Looking for new things to do with all that summer squash you’re getting from your plants?
Or maybe you’ve been to the Farmer’s Market and found a really awesome deal on zucchini you just couldn’t pass up. What will you do with it all?
Luckily, I have some answers to your question today. I’m giving you an abundant of ways to Preserve, Sell or Donate your fresh summer squash.
So, in this post, I’m going to share with you:
- 37+ different things to do with all that summer squash you may not have thought about.
- Healthy Yellow Squash recipes and zucchini recipes to try.
- Answers to popular questions, such as “How do you freeze zucchini.”
- Finally, how to grow summer squash and why you should eat it.
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First of all, are you confused about what a summer squash actually is? I’m going to briefly discuss that in the next section.
What is Summer Squash?
Summer squashes are warm season, short season crops. They include (but are not limited to):
– Zucchini (Yellow & Green)
– Yellow Crooked Neck Squash
In my zone of 6a (Northern Kansas), we plant summer squash into hills in mid May. They are ready to pick in just a little over a month! Talk about a quick turnaround! And it seems like they produce for 2-3 weeks and even longer if cared for (see below for proper care methods).
On the contrary, Fall or Winter type squashes such as:
These will be ready later on into the later summer and fall. And I promise I will write another post about them later.
Today, I’m focused on summer squashes. So, the following are 37+ things to do with all that zucchini and yellow squash that may be accumulating in your garden and kitchen.
* Read about 5 ways to safely preserve fresh produce *
We’ll start with cooking them fresh. The following are some recipes for yellow squash and for zucchini.
You can definitely interchange the squashes in each recipe or even mix and match! Just use what you have. Here’s some ideas for you:
- Squash Sausage Skillet Meal – FARM FIT FAVORITE – Get My Recipe Here
- Southern Squash Casserole
- Zucchini Lasagna
- Cut and add in raw to Summer Salads
- Scrambled Egg Skillet with Summer Squash – Makes a great breakfast.
- Saute squash in butter and cheese for a quick side dish.
- Mock apple pie with oversize zucchini –> Peel and de-seed and slice
cross wise like apple slices, use same spices as for apple pie and bake as same.
- Zucchini bread or yellow squash bread to freeze for the winter. Add chocolate chips for a yummy treat.
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Fried Zucchini chips/fries
- Baked Zucchini chips/fries
Also I season chips & fries, salt, pepper & garlic.
Safe canning with Summer Squash is super important to pay attention to.
There’s no real way to can just squash in jars. This is because squashes are a low-acid vegetable and require canning long enough to destroy bacteria that causes botulism.
Also, the quality of just plain old canned squash is quite low. Pickling or mixing with other vegetables creates a better end product than just plain squash by itself.
Therefore, the best and safest known ways to can squash is to pickle them. I also listed a mock pineapple recipe straight from the National Center of Home Food Preservation that is safe and popular.
– Dill Pickles
– Bread & Butter Pickles
– Relish Pickles
– With Tomatoes
– Zucchini Pineapple – Recipe Here
For Above Canning Recipes, check out the So Easy to Preserve Cookbook or the Ball Cookbook.
There’s a few ways you can freeze zucchini:
– Zucchini Noodles or “frozen zoodles” (2 Cups per bag)
– Shredded Zucchini (2 Cups per bag)
– Zucchini Chunks (2 Cups per Bag)
I prefer to blanch and freeze zucchini. Here are the easy steps for blanching and freezing:
- Wash whole zucchini and remove both ends.
- Blanch in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Move Immediately into a sink full of ice water.
- Drain or dry completely.
Now, at this point, you can either make noodles, shred the zucchini or cut into chunks. Then, simply bag it and freeze it. So, can you freeze yellow crookneck squash? Yes! You can do all of this with yellow squash as well.
- Chips – Sliced Thin and Season
- Candy – Here’s a really good recipe from my friend Laurie at Common Sense Homesteading
Dehydrating squash is very self explanatory. Just slice, season and place into your dehydrator. The chips work well in recipes and soups. Or just eat them for snacks. Keep in a sealed container so they stay nice and crunchy.
If you can’t eat anymore summer squash, why not try selling it?
Figuring out your market is easy. Why? Because MOST everyone loves farm fresh summer squash. Here are 8 places I have found great success with finding people to buy farm fresh summer squash:
- Local mom groups
- Mom’s of Athletes
- Doctors/Health Practitioners
- gyms/fitness centers
- farm stores (Put up a flier)
- Local Facebook Buy/Sell groups
- Other livestock farmers or pet owners (To be used for food and treats)
- Farmers Markets
Now, the bigger dilemma: How to figure out what to charge for your summer squash. I hear this all the time and I see SO MANY different prices. Here is a step by step process I recommend:
- Look at the grocery store price.
- Factor in cost/care of the vegetables. (Don’t forget about your labor!)
- Check around with other local farm fresh squash sellers.
- Finally, ask your customers what they are willing to pay.
For example, I asked my friend who does the local farmers market AND has a U-Pick garden. She consistently charges $1 per pound for the summer squash. So, I modeled my business after her and it’s been quite a success.
* Read here for 23 Backyard Business Ideas *
But if you aren’t in the mood to sell, that’s ok as well. You can definitely find people who are willing to take your summer squash for free. Or maybe it’s a trade for doing a job for you.
Anything to get rid of that extra summer squash before it goes to waste, right?
Sharing is caring and easy, too.
Summer squash is so versatile and healthy that many places can use them for meals and snacks. You can call around to these 9 different places to see if they need summer squash donations:
- local shelters
- food pantry
- church/school meals
- Nursing Homes
- Soup Kitchens
- Family/neighbor in need
- fire/police department
- Animal Rescue
- Zoos & Wildlife Rehab
Let’s talk about how healthy summer squashes are to include in your diet.
Summer Squash Nutrition Facts
Why summer squash? I’ve checked the facts and here’s what I’ve found according to Livestrong:
This veggie has a high water content, so it’s very low calorie. One medium zucchini contains about 31 calories. It also contains no fat or cholesterol!
It’s made up mostly of vitamins, minerals and fiber to keep you healthy.
One cup of yellow squash contains less than 20 calories and no fat. Although…I love adding in some cheese to my yellow squash. But that’s besides the point.
This yellow squash is also loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Yum!
So, eat up as much as you can. Preserve as much as you can. And share the love and health with others as well.
How to get more from your summer Squash Plants
Have you been trying to grow summer squash with little to no luck? Check out these simple tips to growing great summer squash.
- Plant into Hills of soil after a freeze.
- Make Windbreaks to prevent twisting or breaking of the vines.
- Make sure plants get enough water.
- Dead Blooms or no blooms means the squash is ready to pick. Clip even the small ones to make room for more.
- Watch out for bugs! It doesn’t take long for squash bugs to destroy your plants.
Growing summer squash is pretty simple. And keeping up with the above tasks will have you rolling in the squash through the summer season.
Which of these 37 Things will You Choose?
What’s not to love about summer squashes? They are nutritious as well as delicious. They work great in recipes and you can preserve them for later.
Also, people love them so you can sell them easily or donate them to a great cause. In conclusion, there’s lots of ways to take care of your extra zucchini and yellow squashes.
So, which of these 37 things to do with all that summer squash will you choose?
~ Much Love ~
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