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Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Posted by macheske 7 NorthernVA (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 20, 08 at 19:01

Ok....I need some recipes really quick. We just got back from vacation and have 200+ zucchini and summer squash. There is only so much you can give away... BTW...I have a pressure canner.
Thanks,
Rick


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I'm sure folks will come up with canning recipes etc, but I have dehydrated zucchini in the past so that I could make things like zucchini bread in mid winter after reconstituting it. I have seen recipes for zucchini relish as well, which was basically pickle relish made with zucchini. I have been canning our pickle relish for several years and will never go back to store bought.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I guess it depends on how you want to use it. I have canned squash, and it is OK.

My best way is to just freeze it. If you want to fry it, thaw a little and flour - but we think it is good to just put a little olive oil, sautee some onion, then dump the frozen squash in (using cast iron), cover and let it simmer down. It's mushy, but good flavor. Zucchini is good with just a little bacon.

You can blanche or not - I've done both and can't tell the difference. I put mine in layers on a cookie sheet to freeze then bag them.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Canning of summer squashes is not recommended. They can't determine the proper process times because of the varying density and so can't assure safety from botulism. Plus it is a low-acid veggie so would have to be pressure canned IF they could figure out the processing times and it would just be mushy. All previous recipes that existed fro canning it are void.

So you can freeze, pickle or dry it.

You can coarse grate it and freeze it in ziplock bags - 2 cups each bag to make zucchini/squash bread. We freeze 30-40 bags each year as we love zuke/squash bread.

You can pickle it in slices or chunks just as you would cukes.

Tip it, cut it in 1/2 lengthwise, blanch it, and freeze them with a pat of garlic butter, then just take out and toss the 1/2's on the grill or bake them.

You can make squash pie using pumpkin pie spices and freeze the pies - make them small tart size and they are great as a side dish.

Dave


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

For the large amount you have, relish would be the best bet in using them up quickly.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I have made bulk batches on ratatouille with post holiday gluts. It freezes fairly well. Not quite as good as freshly made but not bad.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I concur with the others. Shred the zucchini and freeze in plastic bags to make zucchini bread and to add to soups and stews throughout the year. Then make some zucchini relish to put on burgers and dogs, in salads or in devilled eggs. Since first making zucchini relish last year, I have become obsessed with it! I'll put the link below to the recipe on my blog. --Gina

Here is a link that might be useful: Zucchini Relish at Lindsey's Luscious


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I love the idea of zucchini relish. You all will know what I'm doing on Monday. I planted a few cucumbers but I've always heard there aren't many nutrients in cucumbers.


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RE: Anyway save summer squash and zucchini?

Question: How small do you chop your zucchini for relish?


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Slice and freeze. Zuccini isn't my favorite. Its crooked neck and they have more flavor than the regular summer squash. If I had too many, I would cut and freeze them. I have't grown any for many years now.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I'm with Gina: shred it! I bake tonnes of zucchini bread in the summer, and we eat it for breakfast all winter. If I get behind I freeze it in two-cup portions and we use it in soups & stews and spaghetti sauces, and, oh yeah, to make more zucchini bread.

I have tried freezing it in slices and chunks and while it was OK, the texture really didn't please me so I stopped bothering and just shred.

But then, I usually deal with two to six a day. Faced with 200, I might just surrender and let it take over the house!
I look forward to hearing how you make out...
Zabby


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

The recipe says to grind your zucchini for the relish, but I put mine through the food processor with the shredding blade. Great stuff!

In fact, I just made a faaaaabulous potato salad tonight with three lbs. Yukon Golds (peeled, chunked, boiled), four hard-cooked eggs (peeled and chopped), 1/4 cup minced Vidalia onion, about a cup of mayo, a tablespoon or so of mustard, S&P to taste, a teaspoon of ground celery (or use celery salt and cut down on the regular salt), a generous tablespoon of chopped fresh dill, and two or three heaping tablespoons of my homemade zucchini relish. Mix, chill, devour. YUM!!

Enjoy--Gina

Here is a link that might be useful: Lindsey's Luscious


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I've always diced my veggies for relish, to slightly under a quarter inch square. Obsessive, I know. I just like to see the different veggies distinctly, and I like the texture. I used the food processor once, and it sure was faster, but I just didn't like it that smooth.

