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07/14/2015 11:12 am ET

What To Do When You Have WAY Too Much Zucchini

Because you can only eat so much zucchini bread.

Zucchini bread might be a go-to crowd-pleaser, but baking loaf after loaf can make anyone start to hate it.

There are tons of creative and delicious ways to use zucchini, but what do you do when you have a lot of it to use up, and not enough time to put together an elaborate culinary creation every night? In the hot days of summer, when grocery stores, CSAs and gardens are overflowing with summer squash, it can feel a little overwhelming. We’re here to help.

  • 1 Whip Up Some Zucchini Butter
    James Ransom/Food52
    Make butter even better (and slightly healthier) by adding some veggies! Follow this recipe on Food52 to create a garlic- and zucchini-infused spread that's delicious on toast, steak or basically anything. Make a ton, then freeze it.
  • 2 Make Zucchini Noodles
    Two Peas and Their Pod
    You only need a peeler or mandoline to make these "noodles" that can be cooked or eaten raw. Visit Two Peas and Their Pod for instructions and a pesto recipe that accompanies them perfectly. 
  • 3 Grate and Freeze for Baking
    Want to make zucchini bread, just not right now? You can freeze zucchini to be used later for baking -- just grate it, portion it out into freezer bags and stick it in the freezer. When you're ready to use it, let it thaw in a strainer first. Don't feel obligated to stick to bread -- zucchini is also great in muffinswaffles and cornbread. The added moisture also makes it a great candidate for vegan baking.
  • 4 Slice, Blanch and Freeze
    Freezing zucchini for regular cooking takes a little more effort -- but not much. To prevent the zucchini from getting too mushy, which doesn't matter as much if you're using it for baking, you'll first need to blanch the slices or chunks by immersing them in boiling water, then dunking in a cold ice bath. This deactivates the enzymes that would turn them soft and brown in the freezer. Head over to TheKitchn for a step-by-step guide. 
  • 5 Make Zucchini Parmesan Chips
    Damn Delicious
    These addictive chips are great for parties or just snacking alone on the couch. Get the recipe for the chips pictured at Damn Delicious, or head to Five Heart Home for an even simpler variation. 
  • 6 Pickle Some Slices
    Zucchinis not only look like cucumbers, they also make pickles that are just as delicious. Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice has a recipe for quick, refrigerator pickles that keep for up to six weeks and also make great gifts.
  • 7 Bake A Zucchini Lasagna
    Oh, Sweet Basil
    This lasagna can be made with meat or without, and uses a lot of zucchini -- one pan calls for six. Get the recipe at Oh, Sweet Basil, and if you don't feel up to eating a whole lasagna, remember that it freezes well.  

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