Recipes for Canning Zucchini Part II: How to Deal with Zucchini Overload

recipes for canning zucchini, canning zucchini, zucchini overload, SKS Bottle and Packaging, canning jars, #SKSHarvest #SeasonalSolutions, AD

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This is the second part of a series on canning zucchini. It’s that time of year and I am drowning in zucchini here on my little farm. I wrote a little earlier about how the hubby and I came to start a small farm, now I’m showing some of the inside work that goes with the harvest.  Each year I process or can whatever manages to grow well in the garden. Each year is different with what produces a banner crop – with the exception of zucchini. There is always a huge zucchini crop. I thought it was time to revisit this recipe just in time for this year’s crop.

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Canning Zucchini

I do shred a fair amount of zucchini and freeze it in reusable plastic containers 2 cups at a time. That thaws to 1 cup for use in recipes in the winter for breads, muffins or to add to soups, stews, meatloaf or when I’m sneaky and I add it to his waffles (shhh.) But given the volume of zucchini produced on this farm, I am still left with an obnoxious amount of squash. I found I can substitute zucchini for cucumbers to make a delicious relish and no one could tell the difference. How did I discover this? One year the cucumbers did not come in and I was out of relish so I improvised and it worked.

Zucchini Garlic Dill Relish

Makes 7 pints

8 pounds trimmed zucchini
1 head of garlic
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 cups finely chopped onion
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 TBS dill seeds
4 cups white vinegar

Cut the zucchini into small chunks and then process in batches in a food processor with the metal blade until it is finely chopped
Remove to a large bowl

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Sprinkle with the salt and turmeric and mix well.

I had the mixture split to add the salt and turmeric. It all went back together into one bowl

Cover with water.
Cover the bowl and let sit in a cool place for at least two hours.
Finely chop garlic
Prepare the canner and heat the jars and keep warm until ready to use

Drain in a colander and rinse.

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then squeeze the zucchini to remove as much moisture as you can.

TIP: Squeeze the mixture over a strainer so you don’t lose too much. If you squeeze it over the main batch you’re just adding the water back in. 

Remove to a large stock pot.
Add the onion, garlic, sugar, dill and vinegar.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened.
Heat the lids and have the bands handy.

Add the hot relish to the hot jars leaving 1/2″ headspace.

Use a non reactive spatula to remove bubble and adjust the relish in the jars. Add or remove relish if needed to maintain the proper headspace.
Wipe the rims with damp rag. Place the lid on and add the band and twist fingertip tight.

Add the jars to the canner and process for 15 minutes (20 minutes for over 3000 ft)
Remove from heat and let the jars sit for 5 minutes. Remove from the canner and let sit for 24 hours before checking the seals, removing the bands and storing.

Storing Jars for the Winter

Every year I have to get new canning jars because I end up giving so much that I make as gifts. 

Then I labeled the tops of the jars and put them back in their box. This way I know what is in each jar and what month and year it was canned. Then I mark the outside of the box so I know what is inside. When I go down to the basement and look on the storage shelves I’ll know exactly what is in this box; as I take a jar out I’ll mark that on the outside.

How Was the Zucchini Dill Relish?

This is a recipe I’ve made several times before so I know it is good. I didn’t take a taste of this particular batch but the hubby did. He said it was very good. That’s all I need to know.  He said he was happy with both of my efforts at canning zucchini – be sure to check out the Zucchini Carrot Ginger Marmalade Recipe.

If you want to bake with zucchini check out my recipes for pumpkin spice zucchini cookies or chocolate zucchini cake.

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