Radio Chat – Too many zucchinis (and a bit about child obesity) – Dani Valent

Radio Chat – Too many zucchinis (and a bit about child obesity)

Zucchini Flowers

Radio Chat – Too Many Zucchinis

I love dropping into ABC Radio Melbourne to chat about what I’ve been eating, cooking and learning. This time, I came in to talk about gluts, those times when you just have too much of something and need to deal with it QUICK. Before I arrived, host Richelle Hunt had been talking about a new hospital program to try to help teens with obesity and the topic kind of took over the show, so we chatted about that too. It’s a fraught issue and there are no easy answers.

My basic philosophy around food is to try to make it an arena of joy, discovery, good health and community. For me, health doesn’t mean some foods are ‘good’ and some are ‘bad’. I am more about balance: eating a wide range of food, keeping it seasonal and fresh, and making what I can from scratch, at least most of the time. As a parent, I try to get my kids interested and involved – sometimes that’s easier than other times – but I try not to get too stressed or hung up about the little moments, and keep focused on the big picture.


Sometimes your big picture is full of zucchinis! And when it is, what do you do? Our listeners had some great suggestions and I’ve got more below.

A simple fridge pickle for zucchinis or other veg

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp spices eg mustard seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorn
  1. Bring all ingredients to the boil and stir to ensure salt and sugar are dissolved.
  2. Pour the mixture over sliced zucchini or other vegetables.
  3. Allow to cool before placing into a jar and storing in the refrigerator.

They’ll keep for two months or so and are great for serving with cold meat platters, cheese, sandwiches and crackers, or chop your pickles through salad, quinoa and rice pilafs.

A sweeter pickle formula

I’m quite fond of a sweeter pickle, so try this formula too. It’s great with zucchini.

  • 2 parts apple cider vinegar
  • 1 part sugar
  • garlic, spices of choice, such as mustard seeds, coriander seeds and pepper
  1. Heat vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add spices and pour over sliced zucchini or other vegetables and store in the refrigerator.

Other zucchini strategies

  • grate them and store them in the freezer in bags, ready for winter soups and pasta sauces
  • freeze them and add them to smoothies as hidden veg
  • cook or freeze and blitz and add to dog food

More interesting ways with fresh produce:


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