Fresh zucchini is delicious to prepare, but can you freeze zucchini and use it for dish a few weeks down the road? Yes, zucchini can be be frozen, and you can enjoy its good source of vitamins. If you find that your garden is suddenly blooming with zucchini, don’t let it go to waste. Freezing zucchini is easy and very practical for use in many different kinds of recipes. From soups and stews to cookies and cakes, frozen zucchini can come in handy for many delicious dishes.
While there are a couple of different ways to freeze zucchini, the best way depends on how you plan to use it. You can freeze zucchini squash by slicing it or shredding it, and you will want to keep in mind what type of recipe you plan to prepare.
Zucchini slices, or chunks, are easy to freeze. It does not take much time to prepare, unless you have lots of them.
1. Wash and cut zucchinis into ½ inch slices.
2. You will need to blanch the zucchini before storing it. This entails placing zucchini in a large pot of boiling water. This is done to stop the activity of enzymes that cause the zucchini to lose color and flavor. The National Center for Home Preservation recommends a boiling time of 3 minutes. However, 1 or 2 minutes may be enough depending on how hard you want them to be, but also how thin you slice them.
3. After the boiling is done, place zucchini immediately into an ice bath and let it cool. If you don’t want to use ice cubes, then scoop up the zucchini slices and put them in to a pot of cold water. Alternatively, you could also pour the zucchini on to a colander and rinse it under cold tap water. Make sure the zucchini is drained and cooled thoroughly before moving on to packaging it for the freezer.
4. Pack the zucchini in freezer bags and try to remove as much air and moisture as possible. You can spread the zucchini slices into a single layer to freeze evenly. Make sure you label the contents and write the date on the packaging.
Using frozen zucchini slices the way you would raw zucchini may not be ideal for things like salads due to texture changes that take place. It can become somewhat mushy. However, defrosted slices of zucchini can easily be added to lasagna, soups and stews with no notice of texture changes. You can also consider sauteing or grilling the zucchini so that it provides a different flavor to your dish.
This is the best way to freeze zucchini for baking. Shredded zucchini is very versatile when baking. It can be used in cookies, cakes, and for making delicious zucchini breads. It is not only easy to add to your baking recipe, but it can also make a great addition to your pasta sauce. Freezing shredded zucchini is also a great way to use larger batches of zucchini as they may take up slightly less space in the freezer comparing to sliced ones.
1. You will need to wash the zucchini before you shred it. Use a food processor or a grater. You can remove the seeds before shredding.
2. Steam blanching is recommended, but you can freeze them raw if you like. (If you don’t blanch continue to step 5.) Steam the grated zucchini in small quantities and remove them when translucent, which should take about 1 minute.
3. Once zucchini is steamed, put it immediately into ice water so it does not overcook.
4. Put the shredded zucchini in a strainer to let the water drip off.
5. Once you are ready to freeze the zucchini, place it in freezer bags. Flatten out the bags and remove as much air and moisture as possible. Storing them in smaller quantities may be a good idea as it will help in not defrosting too much at once. Label and date the bags before putting them in the freezer.
Can zucchini be frozen if it’s raw? Yes, you can do this if you want. They might come out a little bit harder once you defrost them, but you will not be able store them for longer periods of time without the taste and /or color being changed.
1. Wash the zucchini and cut it as desired.
2. Fill up a freezer bag or an air tight container with the zucchini
3. Make sure you seal the bag or container well and remove as much as excessive air as possible. Label it, put it in the freezer, and you are done.
There are a couple of ways you can go about safely defrosting your zucchini. If you plan ahead, you can place the zucchini in the refrigerator the night before and let it defrost. If you are a little short on time you can place your leak proof freezer bag in water and let it sit until it softens. If you have small bags of shredded zucchini, you can also place them on the kitchen counter. They should defrost quite quickly and be ready to used in less than an hour.
Can you freeze summer squash the same way as zucchini?
Yes, you can apply the same methods as described above to freeze a summer squash. They are really quite similar in texture.
Can I freeze zucchini without blanching and slicing it?
If you mean freezing an entire zucchini without any preparation, you can do so if you want. A whole zucchini is probably not the best thing to freeze, but it will depend on what you will be using it for. People tend to eat sliced, chopped or shredded zucchini, which are the best way to handle when making dishes with zucchini.