Should I try Canning Zucchini?

One of my big summer goals was to get some food canned and sent off to our little village home in Alaska. It’s really tough to get anything fresh or frozen in the village, but it can be done if we buy it in Anchorage and ship it in. Canning food is something that has previously worked well for me, and it is something that I enjoy doing. In the past, I have canned berries, fireweed, and salsa. When we get back to the village this year, I’ll be canning all of those things and I’ll also be canning and smoking salmon for the first time this year (yay!!). Due to the difficulty of getting fresh veggies though, I’d really like to preserve a few things and ship them back.

I think I’d like my first project to be canning some zucchini because we have SO MUCH of it. The garden at my mom’s house is producing a ton, and then my dad’s neighbor has been giving away tons of it too. On top of that, there seems to be a farm stand every few feet this summer, and they are all giving away zucchini for a very low price. Since zucchini is one of my absolute favorite foods, this has been a great thing. I’ve been eating lots of fresh zucchini and my mom has been freezing a lot of it for use this winter (zucchini bread…yummmm!), but fresh and frozen won’t work for me. I need things that can be shipped via USPS in an 18-gallon rubbermaid tote, and whatever it is needs to be able to survive up to 4 weeks of uncontrolled temperatures. Hence, the interest in canning some veggies this summer.

After consulting Google, I’ve found quite a few canning recipes for zucchini. As with anything on the internet though, I’m hesitant to trust it blindly. I’d much rather hear some personal experiences from others who have tried and been successful at it. So, have any of you, the wonderful readers, ever tried canning zucchini? If so, how did you do it? How did you prepare it for meals? I’d love to hear from you and get some advice!

18 Responses to Should I try Canning Zucchini?

  1. I’ve canned a fair amount of items, but never zucchini. I think it would be fine as pickles or relish, but I’m not sure a canned zucchini spear or chunk would taste very good, plus I think you’d need a pressure cooker (you’re not supposed to do vegetables in a water bath canner). Intriguing, though. If you do try it, let us know how it works out!

    • Hi Trisha! I definitely would be using my pressure cooker. We have a jumbo-sized one that we bought for canning fish. Relish was on my list of considerations, but I hadn’t thought of pickles! Great suggestion! Any tasty recipes you’d like to share for either of those things?

  2. Yes, you would definitely need a pressure canner to can zukes unless they were pickles. And I think you would have to think about how you’d use the canned zucchini. It’s a vegetable that tends to get mushy easily, and you’d have to cook it quite a lot during the processing, so cooked a second time? Sounds unlikely to be delicious.

    • Thanks for sharing this link! I would definitely be open to dehydrating it, especially for use in soups. We make soups a TON during the winter, but none of our produce is ever fresh. This would be a great thing to supplement in our soups.

  3. I remember my grand-parents used to can zucchini (courgettes as we call them) together with other vegetables (tomatoes at least, probably some herbs too – I’d say thyme, rosemary) so they just needed reheating and were not cooked twice.

      • Sorry, I don’t! And I haven’t enough this year to give it a try, but I definitely will next year as I have extension plans for my vegetable patch. Unfortunately it will be too late for you. I would just say use very young courgettes when they are still virtually seedless (and cut into thick slices). In addition to thyme and rosemary, you could consider using bay leaf, onions, … and of course some salt. Other than that, I don’t know – just the general principles of canning. Good luck with your project!

  4. It has been a long time since I made each of these but have canned zucchini jam, zucchini that ends up tasting like canned pineapple via the ingredients you add, and zucchini pickles….kind of dill flavor. If you are interested, I am sure I could dig around and find the recipes. I no longer can nearly as much since my children are raised, can shop around for the actual crushed pineapple cheaply and only need the regular pickles anymore. The jam is interesting as you flavor it with either kool-aid or jello…I forget which. Oh, I also remember making zucchini relish.

    • Zucchini that ends up like canned pineapple?! I’ve never heard of that! I’d love to try out that recipe (and any others you might have) though. If you end of finding the recipes, let me know and I’ll message you my e-mail address.

      • Hannah, i have looked a little and have found my recipe for zucchini pickles and relish and would be glad to send you those. I didn’t know if I could find for the fake pineapple or jam…but I Googled “canning fake pineapple made with zucchini” and it brought up links for both on Pinterest and other spots.

  5. I don’t know how much time you’ll have when you get home, but would you have time to start some zucchini? They grow so fast, and freeze so much better than canning. I know with your extended days up there the growing season is weird. But canning zucchini sounds like a lot of weight for little payoff. I’d can high-value produce, like tomatoes or berries/jam.

    • Tomatoes are definitely something I would like to can this summer or when I get back to the village. They’re so good to have for salsa and sauces! I have been looking into growing those in the school or in my house, but I never thought of trying zucchini. Might have to look into that. Berries are amazingly very low-value for us because we have such an abundance of them in the village that we never run out. I will likely be canning and freezing cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries when I get to the village.

  6. Pingback: First Attempt at Dehydrated Zucchini | The Simple Year

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