Thursday, August 20, 2009

Preserving the Harvest


or good deals from the farmers market/grocery store! I grew these tomatoes. They're going bonkers in my garden and we can't eat them all now! My zucchini...not so much! I must be the only person in the world who had a problem with zucchini this year. I got two...yep...two little ones. I planted some more but they don't have anything to harvest yet.



But the farmers market had them so cheap that I bought a bunch! We love eating it roasted in the oven with some pesto. But we also like zucchini bread! So tasty and healthy! So I grated them all up. Here they are draining in a colander. Let's make some Low Fat Zucchini Bread! The recipe will be at the end.



O.K. Let's get these into the oven so we can take care of the rest of the zucchini and tomatoes! I like my muffins big so I always fill them to the top!


I scooped two cups of shredded zucchini into quart freezer bags. Really squeeze all the air out! I did two cups because that's what I use in my zucchini bread.




Be sure to put a date on them so you know how old they are when you go to use them. Now I just stick them in my chest freezer and when zucchini is out of season and we want some zucchini bread, I defrost them and use as I normally would. These four freezer bags will make 8 loaves of bread!


I was going to try canning my tomatoes this year but I just don't feel up to it this week. So I'm going to preserve them the way I always do which is cut them into quarters and freeze them (wash them first).





I just set them on cookie sheets and stick them into the freezer for a few hours. I can get two cookie sheets in this freezer and one in my fridge freezer. Then I pop them off and stick them in freezer bags. This way they don't stick together. They're individually frozen. I only cook with them. I think they're too mushy to use in a salad. I also puree them in the blender and freeze them that way in freezer bags (they lay flat so they take up less room than containers).




I also do blueberries this way. We grow our own but this year we didn't have enough to freeze. Also no blackberries and I usually am able to freeze a few bags of each. But I made lots of crisps, cobblers and slumps this summer. So when blueberries were 99 cents a pint, I bought a whole bunch and froze them same way as the tomatoes. Except I do not wash them before freezing. I rinse them off before using them and I usually use them frozen - they're a bit soft when defrosted. But they're perfect for baking and smoothies.




We're done for now! Just in time too! The muffins and bread are done! Let's have a nice sit down...oh that's the washer beeping....let me just pop the clothes into the dryer.



O.K.....Let's use one of my cute coffee pots! I didn't make this I got it at the thriftstore this way!



Mmmm....let's take the tray into the living room it's too muggy to sit outside today!


You don't actually have grow your own fruit and veg in order to preserve the harvest! Preserve someone else's harvest! Next week I'll show you what I do with my basil!



Low Fat Zucchini Bread


Pre-heat oven to 350


This recipe substitutes applesauce for the oil (I used no sugar added applesauce but it doesn't really matter). Zucchini has a lot of moisture in it so it still comes out moist without using any fat.


1 1/2 - 2 cups of sugar (I don't like it really sweet so I use the lower amount)


3 eggs


2 cups of shredded or finely diced zucchini


1 cup of applesauce (you can play with this and use half oil half applesauce if you like)


3 cups of flour (I change this all the time - sometimes I use part whole wheat flour part white, today I used white and some oatmeal, I've also used ground flaxseed)

1 teaspoon of baking soda


1/4 teaspoon of salt


1/4 teaspoon of baking powder


2 tablespoons of cinnamon


1 tablespoon of pure vanilla


Mix together all the ingredients until just blended. You can now add chocolate chips if you like, raisins, craisins, nuts etc. Then pour into loaf pans or muffin pans.I made six muffins and one loaf with this recipe.


Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes (but check it - it may take a bit more). Let it rest for a bit before cutting into it. Really...the texture will be sooo much better!



53 comments:

Cheri Peoples said...

Oh yummy I love zucchini bread.

I cannot find the e-mail with your address. I don't know if it is in all of my e-mails and I am overlookingit or if I accidentally deleted it.
My blog gets busier each week and 2 weeks ago I was sick for 9 days and had to go to the hospital emergency room twice, so I was trying to get back to all those people as well as all the new people and that is why I have so many e-mails in my in-box. I normally try to stay on top of it all but it has gotten to a point where I just can't any more. I had 500 visitors on Monday alone.
So I explained all that so you didn't think I was irresponsible and I need to ask you to re-send your address to my e-mail so I can ship your picture.
Cheri
cheri.peoples@live.com

glorv1 said...

Oh I just loved this post Manuela. I do exactly as you do except I like to freeze my tomatoes whole and use them for soups, sauces, etc. I do the same with the zuke and I have a lot in my freezer for baking. Hey, here's to you amiga!! I like the way you walked us through each thing you were doing and allowed us to enter your "rooms" because it felt like I was there. Have a great Friday.

Victoria said...

Mmmm your tomatoes look yummy! My tomatoes finally have started producing really well just in the past couple of weeks. I never thought about freezing them in this way though.

