Farm Share 101 - Summer Squash & Blanching

As we reach the height of summer heat, your farm share is probably bursting with zucchini and squash. Did you know they are actually fruit? I still call them veggies. Either way, these hearty plants lead to abundance in the summer. After a few weeks, you might be looking for a new way to keep these in your rotation. Below are the differences between types of summer squash, instructions for blanching squash, and some of my favorite recipes.

Different Types of Summer Squash

Some squash grow in the winter, we will talk about those later. Below are the descriptions and differences among the summer squash varieties.

Zucchini, also called courgette, is an italian squash with can be any shade of green, or even golden yellow. It is a cylinder and the a uniform size around for the full length of the squash.

Yellow Squash is has a more varied size and appearance. It can be bulbous at the bottom, have a straight or crooked neck.

Both zucchini and yellow squash have consistent mild, slightly sweet flavor.

Other squash include scallop or patty pan squash, which look like flattened disks and have a nutty flavor or round eight ball zucchini which

How to Blanch Squash and Produce

If we really get extra squash, or our farmers market is offering a great price and I buy extra, I blanch and freeze squash (and most other veggies) to last throughout the year. To blanch, wash and prepare squash by cutting into quarter inch rounds or bias (diagonal) slices. Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water on the counter nearby. Boil the squash for 3-5 minutes, until fork tender, not mushy and then immediately drain and dump into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Stir the squash around until cool, drain well and transfer into dated freezer bags. Be sure to do this in small batches and re heat/ice the separate water baths as necessary.

Favorite Ways to Prepare Squash

sauté in olive oil and butter

weekly stir-fry -- this is a regular monday night meal in our home, the night before farm share pick up, everything that is left gets tossed with some hoisin sauce and peanut oil for a quick stir fry, sometimes over rice, with chicken, or even a fried egg on top. We mix it up because we use what is left.

squash casserole -- with butter and saltine crackers, this is comfort food

squash noodles -- do you have a spiralizer? side note: does anyone know if kitchen aid makes a spiralizer attachment? I haven't tried one yet, but for years, I have been grating my my zucchini or squash to eat raw in salad, it is delicious and adds a subtle crunch.

grilled squash/zucchini spears - cut longways into spears, like pickles, brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, fresh parsley, cayenne pepper, or even old bay seasoning

zucchini bread, or even better my healthy muffin alternative.

Zucchini, Carrot, Banana Muffins, but you should just call them delicious!

1.5 cups almond flour
2.5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
4 tap baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 eggs whisked
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup vegetable oil (or coconut)
1 cup honey (local is best, ask your farmer about honey!)
3 ripe bananas
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots

Makes 3 dozen


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Whisk the wet ingredients, eggs, vanilla, oil, honey, to combine. Note: you may need to heat the coconut oil and or honey to mix these well.
4. Add in the bananas and mash well.
5. Finally add the shredded carrots and zucchini to the wet mixture.
6. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir just until the ingredients are combined.
7. Pour the zucchini mixture into large muffins cups.
8. Optional: I topped my muffins with left over crumble topping (not included in ingredients list above).
9. Bake for 20 minutes, then let cool on a rack before serving.

Do you have a favorite way to use your summer squash? Or another seasonal recipe to share? We'd love for you to add it in the comments below, or submit your recipe to be featured.

1 comment:

  1. (I just wrote what I felt was the longest comment in the world then deleted it-- I blame Mary Tobin. Sorry if I submit it twice!)

    I was about to send you this recipe, but your post provides the perfect vehicle:

    Essentially squash sliced thinly, arugula, s+p, oil, lemon juice, parmesan. Yum!! I've made it thrice this summer which means it's easy enough to be a keeper.

    My fave way to cook squash is to sauté in butter, and to feed it to babies starting solids, if anyone finds themselves in that situation! :) All the better if you start by sautéing an onion.

    Mama Rote's squash, I love, but I can never do it as well as she does. In a gallon ziploc bag, put some flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper, then your sliced yellow squash. (She always has yellow squash, but I don't see why zucchini wouldn't work as well. She says choose small squash because they're more tender. But some farm shares may select them for you already.) Shake the bag to coat the pieces---a potentially great job for Behr!---then sauté. It's so yummy [when she does it] because some bites are crunchy with the cornmeal.

    Those muffins look great!! I like zucchini bread, banana bread, carrot cake separately, but together might be incredible. Can I use regular flour instead of almond?



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