However, I, like Zabby, deal with a few at a time...if I had to dice a hundred or so I might go a bit whacko. I wonder if there is a gadget out there that actually dices according to specified sizes?


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Ouch...looks like another 200 tomorrow. A mixture of zucchini and crookneck.

Photobucket

Maybe I planted too many.

Photobucket


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I'll be right over for the crooked necks!


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

You can have all you want ksrogers..... I've picked about 500 already this season. They seem to be more prolific this year. I'm getting 3-5 per plant per day. It rained this afternoon so I only went out and picked some cucumbers for pickles. I'll need a wheel barrow for the squash tomorrow.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

OK,I'm trying to figure out why summer squash cannot be canned. They do get mushy, but the density issue doesn't make sense. Their density is not as great as that of potatoes, sweet potatoes or winter squash.

Any ideas?


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Heat penetrates dense vegetables but it just takes longer. The USDA has other priorities. Home canning just doesn't rank. You can can cubed winter squash but if you mash it you can't! Cubed will heat faster as the water circulates around the squash. There is no reason you can't can mashed winter squash (pumpkin) other than the USDA has not come up with a worst case processing time.

I haven't looked into summer squash but I assume the same arguments would apply. There is probably a range of variables and one would have to come up with a worst case processing time. The USDA must be underfunded or more likely home canning doesn't fit into their commercial bias.

It's too bad that a nation as large as the US can not afford to come up with processing times for some of the commonly grown home products..tomatoes and squash!!!

My view is if they have home canners as such a low priority then they don't deserve the status given them as the home canning gurus.

End Rant

Zeuspaul


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Golly, where do you live in Northern VA? I'm in Herndon and my squashes look NOTHING like yours! They're just now flowering!

Anyway, we like to shred them and put them in 2 cup portions in the freezer. 2 cups is about right for the average recipe. I use them in zucchini bread, zucchini (chocolate) cake, spaghetti sauce, and meatloaf type things all winter long. I use the two squashes interchangeably.

Of course, you could just drop a bag off at my house :)


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Summer squash like zucchini are both very high in water content. The fibers that hold the vegetable's shape have a larger space between them with water.. Freezing will break these fibers as the water freezes and expands. Drying them and rehydrating can help to preserve them, but you do need some kind of protection against discoloring. A cucumber has about 20%-30% less water compared to a summer squash. Zucchini is a little less water compared to the SS, and has a little more density with more fibers. Freeze drying is a way to produce a dried product and lose less of its natural flavor It cannot be done in the home.

Zuespaul- Tomatoes commonly grown ARE very easy to can! Pickling summer squash or zucchini are going to make it mush as would pressure canning with any added acids. It may be that a fermented pickle like a Claussen could be made from Zukes and SS, but because they contain a higher water content, they would get mushy very fast.
A help for those with struggling squash plants- Add some good quality, low level fertilizer for vegetables as well as PLENTY of water almost every day. Try to avoid using any chemicals like Miracle Grow as they are just too harsh to use on a high water vegetable without it 'inheriting' the flavors of the chemcals!! Like cukes, squash love a LOT of water and will grow much better. If you have no zukes but lots of flowers it may be that your not getting enough pollination. I put out a bee lure strip every summer for attract bees. These can be detected by bees up to a mile away if the wind is right. Once the arrive, they will soon find many choices of things to pollinate. Lately, its the massivly flowering thyme I have, that survived through this past winter.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Rick, what gorgeous photos! My squash are 4 inches high and have about 3 leaves on them so far, sigh.

>I think I planted too many.

Ya think? ;-)

Last year I didn't get around to planting any summer squashes at all, and I STILL could barely keep up, baking zuke bread every second day for six weeks--two volunteer plants popped up, and we were eating zuchhini bread all winter!

Zabby


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

missemeral,
I'm in Catharpin, just north of Manassas. It's about 10 miles from you. I've given away probably 15 bags of zucs and crooknecks already. We seem to have planted a few too many :) Today we only had two grocery bags full.... The beans are coming in nice. Picked about 10 lbs of green and yellow bush beans already and canned 6 quarts today (my first canning). The cucumbers are also coming in very nice. We're getting about 6 chinese style cucumbers, and 10 to 20 pickling ones every day. I have a gallon of the fermented claussen style ones going right now.
Rick


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

To: Zeuspaul

OK, so is the reason for NOT canning related to the quality of the product and not the density?

