Summertime, and zucchini is everywhere. Has your garden given you zucchini more than you know what to do with? Here’s an idea that sounds a little crazy, but it’s a real thing: Make zucchini milk. Yes, you can puree your zucchini to make a milky substance that is a great dairy-free substitute for milk in many recipes.
We came across this idea when our mom mentioned it in an offhanded way as something a friend of hers used to do. Mom!?! How can you keep information like this from us for so long?! Here’s how it works: All you have to do is peel the zucchini (this part is optional too, but we peeled it to keep the puree a nice light color) and whirl it around in the food processor. It will take a few minutes to liquefy, so you have to be patient as it goes from shredded zucchini, to pulp, to something closer to a liquid. We found that two average-sized zucchini made about one cup of milk.
Although it can be used as a milk substitute, it is definitely thicker than regular milk – and the thickness may vary depending on how watery your zucchini is – so the recipe substitutions are not an exact science. But in general you can use it as a milk substitute for baked goods like quick breads, muffins, and pancakes. If you’re willing to be a little patient and do some taste-testing here and there, you’ll be glad you made the effort. Plus, it freezes well, so you can save a few cups for mid-winter when you’re looking for a reminder of summer.
What did we do with our zucchini milk? We made some super-summery peach pancakes that were very moist and — even better for the kids at least — had no vegetable aftertaste.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. organic palm sugar
1 cup zucchini milk
2 T. water (an additional tablespoon may be needed depending on the thickness of your zucchini milk)
3 T. vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped peaches
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar; then set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the zucchini milk, egg, water, and oil. Add the wet mixture slowly to the dry mixture and stir carefully just to combine. Add the peaches and again stir just to combine.
Heat a griddle or pan to medium-high heat and drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto the griddle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Serve immediately. Yield: 10 medium pancakes.
Have you ever made zucchini milk before? If so, let us know in the comments (and tell us how you used it!).