Although we all love spring and summer, I have to admit Autumn is my favorite time of year. Fall plants provide different color varieties like no other time of the year. Your gardening is coming to a close in Autumn and it’s a time to collect your gardening bounty.
The number of zucchini-based recipes is impressive. Cooking, frying, baking or just plain eating it raw are just a few ways to use up your zucchini.
My favorite recipes include those for zucchini bread and cookies. I am sharing a long-time family recipe for both zucchini bread and cookies. They have been passed down through my husband’s Aunt Evelyn. Her recipe provides for two loaves of zucchini bread, and I often make mini-loaves also. Mini-loaves are eaten more quickly and are easy to freeze. You can get five small loaves from this recipe. Those who live alone also enjoy the smaller size.
Here are some tips to make those bread and cookies even better.
- Peel the zucchini before shredding it for baking. It creates a lighter color.
- Use disposable aluminum tins. It gives the bread a lighter consistency and improved flavor. You can find these in any grocery store.
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat together the first three ingredients.
- Add the remaining ingredients and beat together for 2-3 minutes.
- Grease and flour the pans. (Either 2 large bread pans or 5 mini-pans)
- Add bread batter to pans trying to even out the mixture for each pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50- 55 minutes. (If you are using the mini loaf pans they may be done sooner). Check to see if they are done by using a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
Looking for zucchini cookies? Those are here.
Don’t like baking? What can you do with the zucchini?
Can zucchini. You want to be sure to provide enough juice for the jars. Do this by adding tomatoes to the zucchini. Start by cooking down zucchini with onions and peppers. Then add tomatoes for flavor and juice. If you enjoy stewing tomatoes with zucchini, this will work for you.
I used this method last year and the results were delicious.
What about freezing it?
You can shred and freeze zucchini to use for baking later in winter. Freezing is the best option for later baking. Your results might be better with baking now, and freezing the bread.
Can those tomatoes! Canning stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce are both great to cook later with spaghetti. If you use a grinder to remove seeds and skin, it will leave the tomato juice for canning the sauce.
What kind of tomatoes for sauce?
I prefer Roma tomatoes for sauce. They have more fruit and less water. Their flavor is great and we know our family is eating food with no additives or applied pesticides when we make it ourselves.
What kind of tomatoes for stewing?
For stewing tomatoes try Jetstar and Celebrity tomato varieties. Both varieties have done very well for me.
To can stewed tomatoes place the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or two until the skin starts to crack. Then place the tomatoes in ice cold water so you can handle them. The skins come right off. Next, cut up the tomatoes, cook them down and proceed with the canning process.
As they do every year pumpkins really take over the garden. Our garden had to be enlarged to accommodate the pumpkins each year! Check out how we did that here.
You may not even have an inch of spare space in your pumpkin patch. Try starting pumpkins from seed. We have had good luck with it.
Family Tip: Have your kids or grandkids go in the patch in late September or October and pick out their own pumpkin. You can use your pumpkins for decoration or carving. Or maybe even cook it into pies.
Flowers – Mums
Fall mums (chrysanthemums) are one of my all-time favorite flowers. They come in such a wide variety of colors and petal shapes that suit just about anyone. Some favorite colors are yellows, deep oranges, and reds. But you can also find whites and purples.
Some mums go straight into the ground. You might have varying luck on their hardiness in cold winter weather. You can also put mums in planters for your deck and or front step. They are a nice way to continue color past other annuals. Mums can also be hung in hanging planters for continued color.
Late summer and autumn are very busy times in the garden. These are only a few vegetables and flowers available to harvest. You can also harvest cucumbers, carrots, beans, sunflowers, peppers and many more. As we harvest our bounty from our hard work from spring and summer, we transition to a time of both pushing forward and slowing down. But as we all know, much more lies ahead.