do you have garden squash coming out your ears?

If so, me too! Finding a new squash recipe we really like is so fun. I wonder what the recipe below would be like with ZUCCHINI. If you try it before I do, let me know. I found this recipe on Hallelujah Acres yesterday, because one of their employees wrote me to say hi. They’d asked in their forum who their favorite blogger is and my blog had been popping up. That’s nice, thanks H-Acres readers.

Yellow Squash Raw Hummus

2 medium yellow squash (peeled, sliced in 1″ pieces)

1/2 cup pine nuts (soaked 6 hours and drained)

1/2 cup raw almond butter

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves (peeled)

juice of 1 Meyer lemon

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp curry

1 tsp. Celtic or Himalayan salt (or to taste)

pinch of cayenne (or to taste)

pinch of paprika

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (minced)

1/4 cup kalamata olives (diced)

Place all ingredients (except parsley and olives) in food processor with an S blade and process until creamy. (If too thin, add more almond butter.) Spoon into bowl and stir in parsley and olives. Cover and store in fridge. It will keep refrigerated for several days.

Raw zucchini pickles and more ideas

Wendy Ray gave this idea for using zucchini, on the GreenSmoothieGirl facebook fanpage:

Slice young zucchini into a quart jar (or whatever). Add these:

1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. sea salt

2+ Tbsp. raw honey

2 Tbsp. fresh basil

1 cup water

Optional: sliced onions

Marinate at least 30 minutes. Lasts at least a month in the fridge.

Trystan Alexander Knight-Timm said this:

Put some zucchini in your raw hummus. Tastes amazingly like the real thing only healthier and raw.

(Note from Robyn: you have hummus recipes in 12 Steps to Whole Foods and in the Sprouted/Crunchy recipe collection.)

Kathy Chastain Culp said this:

You can get rid of several of them this way: juice them with celery, cukes, lemons, ginger and add liquid stevia.

And several people mentioned my favorite thing to do with zucchini: spiral it as “pasta” noodles and serve with a marinara made chunky in your blender, with raw tomatoes and onions and garlic!

Help! I’m in Zucchini Hell!

I have this kind of random list of questions to ask God when I get on the other side. Some of them are The Big Questions. Why do 15-year old crackheads get pregnant so easily when my friend Jamie, who would be a world-class mother, can’t? Why are people supposed to make huge decisions like who to marry, and have babies, in their 20’s when they don’t know anything about anything yet?

Stuff like that. But I have some small questions, too, that really nag at me.

Like, WHY ARE ZUCCHINI PLANTS SO PROLIFIC? I mean, how much can one family eat?! It’s not even like people LIKE zucchini that much, if my kids are any indicator. Why can’t raspberry plants produce so much??

The amazing thing is that I seem to plant MORE THAN ONE plant each year. Why do I do this?? When I pick up my produce from Jacob’s Cove each Monday, I get my allotment of wonderful things like multi-colored cherry tomatoes, and unusual greens, and beets. And then they point at these giant boxes and say, “TAKE ALL YOU WANT OF THE SQUASH.”

I heard this joke once about someone coming from out of state to visit a Utah friend. One the way home from the airport, the friend stops at 7-11 for a drink and leaves the door unlocked to go inside. Then they stop for lunch at a restaurant and she again leaves the door unlocked to go inside. Then they go to church and she LOCKS THE DOOR. The out-of-state visitor said, “Uh, that’s random. You don’t lock your car at 7-11 or a restaurant–why at church?” The Utahan whispers, “It’s zucchini season! When we get out of church, if we don’t lock it, the car will be full of squash!”

There’s this “Share the Bounty” shack near my house somebody built. (Cool idea, right?) This time of year, it’s All Zucchini All The Time.

I put some of my favorite squash recipes in Ch. 5 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods and the Jump-Start recipe collection. Zucchini pitas, carpaccio, and cookies. I love spiraled, raw or barely-steamed zucchini “noodles” instead of pasta. (Pizza Factory makes them, if you’re local.)

Did you know squash leaves are edible? Throw them in your green smoothies!

