A Guide to Freezing Zucchini
Selecting High-Quality Zucchini:
Choose young squash with smooth, tender skin and a vibrant, dark green color. Steer clear of yellowing (past prime) zucchini with pits, soft spots or shriveled looking skin.
Preparing for Freezing:
Wash, but do no not peel. Cut zucchini into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices depending on freezing method.
Water-blanch for 3 minutes or steam-blanch for 1 to 2 minutes. Cool promptly and drain.
Best Freezing Method(s):
Unblanched Slices (great for stir fry):
Wash and drain zucchini. Pat dry. Trim ends and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Pack in suitable containers. Seal, label and freeze.
Wash and drain. Pat dry. Trim ends and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Pack in boilable bags, press out air and seal. Blanch in boiling water (4 bags at a time for 5 minutes. Cool bags and pat dry. Label and freeze.
Tray Packs (great breaded and fried):
Wash and drain. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and place unblanched in a single layer on a baking sheet. Tray-freeze until firm. Transfer to suitable containers. Seal, label and freeze.
Sauté and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze. Sauté gently in a little melted butter until barely tender. Cool, pack into plastic containers leaving headspace at the top. Freeze up to 3 months
Grated Zucchini (great for baking):
Wash and grate zucchini. Steam-blanch for 1 to 2 minutes until translucent. Cool. Pack pre-measured amounts into containers and seal leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Label and freeze.
Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing zucchini includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers, glass containers, heavy-duty aluminum foil or foil containers.
Maximum Storage Time at 0ºF:
Unblanched slices-4 to 6 months; blanched-10 to 12 months.
Add frozen zucchini directly to dishes while cooking.
Tips & Shortcuts:
All summer squash can be prepared for freezing in a similar way.
Store in a perforated plastic bag for up to 1 week. Do not wash until ready to use.
By Little devil