Truly, I have canned squash for all the time I've been canning. Yes, sometimes they do turn a little brown, and certainly they are not crisp. They do make delicious squash casserole or drained well, can be used in bread.

As to home canning not being a priority, I was surprised to find that it doesn't seem to be now. There was a time when the extension agent would have canning clinics, etc. They all would test the pressure gauge.

When I found out ours no longer tested, I began calling around, to find agents who might. Of the many I spoke with only one talked as if she had ever used a pressure canner.

I did manage to make the local extension agent angry with me, but they are purchasing equipment for one agent in each area to test now. They will only test a Presto though. I asked if it meant a Presto gauge or a Presto canner - the lady didn't know.


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RE: Anyway to save summer - macheske

To: macheske

Sadly, I can no longer grow summer squash here due to Squash Vine Borers. I have yet to figure out a way to successfully keep them from killing my plants soon after the first few squash are picked. :*(


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Greenhouser,
Sorry to hear that. I put in a lot of plants and hope that they only get 50% of them. This year the SVB got one so far and it looks like another might have one. When it wilts I pull it out and plant a couple more seeds in that spot. The one that I replaced that the SVB got is now about a foot tall. By the time that the current plants that I'm harvesting are done, that one will be producing. Why don't you put in a plant or two and use a row cover?
Rick


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Injection of BT into the stems, near the soil, of the squash plants will kill the boring bugs.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I'm sure I should know what BT is - but would you tell me.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Lady Texan,

***OK, so is the reason for NOT canning related to the quality of the product and not the density?***

Neither. The USDA seems to have lost the documentation for their previous recommendation and they have not come up with a new one so they recommend you don't can it. They recommend you freeze it. My freezer is full so that is not an option for me.

My recommendation is to follow the USDA guidelines. Too bad they don't have any for summer squash:)

It's low acid and all low acid vegetables have to be pressure canned per the USDA. The processing time for pumpkin cubes is 90 minutes. Cubes in water heat faster than mush so it would take longer to heat mush and require a longer processing time. The USDA indicates pressure processing times for low acid vegetables range from 20 to 100 minutes. We know it is greater than 90 minutes.

I plan on canning pumpkin puree for which they also have not had the time or inclination to come up with a processing time. I am going to use 120 minutes. But that's just me. ***I recommend everyone else NOT can summer squash or Pumpkin puree.***

Quoted from the USDA
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/general/ensuring_safe_canned_foods.html

Botulinum spores are very hard to destroy at boiling-water temperatures; the higher the canner temperature, the more easily they are destroyed. Therefore, all low-acid foods should be sterilized at temperatures of 240 to 250F, attainable with pressure canners operated at 10 to 15 PSIG. PSIG means pounds per square inch of pressure as measured by gauge. The more familiar "PSI" designation is used hereafter in this publication (the Complete Guide to Home Canning). At temperatures of 240 to 250F, the time needed to destroy bacteria in low-acid canned food ranges from 20 to 100 minutes.

Also Quoted from the USDA and linked below

Why is canning summer squash or zucchini not recommended?
Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar. It is best to freeze or pickle summer squashes, but they may also be dried.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lost Documentation


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Zeuspaul, Thank you.

It's just that they lost the information.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I have been running all sorts of summer squash through my Champion juicer. It's proven to be a fast way to process this stuff. I tried shredding and freezing. It sticks to itself. Freezing on a cookie sheet first is impractical for me.

I can the juice for soup base. Last night I added the juice to beef stew. And added the pulverized sherbet looking residual to the stew as a thickener.

I'll probably freeze a little in pint freezer glass jars as soon as I can find some more. I avoid storing food in plastic when possible even if it is USDA approved:)

Someone told me you can make cole slaw out of shredded zucchini. Anyone have a recipe?

