This was a week for the Zucchini! I’m still pretty over run by them, no complaining of course. I love Zucchini! Made a bunch of bread again, made them into muffins, little baked ships, the baked sticks as well, (you can find those here, a must try ) and a cake like healthier version of Brownies. Yes, I said healthier! 🙂 They won the kids over in no time, I though must have my thick fudgy brownies, so the kids can enjoy this batch while I stick to my favorite ones (which are here)
Before we get to the Sweet Treat Brownies, I did a lot of seed saving this week, including Zucchini.
In order to save Zucchini seeds you need to know what you planted first, was it a hybrid? If so, don’t bother trying to save seeds. Hybrids will most likely not give you viable seeds , though they are wonderful plants, the seeds saved either won’t ever germinate, or if they to, won’t be like the parent plant.
Seed saving takes a lot of planning, some you may not even think of. Awhile back I did a post about how to self pollinate your plants, so if you Self Pollinated you have a good chance of pure seed. Otherwise you may get a cross.
I’ll break it down for you-
* Squash of any kind , out breed, meaning, insect pollinated plants. Tomatoes are inbreeding, meaning they pollinate within themselves without insects.
*There’s 6 species of Squash. Squash = “Cucurbita”
6. “C” Foetidissima
Within each “Species” There’s different varieties.
*Varieties within the Species can cross with each other, without a problem
*Varieties outside the Species, need to be separated by about a 1/2 mile or hand pollinated or you can ruin your “pure” seed plant. (example – a zucchini and pumpkin are in two different species)
What on earth does that mean? It means don’t be planting outside the species if you want to save seeds.(or at least cage them, and hand pollinate yourself ) That’s the simplest way to say it. Unless you plan on saving seeds, forget I even said all that gibberish, let’s move on.
**Saving seeds. I mark a Squash from my plants after the fruit swells, so I know not to pick it. For saving seeds you must pick a fully mature squash, which sounds hallow. Pick the squash and set it inside for up to 3 weeks. Put it in a dark dry cool place. While it sits, the seeds are still maturing, so the bigger the squash the better as it’ll hold more seeds. Seeds must be removed three weeks or longer after you’ve picked it. When it’s time to harvest seeds, Don’t cut down the middle as you’ll most likely slice right through seeds.
I cut mine into little sections then scoop all the flesh and seeds out.
Straining with cold water removing most of the flesh . Drain the seeds on anything but paper towels. I learned the hard way not to dry seeds on paper towels as they stick to the paper. Use a towel or cheesecloth. Set the seeds out to dry completely!
Now you can use the squash for whatever it is you plan on using it for. I used it for making these Cake Like Brownies!
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1- 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup unbleached All purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour, an 9×13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl mix together applesauce, oill, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flours, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and the chips or nuts if using. Spread evenly into the pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the brownies spring back with gently touched. You can also use a toothpick test, but they can be over cooked easily, check at 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, I like them as is, and I keep the chocolate chips out as well. They taste more of a soft cake like brownie 🙂 This came from a King Arthur Flour recipe book.