I can't wait to hear what you say about your basil. I love basil and have it growing all over but probably don't use it like I should. I am hoping you will share your pesto recipe. Also, your oven roasted zucchini with pesto recipe. :)

Darlene said...

That zucchini bread looks delicious!!! I have never done any freezing of veggies....but it looks really easy. I really need to try it. This is the first year I planted 1 tomato plant and right now it has 2 tomatoes on it, and they are growing away!!!!!....YAY. That is quite exciting to me!!

Stacey said...

Oh it looks so good. I have just been green with envy over all the veggies that some people are growing this year. Oh well, farmer's market for me.

jenjen said...

Yum! I love fresh produce. It's so fun this year to have my square foot garden. I am loving eating my own veggies!

Your bread sounds so delicious. Can I come to tea?

XOXO
Jen

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing your perserving tips! I am always looking for new ideas and you have some great ones! I hav never tried zucchini bread before. It sounds yummy! Our "squash" didn't do well either. I think all of the excessive spring rains affected the garden.

Hope all is well (& you feel better from your root canal).

xoxo, Jennifer

Rhondi said...

Reading this is making me hungry! Just to make you feel better, two people I was talking to today had bad luck with their zucchini this year too! One didn't get any .

Sandra said...

Hi Manuela! Your zucchini bread sounds yummy! I've never tasted it! It sounds really good and i'm gonna have to make some for us. Thank you for sharing with us.
Blessings,
Sandra

Meg said...

Manuela,
I have been freezing my zucchini as it ripens or giving it away because I certainly can't eat it all. I also bake these great carrot zucchini muffins and then freeze them in bags of two for hubby's lunch. He just grabs them out of freezer and they are perfect at lunch time. Next week I make pesto with my own garlic and basil for the first time.Bon Appe'tit

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Manuela, the tomato photo is perfection! Bravo!

Elizabeth said...

Manuela, I don't think I have ever eaten zucchini bread. I know! I'm so glad you shared your recipe. Now I'm going to have to try it :)

My Cozy Cubby said...

I've seen your blog a couple of times, and barely spent quite some time viewing previous posts. I thought I'd just leave a comment. I'm absolutely enchanted by your creative style and talent! Love all your pretty dishes, toile guest room, and the garden tea cup and teapot! Seems like Wonderland! I'll visit again!
Pamela

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

This was such a fun post! :) I think I am going to freeze the nice and cheap blueberries I bought today after seeing your instructions. Then I can just use them any old time! :) Thanks for the instructions AND for the zucchini bread recipe...yum! I will have to try this out! :)

Gracie said...

Thanks for sharing, I guess I'd like to try it!

Marcia said...

Thanks for the idea of freezing the shredded zucchini. I haven't gotten as many as I did last year either, and I don't know why. I don't think I could freeze the blueberries fast enough, they seem to disappear as soon as I get home from the grocery store, I'd have to hide them. I enjoy your blog, thanks for sharing so many great ideas.
Blessings,
Marcia

Margaret's Ramblings said...

What a wonderful informative post as always Manuela. Could I link it with Buddy's Friday? So many like me just don't know what to do with their courgettes (zucchinis). I'm going to try the bread this weekend.

Margaret

Paula said...

I did not have much luck with my zucchini this year either. For me I think the problem was that we had so much rain that my soil was too wet at times. I want to try your low fat zucchini bread recipe. I haven't made zucchini bread in a long time.

Amber said...

We had a TON of zucchini but our tomato plants got blight. So no tomato sauce this year. Major bummer. Luckily I made three batches last year so I should have enough to get me through until next year.

I just love your blog, Manuela. It's very inspiring and cheerful. Thanks for taking the time to post!

Ally0005 said...

I love zucchini bread, have not had any in a while.
My tomatoes are coming in pretty good right now, I'm happy.
Have a great week-end.

Ally

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Thanks for the recipe! That bread looks delicious. I didn't grow zucchini this year. And my sad tomatoes yielded about 5 tomatoes total. It was not a good year in my garden. Gardening has been hard here, because of living in the middle of the forest. I am looking forward to my new house which has lots of sunny space for a garden!

Suzann @ The Olive Cottage said...

A yummy post filled with Great photos and a recipe to boot. Thanks.

Armchair Housewife said...

What a lovely post, Manuela, and LOTS of great ideas there. I didn't know you could just freeze tomatoes like that.. that's awesome! You got me thinking about making better use of on-sale items at the market (I don't have a garden of my own, hopefully someday!).

Blessings!

salmagundi said...

I haven't canned tomatoes for years as I always freeze them the way you do. So much easier and just as good in soups, etc. I also make salsa and freeze with the excess tomatoes. Unfortunately, we are not having a good tomato year. Hopefully, they will ripen up soon. Sally

scrappy quilter said...