Zeuspaul


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Bt is a friendly bacteria that is used to kill destructive worms and caterpillers. It affects their digestive systems and causes them to starve and die. Its earth friendly, organic, and quite safe for use around anything, and everthing. There are a few forms, one is meant to control fungus gnats and their maggots. One called "Dipel' is used as a spray for caterpiller control when they chew foliage. The Bt has been mentioned many times in the past. I have used it with insulin syringes and injected my squash with it. They all had very good yields. The vines are injected near the soil, and then about every foot out to about 3 feet. It takes a couple of days to work, but lasts the whole season usually.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bt info


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RE: Anyway to save summer = macheske

To:

What kind of row cover? What do you use? Our income in limited and most that I see online are very expensive. I have some old sheer curtains that may work. They'll also let the light through. I can drape it over the new plants and hope for the best.

I like your idea of replacing the dead squash with a new plant. I still have some seeds so I may as well give it a go. You've given me hope as I dearly love summer squash. :)


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RE: Anyway to save summer = ksrogers

To: ksrogers

Yes I have the BT powder. It's expensive and all I can find locally. I use it on my collards or the worms would get every last leaf. Do you buy it somewhere in liquid form?


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RE: Anyway to save summer = ksrogers

To: ksrogers

Yes I have the BT powder. It's expensive and all I can find locally. I use it on my collards or the worms would get every last leaf. Do you buy it somewhere in liquid form?


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Thuricide is also Bt. Its a Bonide product. Dipel is the powder version. There is also the benefical nematodes that can be mixed with water and injected. I use the type for controlling grubs, and water in the rest around the garden. Only thing is, grubs are all out there now in my area, so the BN woudln't kill any unless they were still in the soil. A row cover is a light weight non woven plastic cloth. It comes in all sizes and can help to prevent bugs from landing on plants. The vine borers come from the soil however, so a floating row cover would offer less protection. It would help to block out cucumber beetles though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Safer Product- BT


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I make zucchini/squash relish from the abundance of yellow and zucchini squash that I have. I would be happy to share the recipe if needed.

Sharon (slpinion)
slpinion@aol.com


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test equipment

Ladytexan,
The reason we only test Presto gauges on the lids is because it is a Presto brand test unit. The All American gauges can be removed by the customer and we then test them. The lids on the AA don't fit on the stem of the test unit because they are domed too highly. They bend the test unit stem and you don't get a correct reading. So, as long as the gauge is a Presto brand or an All American that can be removed we can test them. We don't remove them ourselves due to liablity in case of damage.
No, it is not just a quality issue with the squash. It is a safety issue due to the density.
You can badmouth the USDA all you wish, but I have gotten a lot of free, good, training from them. What I have learned I feel invaluable. Are they perfect? No, but at least they do offer some really great services.
I am not paid for what I do, but I am happy to do so for all the free education I have gotten this way.
Besides, helping so many people learn to can and do so safely means a lot to me, too. That and knowing your family is safe is important to me, too. I just finished up six classes, one per week. They are now going to be able to answer phone calls at the extension office, test gauges, etc. out in the public. This all takes time and money.
I would rather not have a jar of squash on the shelf and know what I am doing is not going to make my family sick, or worse. So what if I have to freeze it or dry it instead or make relish out of it ? Goodness ! I just do not understand all the complaining.
There is testing going on all the time to come up with new recipes and methods. The National Center for Home Food preservation has a lot of good recipes. Elizabeth Andress, for one, from there is a real wonderful lady.
I am thankful to have food to feed my family. Many folks can't say that these days and I am not sure things will be better anytime soon due to all the flooding, storms, fires, etc.
So, with my thankful heart, full cupboards, freezer, and full pantry, and a full tummy, I feel blessed !


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RE: Anyway to save summer - ksrogers

To ksrogers

I have this type. The adults lay eggs on the plants. If I can stop that behavior I could grow squash. that would take covers to keep the adults away:

Life Cycle and Behavior http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2153.html

The squash vine borer overwinters as a fully grown larva in cocoons in the soil, 2 to 15 cm (1 to 6 inches) deep. It pupates in the spring and the adult (a moth) emerges in June. Moths are active during the daytime and in the evening they rest on leaves. This is different than the behavior of most moths, which are active at night. The moths fly slowly in zig-zags around plants, and lay eggs singly on stems; eggs are usually found on the main stem near the base, but are also found on leafstalks or on the undersides of leaves. Moths are active for about one month.

