It's zucchini season everyone! Yes, I'm still excited. I've processed more than 30lbs and have more to go, and more on the way!
Over the years I've tried freezing, dehydrating, drying, dry canning homemade zucchini chips, making zukenoodles
(zucchini noodles), and I have a recipe for zucchini relish I may try this year.
What's really exciting though, is zucchini flour!
Well, maybe not exciting to you, maybe just of slight interest. For those of you who don't do much cooking, you can just file this away as a fun fact.
Zucchini and other summer squashes are about 90% water. When cooking or finding ways to preserve zucchini, handling or mitigating the high level of water can be a challenge.
Zucchini bread is a damp business. Thawing frozen zucchini is a drippy affair.
Dried zucchini can be tough to resuscitate, even in stews and chilis. Believe me, I know.
Enter: zucchini flour.
Why is zucchini flour exciting?
1.) It can be used as a 1:1 replacement for coconut flour.
Coconut flour is a simple, easy to make yourself, nutritious alternative to more common glutenous ingredients. However, I've never had much luck making coconut flour items that don't have a certain tinny taste that I don't like. I also have some serious questions about the coconut industry as well as try to source our food closer to home. Zucchini, that we can grow.
2.) It's easy to grow, easy to make, and delicious to use!
3.) It hardly takes up any space and a little goes a long way.
2.5lbs of zucchini dehydrates and grinds down to about 1/2 cup of zucchini flour. While that may not seem like much, 1/2 cup of zucchini flour can make a full batch of muffins or a 9 serving chocolate cake! Recipes below.
4.) It's super hip! It checks all the boxes: Gluten-free, paleo, primal, Whole30, GAPS, AIP, WAPF, and more.
If you don't care about being hip but just want to have flour to bake things that everyone can eat, I've got you covered! (Note that recipes below do not fit into all of these dietary protocols.)
Instructions for making summer squash/zucchini flour:
Making zucchini flour is as simple as shred, dehydrate, and grind to a flour.
Grate the zucchini (or other summer squash). I have a trusty food processor that's older than I am. Technically mine is a mini-food processor but it gets the job done. Zucchini is also easy to grate by hand as it's fairly soft.
Dehydrate the grated zucchini. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can spread it on cookie sheets and use your oven's lowest temperature - below 200f.
Grind the completely dried zucchini shreds in a food processor or blender. Even a very old machine can make an easily usable flour. A better machine than mine will make a finer powder but I didn't find the slightly coarser grit to be unpleasant in any of the final products.
Store in an air-tight container such as a mason jar with a silicone dehydration packet for six months to a year. The packet is necessary to keep it from clumping and molding. I save the little packets that come in vitamins and other food products. The flour can also be stored refrigerated or frozen for a longer shelf life.
And now for the recipes!
Zucchini flour muffins:
As zucchini flour can be used as a 1:1 replacement for coconut flour, I immediately looked up a basic coconut flour muffin recipe and simply substituted zucchini flour. Of course, I didn't actually follow the recipe exactly otherwise. Have you met me?
Here's what I did do:
½ cup zucchini flour
⅓ cup melted butter or melted coconut oil.
4 eggs, at room temperature. Cold eggs won't mix well. If like me, you didn't remember to take eggs out of the fridge, you can place them in a bowl of warm water while you prepare your other ingredients.
2 Tbsp. honey
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Optional: 1t cinnamon, 1/4 raisins, or any other things you like in zucchini bread.
Preheat the oven to 350 and line 10 muffin cups with liners.
Combine all ingredients until smooth.
Divide evenly into 10 muffin papers.
I did 12 muffins but as they came out a little small, next time I'll only do 10 muffins.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
I overcooked them slightly, but if I had only done 10, I think the same timing would have been perfect in my oven.
I did a plain batch of muffins to get a sense of the flavor of zucchini flour. It's not as neutral as coconut flour and definitely tastes squashy but delightfully doesn't have the tinny flavor. Overall this flour will go well with traditional zucchini bread spices as well as stronger flavors such as chocolate.
Why not just make regular zucchini muffins? Storing the zucchini bounty as flour requires no electricity (as with refrigeration or freezing), hardly takes up any space (seriously, the entire dehydrator filled with fresh shreds dried down to a little less than 2 cups of flour!), and is much quicker than thawing and draining frozen zucchini after fresh zucchini season has passed.
Zucchini Flour Chocolate Cake:
Originally adapted from this recipe.
1/2c Zucchini Flour
1/3c butter or coconut oil, melted
4 Eggs (room temp or warmed slightly in a bowl of warm water)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Raw Cacao or cocoa powder
1/4-1/2 Cup Honey - 1/4 leads to a barely sweet dark chocolate flavor. 1/2 is more traditionally sweet. If using only 1/4c add a couple tablespoons of water or your favorite type of milk.
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of salt or 1/4 tsp if using unsalted butter or coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350°
Grease a 9”x9” pan.
Holding aside the apple cider vinegar, mix all ingredients until smooth.
Add apple cider vinegar and mix well.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Overall I'm thrilled to have a new way to preserve and use zucchini that will use up little cupboard space, not require electricity, and will expand my kitchen-magic abilities.
Have you ever made squash flour? Do you have any favorite recipes?
Let me know in the comments below!
If you'd asked me before if I was interested in zucchini flour, I might have yawned and shook my head. But you make it sound positively, over-the-moon exciting and delicious. I would try that chocolate cake. But I'll need my dehydrator back...ReplyDelete
I've ordered my own and I'll return yours next time we get to see you.Delete
Thanks you so much for posting this information and recipes!!! I've been gluten-free for years but now the mealy almond flour is not agreeing with me. Like you we have an abundance of zucchini every year from the garden. GOD bless you!ReplyDelete