How long should I blanch zucchini to freeze my harvest?
By Zelekash from Edmonton, Alberta
Zucchini squash does not freeze well as other summer and autumn squashes. When you remove it from the freezer and cook it, it's extremely mushy.
I chop zucchini, bag it and freeze it for use later in soups or casseroles (it defrosts too mushy to eat plain).
I shred it, bag it (in 1 cup amounts) and freeze it for baking (Chocolate Zucchini cake is wonderful!)
There is no need to blanch zucchini at all before freezing.
Winter Squash (such as pumpkins):
Wash and remove seeds. Bake whole or cut in half. Place cut side down on baking sheet. Cook until tender. Cool. Scrape pulp from rind and mash to a pulp or remove rind and cube. Pack and freeze.
Summer Squash (such as zucchini):
Wash, trim ends. Cut into slices or strips. Water blanch 3 minutes or steam blanch 4 minutes. Cool and freeze. For sautéed squash, place waxed paper between slices before freezing.
I do not blanch my zucchini at all. I wash them off, shred them then put in 2 C amounts in zip loc bags. When ready to make zucchini bread, I thaw in fridge, squeeze out water, measure then use in my recipe. After freezing & squeezing water out (not too much as you still want some moisture for your bread), you will probably have to thaw out more than what was frozen to begin with as you have less zucchini after thawing. Hope this helps.
I blanch my zucchini in cubes or boats (for stuffing), and it definitely has never come out mushy. Blanch in small batches for 3 minutes, then plunge into ice water for 3 minutes. Drain and place in freezer bags and freeze.