Eggs hatch in 9 to 14 days. Larvae enter the stem at the plant base within a few hours after hatching from the eggs. Larvae feed inside the stem for 4 to 6 weeks. Fully grown larvae leave the stems and crawl into the soil to pupate. There is usually one generation per year in Ohio, but a partial or complete second generation is possible.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

The info link is somewhat outdated and doesn't approach control using organic methods. Sevin was mentioned and for anyone who grows vegetables organically, its not something that can be used safely. Injection of benefical nematodes for grubs will kill the boreres inside the stems. It also remains in there during the plants life. Bt, does have a strain that is useful for these, and can also be injected into stems. Luckliy, I water in the BN in May and by now, most any grubs or caterpillers that may have survived have emerged, and now face other obsticles. This year I have no squash growing as it contains too much potassium for me. Bt, that does not contain surfacents, enhancers, or any other additives of nay kind, can be mixed with water and injected in a few locations starting at the soil level. The sollution has to be a little weaker than what is sprayed on.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

At one point I spoke to Dr. Andress of the NCHFP about a possible processing time for pressure canning tomato paste. What she said at that point was that when the University of Georgia took over from the USDA many tasks related to home food processing they did not receive all of the original test documentation, so they couldn't extrapolate a processing time.

Regardless, I would follow Linda_Lou's recommendation. You have the density issue; also, I assume as with pumpkin, the water content would vary from season to season and garden to garden, so it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to come up with a safe processing time that wouldn't render the squash an inedible mush.

Here's a recipe for a summer tomato sauce which includes zucchini. (I use summer squash instead.) We really enjoy this for pasta, crock-pot cooking, etc. It's healthy and delicious.

Multi-Use Tomato Sauce

Categories: Canning & Preserving Dressings, Marinades, Sauces

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
10 plum tomatoes -- (about 2 1/2 lbs./1 kg)
10 large tomatoes -- peeled and chopped (about 4 lbs./2 kg)
4 large garlic cloves -- minced
2 large stalks celery -- chopped
2 medium carrots -- chopped
1 large onion -- chopped
1 large zucchini -- chopped
1 large sweet green pepper -- chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes -- (125 mL)
2/3 cup dry red wine -- (150 mL)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (5% strength or more) -- (125 mL)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon pickling salt -- (15 mL)
2 teaspoons dried oregano -- (10 mL)
2 teaspoons dried basil -- (10 mL)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar -- (5 mL) (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon -- (2 mL) (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper -- (2 mL)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley -- (50 mL)

Combine tomatoes, celery, garlic, onion, zucchini and green pepper in a very large non-reactive pan. Add 1 cup (250 mL) water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, covered, for 25 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally.

Soak sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water until softened. Drain and dice. Add to sauce with wine, vinegar, bay leaves, salt, oregano, basil, sugar, cinamon and pepper. Continue to boil gently until desired consistency, stirring frequently. Discard bay leaves and stir in parsley.

Remove hot jars from canner and ladle sauce into jars to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of rim (head space). Process in a BWB 35 minutes for pint (500 mL) jars and 40 minutes for quart (1 L) jars.

Description:
"from Ellie Topp's "Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving"
Yield: "12 cups"

Also, In her book "Preserving the Harvest" Carol Costenbader has a recipe for a Green and Gold Squash Casserole to freeze. It has onion, olive oil, crushed crackers, eggs, fresh herbs, cheddar cheese and grated yellow summer squash and zucchini.

You line a 9" dish with foil, put in the casserole, freeze solid and wrap.

Carol


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I don't think anyone is suggesting that others not following Linda Lou's suggestions.

Density is secondary to Temperature, PH and Time. Dense food may take longer to reach the desired kill temperature but it will still get there. Heat transfer mechanisms are also an issue as in a paste or puree. Paste doesn't have liquid circulating around it and therefore takes longer to get to the kill temperature but it will still get there. Ask a physicist.

Summer and Winter squash will reach botulism kill temperatures in a pressure cooker.

What we don't know is how long they have to sit in the pressure cooker to get to the desired kill temperature and then how long they have to stay at the desired kill temperature to be rendered safe.

A lab would have to do this. They would have to put a temperature probe in the middle of the paste or mush. They would also have to measure the PH of various squash. They could then determine a processing time.

