Isn’t everyone looking for zucchini recipes this time of year? I am, for a change. For the first time ever–tada!–I am successfully growing zucchini. So now you know my claim of being a barely-competent gardener is true. I always have felt like the only person alive who can’t seem to get the hang of zucchini growing. But this year I have three beautiful plants, worthy of landscaping and also quite productive.
So what is the key to my success? Want some gardening tips? I wish I knew. Maybe it’s in a sunnier spot, maybe I am watering more consistently, maybe it’s because they are planted right next to pollinator-attracting flowers. Random gardeners like me seldom have any definitive answers.
We like the very small zucchini, sliced raw in our green salads. Of course I have discovered that you don’t always catch these squash in the small stage. You experienced growers know that somehow a huge zucchini can be very sneaky and hide in plain sight.
Here’s a good use for a giant zucchini. This is just a carrot cake recipe with one key ingredient substitution. I made this for a family birthday party a couple of weeks ago, and those who were not in the know (I won’t mention any names) just assumed it was carrot cake. This is really a delicious cake, and I don’t even really like cake.
Zucchini “carrot” cake
Combine in large bowl and mix thoroughly with whisk:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you can use regular whole wheat, but whole wheat pastry flour is finer grain, and better for cakes and cookies)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Beat with whisk until light and fluffy:
2 cups sugar
Gradually beat in until thoroughly combined:
1 cup oil
Add dry ingredients, stirring until well blended.
Stir in 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (peel and remove seeds before grating)
Bake at 375 in well-greased tube or Bundt pan for about an hour, or in a 13×9 pan for about 40 – 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.
Make your own frosting; it really only takes a few minutes. Canned ones have tons of additives and are packaged in plastic–not sustainable. It’s easy to make homemade:
Blend 1/2 of a 8-oz package of softened low-fat cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually beat in a 1-pound box of powdered sugar and a little more milk. I am not exact about amounts; I just add powdered sugar and milk till it’s the consistency I want. See…wasn’t that simple?