Make the most of your home-grown vegetables

Make the most of your home-grown vegetables

Posted by The Wares Team on 29th Jul 2020

Whether you have a large vegetable patch at home, an allotment or a few patio tubs and baskets with cherry tomatoes and other easy to grow vegetables now is the time of year when all of that lovely produce starts to ripen. By picking your crops regularly, feeding your plants where necessary and keeping on top of those pesky weeds, you can keep the growing season going for as long as possible, and continue to harvest more and more super veggies.

That leads us to the big question that all veg growers face at this time of year - what on earth to do with such an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables? Of course, you can eat some of your produce fresh every day, and you’ll enjoy this enormously - from a taste perspective and also the sheer satisfaction you get from producing the food that you see on your plate every day. Whether you are a long-standing vegetarian or you want to explore the idea of something like ‘Meat-free Mondays,’ to cut down your meat consumption, producing an occasional vegetarian meal is one way to boost the number of vegetables you use. In today’s blog post, we’ve come up with a few ideas for using up some of the prime vegetable glut culprits to help you out. For these recipe ideas, you don’t need a huge amount of fancy kitchenware and they don’t take a long time to prepare.

Coping with courgettes


If you’ve ever grown courgettes, you will know all about gluts! Plants seem to produce full-size courgettes almost overnight, and they just keep on coming. If you are fed up with putting courgette into every savoury dish you make, it’s time to think about making a vegetarian courgette cake! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

450g courgettes
4 large eggs
150ml sunflower oil
150ml milk
375g plain flour
325g soft brown sugar
80g cocoa powder
2tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract

Icing

100g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a rectangular baking tray with baking parchment (check out our range of baking tools if you don’t have a suitable baking tray). Add the eggs, milk and oil to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Mix in the sugar and then sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into the mix, ensuring it is combined well. Grate the courgettes into the bowl and add the vanilla extract, then stir to combine.

Transfer the mixture into the baking tray and smooth the top. Bake for 40 minutes, and test with a skewer to ensure the cake is cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl to make the icing. Spread a thick layer of icing over the cake and then spread a very thin layer of cocoa powder on top of the icing. If you prefer you can always add a spoonful of icing to the icing mix to create chocolate flavoured icing instead of butter icing.

Cut the cake into slices or squares, and it’s ready to serve!

Using courgettes in this way is a great way to cope with a glut, and since you can’t taste the courgette in the cake, it’s also a way of getting those family members who don’t generally like courgettes to help with eating up the crop!

Other cakes with vegetables in them

Using up vegetables in cake-making is actually quite a clever idea, as there are only so many savoury dishes that a family can eat in a week. Cakes help get through the glut without any complaints from the family that they’ve seen too many courgettes, carrots and so on. We’re all familiar with carrot cake and pumpkin pie, of course, but why not try some other vegetables in your cake-making adventures. Beetroot brownies are a real treat, and, like courgette, beetroot can be used in pretty much all kinds of cake recipes, giving them a distinctive look and taste. Try a beetroot Victoria Sandwich if you want to really create a buzz at your next afternoon tea party or local coffee morning!

It’s worth experimenting with other root vegetables too, such as parsnips and swede, as well as things like butternut squash and marrows. All of these will add fibre and sweetness, without really leaving a strong veggie taste. They’re great options for creating vegetarian cakes if you have vegetarian friends visiting, and an ideal way to use up some of your surplus produce.

Have you made some tasty cakes using vegetables? Have we inspired you to fish out your baking tools and get cracking? If so, we’d love to hear your stories, with photos if possible. You can contact us via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, and we always love to see what our friends and customers are making. Don’t forget to check out our fabulous kitchenware range too, if you need any new baking tools!