I am sure the people at the USDA and NCHFP are very competent very nice people. Before I retired I worked for the government with a lot of good people.

The fact that they have not come up with a processing time for summer squash or pumpkin puree is not because it can't be done. It is because they haven't done it for other reasons. It could be lack of resources, priorities or that they don't think it is necessary.

Canned summer squash as a mush could be used later in a soup. Canned pumpkin puree would be useful to more of the home canning population. I have about a hundred pumpkins and winter squash on the way. I would like to preserve some of it. It makes a healthy dessert if you just make the custard and forget the crust.

Freezing isn't always the best option. It may be the simplest. Freezers fail when you lose power. They also fill up quickly with higher priority meats and berries and...

Zeuspaul


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

To: Lindalou,

I did not intend to 'bad mouth' the USDA, I don't think I did. I only stated my experience. These agents are purchasing new equipment, why not purchase equipment that could test all of them - if such a thing is available.

The extension agents I spoke with, with one exception, were very nice, were helpful, returned my calls and I certainly would not bad mouth them.

The fact is, though, a service heretofore furnished by the extension service was no longer offered, and I wanted to know why and who should be called to correct that. Whether it was my calling or not, they did make the decision to purchase and furnish as least some of the agents with this equipment - even if limited.

The USDA does great things. I also have relied on their informtion many times. They are a taxpayer funded organization. To question, ask about their services and how they are performed is our right and I daresay, our duty if we think more can or should be done. If we were paying a private company to perform these services, would we not question them?

According to the link posted, it isn't a density issue with the squash, as yet anyway, it's the fact the information got lost and they have no statistics for it.


I'm thinking questioning is being misinterpreted as bad mouthing - far from it. One only learns by questioning.

If something doesn't make sense, we need to question it.

There are many reasons people would can rather than freeze.

One is limited freezer space, or non existent freezer space. I am experiencing the 'limited' now.

One is, for some, electricity is iffy and a black out can result in spoiled food. I have talked with people on line who prefer to can as much as possible because of this.

One is the fact that canned food, regardless of guidelines, will last for years. I don't use it more than 2 years old, but know many people who do.

Canned food is transportable. We travel in a travel trailer for work. Obviously, I can't carry my freezer, I can carry jars of food.

No offense, personally, intended. I very much appreciate all of your freely given information and again, questioning is not meant to be rude, but just that I don't understand. I'm thinking these new guidelines might be easier for a new canner to accept than myself who have been canning for decades.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I have not tried this yet but this year I plan to cook and puree zucchini and butternut squash and freeze the mixtures, which I will use for soup this winter. Here is the simple zucchini soup recipe that my family loves. It goes together in 10 minutes.

ZUCCHINI SOUP
In a soup pot saute a medium onion and a stick or two of celery, both coarsely chopped, in olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and butter until the vegetables are soft and beginning to turn golden. To the pot add 2 lb. of zucchini, unpeeled, cut in large chunks. Add 1 tsp. dried oregano and water to nearly cover the zucchini. Cover and simmer/steam until the zucchini is tender, removing the lid near the end to boil off some of the water. Puree the vegetables and return to the pot. Add cream - quite a bit as you want this creamy - and crumbled blue cheese (not too much for this cheese can overpower). Heat gently to melt the cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish servings with a swirl of cream and a sprig of fresh oregano. Serve with white wine and crusty bread. I have substituted Parmesan or a good cheddar for the blue cheese with equally delicious results. I hope you will enjoy this.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

This looks yummy: http://www.pickyourown.org//grilled_summer_squash.htm

Grilled summer squash w/ feta cheese n' onions. Sounds like a good frozen dinner to me!


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Hi,, 'm glad I found this thread as I have an interest in canning summer squash. I started canning 2 years ago and did can summer squash soup. I didn't know you weren't supposed to and it turned out fine. I think I canned it like sweet potatoes. I guess I was lucky. I wanted to can pureed squash soup. I guess you're not supposed to. Reading here I understand that it has more water than cucumbers, which makes me wonder why the heat wouldn't penetrate it easily. Wouldn't it be less dense if it contained more water? Anyone know? TIA.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Also, if a canned jars did have any botulism in tham, would the lids eventually expand? Would the jars 'explode'?


