If you are a fan (or at least a follower!) of the blog, you may be well aware that we have three very healthy, productive zucchini plants that are thriving and putting out around 20-25 zucchini for us to eat per week. Some of these are very cute and small, others are a nice normal size, and we usually end up with about 4 that are quite large per week. I’m proud to say that we’ve succeeded in eating all of them or preserving them every week, so I wanted to share my secret weapon for keeping up with the zucchini madness – my method of making and freezing zucchini jam.
We’ve been making this every weekend with all of our remaining zucchini friends. The beauty of this method is that by cooking the zucchini down, you remove so much of the water, thereby concentrating the flavor and reducing the amount that you will have to store and freeze by at least half, if not more. I usually start by filling up my entire Dutch oven with shredded zucchini, which seems totally overwhelming at first, but I promise the volume will go down dramatically after boiling for an hour or so! This process does take some time, and I would strongly recommend a food processor or a grater attachment on a Kitchenaid Mixer to help cut down on the arm power. After reducing, I usually cook it a little longer to form some browning and caramelization to give it added sweetness and flavor, as well as to make sure I got as much moisture out of the zucchini as possible. Once I get a little color on the jam, I allow it to cool in the fridge before portioning into Ziploc bags and sending off to the freezer for later use. This jam is not acidic enough for normal canning, so please freeze this as it is definitely not shelf stable!
Another thing to add about this jam is that it’s super versatile. This past weekend we made a blend with tomato sauce added, and I usually season with plenty of garlic and herbs. Other fun additions would be caramelized onions, or some chilis or peppers for a spicy mix. Add whatever flavors you want now for a fun, ready made meal in the future!
Okay, so now you’ve made all of this zucchini jam – but what can you do with it? I’ve been using it as a sauce for pasta (it’s super creamy and sweet – almost like a cheese sauce with way fewer calories). Speaking of cheese sauce, this would be an excellent mix-in for mac and cheese, or an awesome add-in for soups, broths, or stews to make them heartier. This would also be great as a sauce for pizzas, or under some tomatoes on toast. Anything where you want to sneak in an extra serving of veggies un-noticed will work! I’ll post a pasta recipe that I made with some of last night’s batch in my next post. I paired the zucchini jam with some cherry tomatoes, fried garlic, Calabrian chilis, and Italian sausage – it was carby, garlicy, spicy, and perfect.
So, ready to make some zucchini jam? Step by step pictures are below!
Happy preserving, friends!