Oh My Gourd!

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Violet Witchel, Reporter

Every year fall is welcomed with a plethora of cozy sweaters, falling leaves and the inevitable influx of unwanted zucchini, pumpkins and squash. Friends and family drop of a zucchini as a housewarming gift or just a random “nice” gesture.

“It’s harder to get rid of than a cat,” said community member Sarah Slaughter, who grows zucchini in her garden.

But what is someone supposed to do with a two pound zucchini? What about an entire pumpkin?  It’s not like it can just be eaten conveniently like an apple, and most zucchini recipes are painstaking or taste like a green pile of mush. Even when a zucchini recipe that’s somewhat palatable is found, it seems to only use about half of one of the zucchinis that have amassed over the last week of September. So here are several recipes that will help put a dent in that pile of plants.

Zucchini is a surprisingly light gourd for its hefty size, it is a fibrous juicy squash. One large zucchini will compact down to about one cup of grated zucchini. This is what makes it difficult to use for recipes.

“I don’t really have an opinion on Zucchini,” said So. Corbin Reiter. The underwhelming (and common) response to this underutilized gourd is cause for distress.

“Green,” said So. Nick Roberts of what his thoughts were on zucchini, echoing the disappointment surrounding these awkward vegetables.

Next time one of these unwanted squash finds its unwieldy way to your kitchen counter, take the opportunity to make a delicious  healthy snack out of it with this fun and simple recipe.

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 ⅔ cup flour

Instructions

Mix the eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla together with an electric mixer. Add the zucchini, cinnamon, baking soda. Mix until emulsified. Add the flour and chocolate chips and continue mixing. Pour into a floured loaf pan. Bake at 350º for 1 hour. The top should be crispy and brown. Serve warm with butter.

Pumpkin Puree

  • 1 medium pumpkin pie pumpkin
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions:

Peel the pumpkin, cut the top open and scrape out all of the seeds. Cut the hollowed out peeled pumpkin into small chunks. Put the chunks in a glass baking dish. Pours the apple juice and maple syrup over the chunks. Sprinkle the spices over the pumpkin. Cover the dish in tinfoil. Bake at 375º for 2 ½ hours. Take the pumpkin out of the oven and let it cool completely. Drain any extra juice. Mash the pumpkin into a mush. Use for pumpkin breads and other recipes that require pumpkin puree. This can also be canned or frozen.