I know, it’s not really the season for zucchini recipes. Especially for canning it. But I realized I hadn’t shared this from last summer, and I needed to rectify that as soon as possible. So here it is.
I know that a lot of people will shred and then freeze zucchini, and I did that for a few years. But to be honest, I didn’t like the texture of it when it was thawed out, so I never used it and ended up throwing it away. Such a waste! I know that alot of people would say to make zucchini bread– I have never made it and I really have no desire to. Chris wouldn’t eat it if I did, and even if I did, how many loaves of bread can one person need?! At the rate that zucchini grows around here, I could have a loaf a week and still have plenty left over lol. Not. Happening.
I did find a few ways to use it- making crushed pineapple out of it, zucchini salsa, sweet and spicy zucchini relish, Old Bay zucchini pickles, and even a zucchini jam – but this is different. In the previous recipes, you combine it with other ingredients to come out with something else (though they are fabulous!). I wanted a way to have zucchini in the winter months. So after reading through several different recipes, they all pretty much had the same idea. Cube your zucchini, throw it in a pot and cover with water, then boil it for just a few minutes to get it super hot, and seal it in jars. Then pressure can it! No crazy flavors, just a little salt and water. I could do that!
I borrowed my stepmom’s pressure canner, which is one of the smaller ones. I could only fit 5 pint jars in it at a time (quart jars were too tall!), so I would do them in batches.
It usually ended up being 2-3 big squash for a batch. Make sure that you get all of the cubes roughly the same size, and I took out most of the big seeds. They don’t hurt anything by being in there, but I just figured it was better to fill up my jars with the ‘meat’ of the zucchini, rather than the squishy seed part.
After I told a few people I made this, they were like whaaa?! Why would you can zucchini? Well I’ll tell you – I have used it in casseroles, just as a side, heated up and seasoned, and I have drained it and sauteed it, too. I have thrown it in soups, too. Fa-bu-lous! It is super versatile and something that I reach for repeatedly. And thankfully, it’s also something that I have enough of to last me until this year’s crop comes in 🙂 I just really hope that I can save up some money for a big honkin’ pressure canner!!
***The recipe is for what I did with my small canner– if you are lucky enough to have a larger one, just double or triple the recipe! I will also include the canning times for quart jars that I found.
Pressure Canned Zucchini (enough for 5 pint jars)
2-3 extra large zucchini
Prepare 5 pint jars in boiling water.
Wash and cube your zucchini. My pieces were about 1″ or so. Throw into a stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for about 3 minutes or so.
Ladle into your jars, filling it with zucchini first, then ladling water over it. You will want to keep about 1″ headspace at the top. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint jar (you would double this to 1 teaspoon for each quart jar). Drag a wooden spoon through the squash to release air bubbles, adding more boiling water if needed.
Put your lid on, finger tightening only and place in your pressure canner. Follow instructions for your canner, and process your pint jars for 30 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure (do 40 minutes for quart jars). Let cool down completely before removing lid. DO NOT rush the process, as that can be very dangerous.
After they have cooled, remove from the canner and listen for the pings!