We love zucchini bread and muffins too. I never thought of slice up the tomatoes when I freeze them. Great tip!! I purchase blueberries and freeze them too. I love this time of year when you can buy from the farmer's market. Love this post as always.

Lee Laurie said...

Thanks for sharing these ideas!

Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...

Now this was a post I could sink my teeth into...lol! I love zucchini bread and will be giving this recipe a shot for sure. I know now that the summer is coming to an end I'll be doing some preserving of my own...Thanks for the tips!
I hope you have a fab day!

Rebekah said...

I'd love to share coffee and zucchini bread with you, Manuela! I'm inspired in a fresh way each time I visit you here. :)

Diane Costanza said...

Thanks for sharing that recipe. My FIL has a great zucchini garden this year and I am going to try and make this for the family.

Gill - That British Woman said...

my zucchini are not doing well this year, and neither is my tomato plant. If you pop the kettle on I'll be right over to help taste test everything though!!!

Gill

Emily said...

Looks awesome! I have missed reading your blogs! Your home and garden looks fabulous!

Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training said...

Thanks for letting me know. I'll go in and re do them.

:0)

Kendra

Let it Shine said...

Looks yummy!!!
Thanks for sharing!

Angie said...

I am a bread lover (sure wish I wasn't), but this kind may not be too bad for you. Looks and sounds wonderful!

Domestic Designer said...

I love zucchini bread too! In fact I just made 2 loaves yesterday. Have a great weekend.

Merrie said...

Don't know what I am more envious of- the beautiful harvest, the yummies, or that wonderful sink and faucet in your kitchen.

What a pleasure to read!

Sue said...

Hi Manuela....great looking tomatoes and your low fat zucchini bread sounds perfect for us dieting...question...tell me where you buy flax seed? I want to make crakers that we made in cooking class last week but I can't find the flax seed....by the way I love your new header....very cute.

Lucky Smith said...

hi, great article. those tomatoes are yummy, i actually tried it and it really works. the zucchini bread really rocks! thanks for the tips.

Melissa Miller said...

Yummy! I had no idea you could freeze tomatoes this way.
Thanks for the great tips Manuela.
Everything looks wonderful from your garden.

~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

Bella said...

That looks so yummy. I love zucchini bread. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Michelle, Queen of Everything said...

Once, I thought I'd be so smart to freeze a big bag of tomato puree. Well...I threw it in the freezer and the bag sagged down into the wire shelves. It froze like that and has been stuck in my freezer for almost two years! One of these days I'll figure out how to get it out, but in the meantime, we just ignore it.

Storybook Woods said...

Isn't it wonderful to have all those veggies in the freezer. It making cooking soo much easier. Clarice

Amanda said...

Yum, yum, yum! Thanks for all the inspiration. We love zucchini bread and trying new recipes so thanks for sharing yours! :-)

Susie Q said...

Thank you for the recipe sweetie. We love bread and zucchini bread is a favorite! Freezing and canning is a way of life that more people should use! It preserves that sweet Summer taste all Fall and Winter long!
Have a sweet weekend!
Love,
Sue

Rosemary said...

Looks so yummy!! I love it, and will have to try it. I'm sure it will be easier than the madeleine's.
Hope you are having a nice weekend!
Rosemary

The Decorated House said...

Yum, yum, yum....I'd love some zucchini bread right now! Looks delicious. I need to go back to growing tomatoes like you do. The organic ones are getting expensive.

Hope your weekend is a wonderful one!
Donna

Colleen said...

Your harvest of vegetables and fruits are beautiful! Your zucchinni bread looks yummy! I am going to have to give that recipe a try.

Southern Belle said...

Yum! I'll have to try the Zucchini Bread recipe out soon. BTW, you're not the only one who experianced zucchini woes this year. For some reason the leaves on my zucchini plant turned gray and none of the blooms turned into zucchini. I finally just decided enough was enough and threw them out. Hopefully next year we both have better success!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Excellent post!

I just found out from someone posting on my recipe blog that you can freeze corn on the cob just as it comes from the field (no husking or anything)!

I think I'll try to get some corn soon and freeze some to see how good it is in winter.

Vee said...

Hmmm, I remember zucchini bread and this post is making me want to find some zucchini stat. Thank you for sharing your freezing method for tomatoes and berries, etc. Looks easy and right up my alley.

Suzanne said...

That's what I need to do with all of our tomatoes and zucchini! Thanks for the recipe, it looks yummy...and "low-fat" is always a good thing! :)

Lady Katherine said...

Love this! I also love the bread pan! Going on my list! Mine are small! I love the coffee pot! You find the greatest things!

ellie said...

Yum....I love zuchini bread, i think that coffee carafe is perfect for you.... you have been busy in the garden.