Zucchini, also called “summer squash,” is, botanically speaking, a fruit that has many uses.
Consider it a banana or applesauce to baked goods because it adds texture, moisture, and density to bread, cookies, pastries, etc.
Aside from being an excellent ingredient to the above-mentioned, people use zucchini as a low-sugar addition to their smoothies, a perfect blend for their chili or soup, or simply eat it raw.
Why? Because zucchini goes well with just about any recipe.
And did I mention that it has lots of health benefits? Yes, it has a lot.
Zucchini is high in antioxidants, contributes to healthy digestion, aids in weight loss, and reduces blood sugar levels.
Learn how to shred zucchini for bread to include this ingredient in your baking recipe.
There are various ways to shred zucchini. Using a box grater, a spiral slicer, and a food processor are the most common. Any of these methods can be effective.
Let’s start understanding each tool so you can decide which is better for you.
The first tool that you can use is a box grater.
A box grater is a convenient tool for shredding a small amount of zucchini. It has four sides that serve the same purpose, only cut differently.
Here’s how to use it:
After washing the zucchini with cool running water, dry it with paper towels. Since the skin has many fibers, I advise keeping them, for they typically soften after cooking, and peeling is unnecessary.
Using a knife, slice one of the endings. It doesn’t matter which end to cut off as the goal is to have a stem to hold on to while the shredding is ongoing.
Once you’re done, let’s proceed to the shredding part.
Setting up a landing spot is one thing you should think about before shredding. It can be a medium or large bowl or equivalent where you can put your box grater.
Why is it necessary? Because shredding a zucchini is a messy process, trust me!
Typically, a box grater has four sides. Use the box grater’s side with the bigger holes to shred the zucchini. If you intend to grate, use the smaller one.
Run the zucchini up and down until it reaches the bottom, being careful not to hit your fingers on the grater to avoid injury.
While doing this, hold the grater firmly in one hand and the zucchini in the other, perpendicular to the grater surface.
Just repeat the process until you have shredded all your zucchini. It’s that simple!
The second tool is called a spiral slicer. Like an apple peeler, a spiral slicer is another way of shredding zucchini.
And like a box grater, it is handy since it doesn’t require power to do the task.
Slice the bottom end of the zucchini after washing it with cold water. Dry it with a paper towel after that to avoid slippage and injury.
After slicing off the bottom end, insert it into the spiral slicer blade and turn the crank.
It will cut the zucchini in a spiral motion, leaving it shredded. Make sure you have a bowl to catch all the shredded zucchini.
It’s possible to shred zucchini using a food processor.
This tool is the best option if you are pressed for time. It shreds large quantities of zucchini quickly and is handy for baking large amounts of bread.
There are several brands of food processors to choose from which vary in size.
A smaller size can do well if you occasionally shred bread using the processor. However, if the processor is your main method of zucchini shredding, you’ll need a bigger processor with a motor that can withstand the constant work.
That said, here’s how to use it.
Turn on the food processor, add your washed and dried zucchini, and shred it using the grating attachment. You can do this by hand or use a food pusher for safety and convenience.
Now it’s just a process of repeating until you’re done with the shredding.
Learning how to scoop out seeds, remove excess water, and freeze leftover shredded zucchini for future use are helpful tips and tricks you can learn while shredding zucchini.
While zucchini seeds are edible, some people prefer having them scooped. If you are one of them, here are the steps to remove the seeds from your zucchini:
You’ll need to slice your zucchini lengthwise to expose the seeds. While this may seem like a straightforward process, it can be a little challenging because of the curvatures often found in zucchini.
As such, you’ll need a sharp knife that won’t slide from your hand as you trace the zucchini.
Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and put them in a container. Be gentle on the flesh of the zucchini around the seeds, as it could easily come off as you remove the seeds. You don’t want that to avoid wasting any more zucchini than you have to.
Depending on how you use the seeds, you can clean, dry, or dispose of them.
Dehydrating or removing excess water from your zucchini is essential to prevent your bread from becoming too soggy. The best way to do this is using paper towels.
Spread your shredded zucchini on a paper towel, allowing it to absorb any extra moisture. After that, top with another sheet of paper towel and pat gently.
If you have a large amount to dry and you’re not in a hurry, you can hang it out over the sink wrapped in a paper towel. Depending on the temperature, the zucchini could take a couple of hours to dry.
Using a food dehydrator is another way of drying a zucchini. This tool dehydrates at 125ºF (52ºC) for 6–12 hours.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to wait anywhere near that long. Food dehydrators are made to completely remove all moisture from food which isn’t what you want here.
So, just put your zucchini in the dehydrator for a few minutes until the excess moisture is gone and then you’re good to go.
After shredding zucchini, freezing it is a fantastic way to extend its shelf life and for later use. This can be a good way to save yourself the effort of shredding it every time you need to make zucchini bread.
By freezing zucchini, you can store a large batch and use it in increments as you see fit. How to do that? Start by removing the excess water using any of the methods mentioned above.
Then, put your shredded zucchini in freezer-safe containers or resealable plastic bags. Place in the freezer, and it can stay edible for up to six months.
This guide teaches you the importance of adequately shredding zucchini for bread using the right tool and following the step-by-step process.
As mentioned, shredding is a messy process, so make sure you have a bowel to catch the shredded zucchini.
Additionally, don’t forget to cut a small piece near the end to provide a grip, and always get rid of the excess water to prevent making soggy bread and to keep your hands from slipping as you shred.
If you end up with spare shredded zucchini, you may freeze those in sealed containers for up to six months.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.