Please tell me what you do to dig your way out of zucchini hell! Favorite recipes welcomed here! (My kids are sick of all my ways to slip squash into the dinner . . . yesterday I texted my 17-y.o. telling him when to come home to eat, and I had to entice him by saying, “It’s a NO-SQUASH meal!)

raw food: here’s what’s in my dehydrator right now

You know I love my dehydrator, especially this time of year when I’ve got so much stuff coming out of the garden that I don’t want to go to waste. Right now I have all 9 trays full in my dehydrator with two recipes contributed by readers. (I love y’all! Thanks for your ideas and support of each other!)

Tonya’s cheesy kale chips are filling four trays and they are INCREDIBLE, hard to believe how much nutrition you’re getting just snacking. I just took them out and ate a bunch of them while I wrote this. Just press one side of your leaves of kale in the “sauce.” Doubling the recipe will fill your 9 trays.

Here’s my recommendation on the site, if you don’t have a dehydrator yet and want more info (plus one of my recipes for flax crackers):

Tara C. gives this tip for using those baseball-bat sized zucchinis in the garden and I’ve got 4 trays of zucchini moons almost dry–just tried one, and I like them. Super easy

! Silly Dilly Zucchini Moons

Slice zucchini in half length-wise.

Scoop out inner core of seeds.

Turn over and slice thinly (about 3/8-inch thick).

Spread on dehydrator trays and sprinkle with dill. Dehydrate until crispy.

Enjoy plain or with a yummy, dilly dip.

Now that I’ve removed the kale chips, I’m going to use up the big boxful of cherry tomatoes my son hauled in yesterday, with this idea also from Tara C.:

Cheery Cherry Pizza Snacks

(My kids say these taste like mini-pizzas.)

Slice cherry tomatoes in half, toss with pizza seasoning (I get it from Azure Standard) and dry till crisp. Enjoy!

(Tara would like suggestions to improve on this idea.)

Here’s Tara’s last idea, which I’ll try next:

Gingered Zucchini Bites

Slice zucchini as above. Before dehydrating, soak for 30-60 minutes in pineapple juice mixed with 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, 1/2 cup agave, and a dash of cinnamon. Dry in dehydrator until crispy. These look lovely in your pantry stored in Mason jars with a little raffia tied on top–pretty enough to give away!

This morning at 5:30 a.m., I made some pesto from the basil, spinach, and tomatoes in my garden. See your Jump-Start collection on the site for that recipe–whole-grain pasta with pesto is one of my kids’ favorites. Then I made a variation on that, some zucchini pesto with barely steamed zucchini, basil, kelp, cayenne, walnuts, sea salt, olive oil, mustard seed, and Bragg’s. I put these two types of pesto in pint jars, labelled them, and froze them. I think I’ll share a pint with a few friends this weekend.

raw food: try this Rainbow Salad (way to use your zucchini and squash)

Here’s a fun way (from Ch. 5 of 12 Steps) to use the zucchini coming out of your garden (or your neighbor’s).   Thought I’d share it with you since I’m making it for dinner tonight on top of quinoa that takes 10 mins. to cook.   My kids groan about all the ways I am (over-)using zucchini, though I confess to throwing some baseball-bat-sized ones in the compost pile.   Last night was zucchini fritters (also Ch. 5–my squash haters protest and then say, “Oh, yeah, I forgot–I actually like these” and ask for more.)

Eat dinners like Rainbow Salad Over Quinoa regularly and you won’t feel exhausted at 10 p.m. You’ll be still doing some project you suddenly had the energy for and have to force yourself to go to bed. And then you’ll bounce out of bed in the morning because your body didn’t have to go into overdrive during the night to break down that slab of cow carcass. Oh, did I just say that? I’m so sorry! I mean steak!

Tomorrow I’ll blog photos I just took of my garden and the inside of my freezer–the top two ways I save money eating whole foods!

Rainbow Salad

2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb.), diced

2 large yellow squash (about 1 lb.), diced

6 roma tomatoes, chopped (or 4 regular tomatoes, liquid drained)

1/2 cup Kalamata or green olives, drained and chopped

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (bottled, drained and chopped finely)

½ red onion, chopped

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. dried basil (or ¼ cup fresh, chopped)

1 tsp. oregano

½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp. flaxseed, freshly ground

Toss all ingredients well and serve.Optionally, serve this on a bed of cooked quinoa seasoned with a pinch of sea salt.