the dry ingredients in another bowl. Then gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until mixed (don’t over mix.) Pour into greased loaf pans and lined muffins cups. The muffins will need to cook for 12-15 minutes, the loaf stays in about 45 minutes. Both are done when a knife inserted into their centers comes out dough-free.
3. Pan-seared Zucchini (with optional sharp cheddar)
This is such a simple way to prepare zucchini that I can barely call it a recipe. I grew up eating zucchini this way when our garden started producing it’s annual squash overabundance every July. It’s still my favorite way to eat them, and I’m happy to say that it’s become Beatrice’s favorite zucchini recipe too! The zucchini is soft enough when prepared this way that she can safely eat the whole rounds as a finger food.
- 1 medium zucchini
- pat of butter or olive oil
- sharp cheddar (optional)
Slice the zucchini about 1/8 inch thick and sear in a pat of butter on medium heat until it just starts to turn golden around the edges.
You can add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. If you need a bit more zing, a thin shaving of sharp cheddar melted on top is a wonderful addition.
What are your favorite kid-friendly ways to use up zucchini and summer squash?