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I had all the ingredients so I just made your zucchini soup eileenjones and it is a keepa. yum! Perfect for a rainy day like today. Want to try gardenbug girl's recipe next!

Does anyone have a recipe for dill zucchini relish or dill zucchini pickles that they have tried and liked? I can find plenty of hits here for sweet, but not much of anything made with dill. Hope so, thanks.

And thanks again for the recipes!


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Also, if a canned jars did have any botulism in them, would the lids eventually expand? Would the jars 'explode'?

No, that isn't how botulism works. It is a passive spore. It gives off no gases, has no odor, and no taste and can live in a dormant state for years.

As to the squash. From NCHFP:

Why is canning summer squash or zucchini not recommended?

Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar. It is best to freeze or pickle summer squashes, but they may also be dried.

_____________________

There are just too many variables where summer squash is concerned to do it safely. For example, there are 20+ varieties called "summer squash" and all have different densities and different pH's.

Your squash soup will freeze fine so it is much safer to go that route.

Dave


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Carol, I have, or will have, most of the ingredients necessary for making the Multi-use Tomato Sauce you posted above. What I don't have is the wine and wine vinegar. Can cider or white vinegar be substituted? No doubt it would change the flavor some, but I will never know. Ha! Ha!

It really looks like a very healthy recipe. I like all the additions of the extra vegetables.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

"ANY WAY TO SAVE SUMMER SQUASH AND ZUCCHINI?" Well I like to mix up a big batch of zucchini [chunked + skin on], tomatoes [peeled and chopped], basil [chopped and lots of it] + salt. Cook then simmer on stove until squash is just done. Ladel into freezer containers. When ready to use thaw and heat----then add a handful of pasta cook until done. P S this could be canned rather than frozen.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

P S this could be canned rather than frozen.

Sorry paulah-gardener but that wouldn't be safe to BWB can if that is what you meant. Freeze yes, BWB can, no as it is too low-acid. Using dried basil would help some but it is safe only if the recipe linked below is followed and it is pressure canned.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomatoes with Okra or Zucchini approved recipe


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I recently have used my zucchini to make mock "apple" pies. Now because i have so many left over, i was thinking of using the same theory and make applesauce with the zucchini and can it. But all I am reading is not to can. Does it make a difference if i plan on cooking the zucchini down? or should i just freeze the "applesauce".


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Apples are an acidic fruit, zucchini is a low-acid vegetable.

Acidic fruits are safe to puree and can because of the protection provided by all the acid. Bacteria can't grow in it.

But low acid fruits and vegetables cannot safely be pureed for canning. Not only is there a density issue that retards heat penetration but a total lack of the protective acid. Even pressure canning can't insure safe processing of pureed vegetables.

Sorry by "zucchini sauce" can't be canned. Freeze it.

Dave


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Too much zucchini? Around here folks who normally leave their car unlocked will keep it locked up tight from June until September. Seems people drive around looking for an open car, sneak up, toss in a couple bags of zucchini, and run like heck to get away. You'll even hear squealing tires and the police just hate to give someone a ticket when speeding away for this sort of thing.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

If you have more squash than you can use and no time or desire to preserve it, please consider dropping it off at your local soup kitchen. They will make very good use of it before it can go bad!


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I realize this thread is a bit old, but, I didn't see any mention of making "faux pineapple" or "zucchini jelly" Both of which are delicious!

The jelly was a bit sweet for my tastes. You can see the shreds but don't feel them in your mouth when you eat it on bread or toast.

The pineapple tastes just like the can albeit a bit sweeter. It Is a bit spendy to make large amounts since it requires boughten pineapple juice. My recipe said to dice but I shredded it with great results.
Just google for recipe.


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

Zucchini pickles are the bomb, especially if you use golden zucchini, looks beautiful in the jar and tastes amaze!!


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RE: Anyway to save summer squash and zucchini?

I do one of two things: Shred and freeze in amounts that make sense for specific dishes (like zucchini bread) and dehydrate into seasoned chips. ( http://www.proverbsthirtyonewoman.blogspot.com/2012/10/zucchini-chips-and-other-vegetable-chips.html ) The latter go QUICK at my house; they are a favorite snack!


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