How to love zucchini

A relaxing weekend for me is spent pottering around the garden in the morning, followed by cooking in the afternoon.

At this time of year our vegie garden is producing well, and I like to use what we’re growing as the basis for what I’m cooking as much as possible. At the moment our zucchini plants are prolific. We’ve shared the crop with our neighbours and work colleagues and had to find creative ways to use them all up! Here are a few of my family’s favourite uses for zucchini.

Unless you’re told, you will never know this chocolate cake has 2 cups of grated zucchini in it! It always reminds me of the conversations we often have around the office – ingredients in food that you wouldn’t know are used until you read the label. Cage eggs are a big one and are used in loads of products, including sauces, cakes and pasta!

In all my cooking I like to know the hens that produce my eggs have been able to do all the things that come naturally for them – stretching their wings, dust bathing and laying their eggs in a nest. This is why I always read labels and always look for a brand that has been independently certified for animal welfare, such as RSPCA Approved, when choosing eggs in a carton.

Luckily, I also have a supply of eggs laid by a couple of backyard hens with such big personalities they deserve their own mention. Introducing Princess Bubblegum, Daffy, Scram and their friends who live in Trudy’s backyard and enjoy scratching around the garden. Trudy is a member of the RSPCA team and generously shares the eggs her hens produce with us.


Easy chocolate cake with hidden zucchini

½ cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cage-free eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup milk
2 ½ cups plain flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 cups zucchini shredded

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. Add milk and vanilla and sifted dry ingredients. Stir in zucchini. Pour into in greased 23cm x 30cm pan and bake at 160C for 40 – 45 minutes.

Recipe sourced from

Krista’s zucchini relish
My friend Krista gave me this recipe and I still refer to the instructions she wrote for me 16 years ago! It’s great for using up those mega zucchinis!

2kg zucchini thinly sliced
½ kg onion (4 medium sized onions)
1 red capsicum
1 green capsicum
½ cup salt
5 cups white vinegar
6 cups sugar
2 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tsp celery seeds (can use celery salt but seed is best)
½ garlic clove
1 tsp turmeric

Place zucchini, onion and capsicum in a big pot. Add salt, leave for 3 hours and drain. Add white vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, garlic and tumeric. Bring to the boil. Store in a sterilised jar

Hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing weekend ahead!

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