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Zucchini Ginger Preserves

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Not sure what to do with that extra large zucchini you overlooked in the garden or that was given to you by a friend? Well, do I have the perfect recipe for large zucchini! Fresh zucchini ginger preserves!

Don’t click away… I know zucchini preserves sounds strange and frankly, a bit gross, but I promise you these zucchini ginger preserves are delicious and super easy to make!

A jar of zucchini ginger preserves

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What are zucchini preserves?

Zucchini preserves are basically a sweet preserve made with a base of zucchini and grated ginger. They are surprisingly delicious! I stumbled upon a recipe for these preserves from a book at our local library book sale, The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves by Linda Ziedrich. It’s now out of print, but it had a Marrow Preserves recipe in the very back that this recipe was inspired by!

Zucchini doesn’t have much flavor of its own since it’s such a water heavy vegetable. This works in favor of the ginger in the this recipe, since that flavor is able to really shine. This recipe also doesn’t use any store bought pectin; instead, lemon juice is used.

Using Big Zucchini

This zucchini ginger preserves recipe is a great way to use up those large zucchini that get missed in the garden. The seeds of large zucchini can make them unsuitable for many zucchini recipes, but they’re perfect for this one! The preserves are given a day or so to sit and then are briefly cooked to soften the zucchini even further.

Need some other ideas for large zucchini? Check out my recipe for Easy Zucchini Bread Muffins or How to Freeze Zucchini for more ways to use large zucchini. I also have a full post on Recipes to Use for Large Zucchini. Check it out!

Zucchini Ginger Preserves Ingredients

Wondering what you’ll need to make Zucchini Ginger Preserves? Here’s the whole ingredient list so you can get started:

  • 1 very large zucchini, peeled and cubed (weighing 2.5 pounds… I love this food scale.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger (I used a microplane for ultra fine grating)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

Zucchini Preserves Recipe

The process for making zucchini or marrow preserves involves a day of waiting, so be prepared when you start this recipe.

  1. Begin by peeling and removing any seeds from the large zucchini. (Toss them in the compost bin!) Next chop your zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a large pot.
weighing zucchini for the preserves

2. Add all of the other ingredients to the pot with the zucchini and mix it together. Place a lid on the pot and set to the side for one day.

Zucchini Ginger Preserves ingredients in a pot

3. The zucchini mixture should have a good amount of liquid after sitting for a day. Move the pot onto a burner and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Cooking down the zucchini ginger preserves

4. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer until liquid is thickened and reaches the thread stage. This means if you drop a bit of the hot preserve liquid into ice water, you will see a thread , not a glob. If you have a candy thermometer, you can also use it. You’re aiming for 235 degrees approximately. For more info on the thread stage, check out this helpful article from The Spruce.

5. If you’re planning to can the zucchini preserves, have your jars sterilized and waiting while the preserves are reaching thread stage. You may also want to get a pot of water boiling for a water bath.

6. Once thread stage is reached, remove the preserves from the heat. Fill half pint mason jars with the preserves and wipe the rims to be sure none of the sticky preserves prevents sealing.

7. Once jars are filled and wiped, place clean, warm lids on top and screw on bands. Process zucchini preserves in a water bath for 10 minutes.

8. Remove jars and let cool on a cooling rack with a kitchen cloth beneath for any residual water. Listen for the pops! It’s so satisfying!

Ways to use zucchini preserves

Not sure what to do with these delicious zucchini ginger preserves? Try these ideas:

  • Spread on toast or a bagel for a tasty breakfast.
  • Spread over the top of an oven roasted or grilled pork tenderloin for the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Place a jar of zucchini preserves over softened cream cheese and serve as an appetizer with crackers.
  • Use as a tea time treat with scones and cream.
Yield: 6 half pint jars

Easy Zucchini Ginger Preserves

zucchini preserves on toast

These easy zucchini ginger preserves are perfect on bread or on pork or chicken. The ginger flavor really shines in these preserves!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 very large zucchini, peeled and cubed (weighing 2.5 pounds... I love this food scale.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger (I used a microplane for ultra fine grating)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

Instructions

    1. Begin by peeling and removing any seeds from the large zucchini. (Toss them in the compost bin!) Next chop your zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a large pot.
    2. Add all of the other ingredients to the pot with the zucchini and mix it together. Place a lid on the pot and set to the side for one day.
    3. The zucchini mixture should have a good amount of liquid after sitting for a day. Move the pot onto a burner and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    4. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer until liquid is thickened and reaches the thread stage. This means if you drop a bit of the hot preserve liquid into ice water, you will see a thread , not a glob. If you have a candy thermometer, you can also use it. You're aiming for 235 degrees approximately. For more info on the thread stage, check out this helpful article from The Spruce.
    5. If you're planning to can the zucchini preserves, have your jars sterilized and waiting while the preserves are reaching thread stage. You may also want to get a pot of water boiling for a water bath.
    6. Once thread stage is reached, remove the preserves from the heat. Fill half pint mason jars with the preserves and wipe the rims to be sure none of the sticky preserves prevents sealing.
    7. Once jars are filled and wiped, place clean, warm lids on top and screw on bands. Process zucchini preserves in a water bath for 10 minutes.
    8. Remove jars and let cool on a cooling rack with a kitchen cloth beneath for any residual water. Listen for the pops! It's so satisfying!

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