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Three tasty summer zucchini recipes (including brownies!)

Our garden went mad while we were on vacation this summer. When we came back our veggie boxes were overflowing with three types of lettuce, bok choy, swiss chard, kale, and for the first time, zucchini.

It was so exciting to see so many big orange and yellow flowers decorating the tips of these perfectly formed green summer squashes. YAY!

To be honest, we haven’t been able to keep up with it all. Two people just can’t eat that many veggies! Of course we’ve given some away to friends and family, but what do we do with the rest of this zucchini?

Thus began the hunt for some new recipes and ideas to make use of this abundant harvest.

My search led me to three great summer zucchini recipes I share with you today.

Summer Zucchini Pesto Soup

This really tastes like a big bowl of fresh pesto. Very light and refreshing.

Ingredients:

1 large white onion, chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds (700g) zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 cups fresh greens (swiss chard, spinach or kale)
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 organic vegetable bouillon cube
1/2 cup raw cashews
5 cups water
Fresh juice from 1 lemon or to taste

Directions:

Add onion, garlic, zucchini, greens, salt, pepper and bouillon cube to a large pot and cover with water (about 5 cups). Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. In a food processor or high-powered blender, blend the cashews, half of the basil and half of the soup, until smooth and creamy. Place this mixture into a separate bowl and add the rest of the soup and the rest of the basil to the blender. Blend until smooth. Return all the soup back to the pot. Add in the fresh lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Zoodle Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Since going low-carb zucchini noodles have become my go-to replacement for pasta.

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
17 ounce can diced organic tomatoes
1/2 small can tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (crushed with mortar and pestle)
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
1 pound zucchini (4 medium sized zucchini)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Make the sauce first by adding the coconut oil to a high-sided fry pan and heat until melted. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Scramble fry until the meat is mostly cooked and the onions and garlic are translucent. Add in the can of tomatoes and half the can of tomato paste. Stir together. Add in Italian seasoning and fennel seeds. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add in the fresh basil just before serving. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the noodles you can use either a simple vegetable peeler, julienne peeler or a spiralizer. A spiralizer can be purchased at your local kitchen supply store or through online sites like amazon.com for about $50. If using the veggie/julienne peeler simply make long ribbons/ noodles with the peeler going around and around on your zucchini. If using the spiralizer, attach your zucchini and start turning!

When I made this dish I simply had the noodles raw and added the hot sauce over top and it was great. If you like the noodles warmer and a bit more tender you can either add them directly to the sauce, cook them for no more that 3-5 minutes in a vegetable steamer, or can simply place them in a sauté pan with a little bit of olive oil and that them briefly on the stovetop. They really don’t need to be cooked, but it is nice to have them warm if you are having a heated dish. Also be aware that they give off quite a bit of water when cooked, so factor that into things.

To serve place your noodles on a plate and top with the sauce. Enjoy!

And the grand finale – Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

I’ve already made two batches of these and doubled the recipe the second time I made them. So good and really easy!

1/2 cup almond butter (or other favourite nut butter)
1 ripe medium-sized banana
1 large egg (or 2 small)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup cacao powder
2 tablespoons almond flour/meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup zucchini, grated (then squeeze excess liquid out as much as you can)
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare an 11 x 7 glass baking dish or similar sized square pan greasing it with coconut oil or butter, or parchment and set aside. Add all ingredients except for zucchini and chocolate chips to a blender and blend on high until batter is smooth and creamy. Place mixture into a bowl and stir in the zucchini and 1/4 cup chocolate chips by hand. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips (optional). Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Place on cooling rack and allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes (if you can wait that long). They are actually better once cooled. To store, cover pan with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

Over to you. In the comments, let me know how these recipes turn out for you if you try them. And please share more of your favourite ways to use up all those beautiful summer zucchini squash!

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Genevieve Kennedy August 24, 2017, 1:26 am

    I Michelle, those recipes look wonderful. I have to get busy. I like that spaghetti recipe and mmm those brownies. I am struggling and I have to get serious soon. ??? maybe I’ll be ready for your next program. love n hugs, Gen

    • Michelle August 24, 2017, 10:36 am

      Yes give these recipes a try Gen, you’ll love them! I have lots of great stuff happening this fall to get you back on track. Hugs to you too.

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