Are you trying to figure out freezing zucchini or storing it for later? If so, then this is the article for you.
If you love to grow vegetables in your garden, you’ll have a lot of zucchini come late summertime. There are many different ways to preserve it for future use that will help keep meals interesting all winter long. One of them is freezing.
Freezing zucchini by itself will give you a mushy zucchini. However, there are ways to freeze zucchini without ruining the texture and flavour. It is a vegetable that can typically be frozen for up to 3 months. As long as it’s stored in a freezer bag and placed inside of your freezer.
Here are two of the best methods for freezing zucchini.
The two effective and easy ways are;
- Slicing Method
- Shredding Method
I will start with the most popular method which is slicing.
How To Freeze Zucchini By Slicing
Using the slicing method most times requires blanching. This process removes excess water from the zucchini and helps retain flavour, colour, and nutrients. It’s a method used by many people when planning to freeze vegetables rather than canning or pickling.
1. Wash your Zucchini
Wash your Zucchini thoroughly. The best way to wash a zucchini is by running under tap water. Simply run your fingers over the surface of the vegetables to remove any clinging dirt or debris. Then pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
2. Cut them in slices
Cut your Zucchini. I like to slice my zucchini into 1/2 inch thick rounds. This makes it easier to measure out the slices later and also more straightforward when eating straight from the freezer.
3. Blanch the Zucchini
Blanching Zucchini prevents discoloration and softening. To blanch your zucchini, add the chopped pieces to a pot of boiling water for one minute. Then, use a skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer the zucchini to an ice water bath. This will stop the cooking process and rapidly cool down the zucchini.
You will want to cut the ends off before you blanch the zucchini. This is done because this section of the fruit remains tough and chewy no matter how much you cook it.
4. Place Zucchini in Ice to Cool Down
Plunge into an ice bath for 10 seconds. Submerging it in an ice bath helps to stop the cooking process.
5. Drain properly
One crucial step when freezing zucchini is to drain it properly. By draining the zucchini, you are ensuring that you aren’t just freezing water. You want to make sure to drain all of the extra water out of the zucchini. This is because once it’s frozen, there is no way to remove it.
6. Pre-freeze the Zucchini
This step is very important as it prevents the slices from freezing together in the freezer bag. To freeze as individual pieces, lay the zucchinis flat on a tray or cooling rack. Afterwards, place in the freezer for about 2 hours.
7. Package in freezer bags and label
After individually frozen, you can transfer the frozen slices to a freezer bag. If done correctly, it can last for over 3 months.
How To Freeze Shredded Zucchini
This method is awesome because, unlike using frozen slices, the texture is a lot more appealing.
Typically, people freeze shredded zucchini to use in recipes like zucchini bread or shredded zucchini as a substitute for meat in meatball recipes.
While it is similar to freezing sliced zucchini, you do not have to blanch it since it’s in shreds.
The steps include;
Wash the Zucchini
Wash the zucchini thoroughly as you don’t want any dirt or other particles in the zucchini.
Chop off the ends
Always make sure to cut off the ends of your zucchini before you shred it. This will make it taste better, which is a good thing because you’ll be wanting to freeze a lot of it this summer.
Shred your Zucchini
You can either decide to use a shredding blade or a grater. However, do not shred them up in extremely small slices.
Transfer to freezer bags
Separate the shredded zucchini into quantities you’d like to package them. Place the zucchini in plastic bags or storage containers and place it in the freezer. Then simply take out how much you need when you need it.
Storage In Freezer Bags
Storing zucchini in the freezer doesn’t require gadgets. This is the easiest way to keep them fresh and crisp before use. It’s very simple to do and won’t take up too much space. All you need to do is select the best storage step, chop up your zucchini and place them in freezer bags.
Normally I would recommend wrapping them in foil then putting them into a freezer bag after you’ve cleaned and cut them up. Nevertheless, I‘ve found that storing them in freezer bags works fine.
What Is Blanching?
Blanching zucchini is a preparation technique that involves submerging sliced, halved or quartered zucchini into boiling water for a couple of minutes. This preserves the colour and leads to a better texture of the vegetable.
How To Freeze Zucchini Without Blanching
This is a set of step-by-step instructions that will allow you to freeze zucchini at home! Without having to blanch it first.
Blanching is the process of briefly steaming vegetables in order to lock in their colour and enhance their flavour. It’s like pre-freezing them, so they don’t get a freezer burn.
However, not everyone likes to blanch their Zucchini before freezing. So here’s how to get around it.
- Wash the zucchini
- Slice ends off and shreds in pieces
- Lay on a baking sheet in one layer.
- Wait until frozen, then place in a Ziploc bag.
Although this method works fine, Boiled zucchini actually freezes better. This is because it has already been blanched, which allows the cell walls to collapse before freezing. Thereby slowing down ice crystal growth, making for a better texture.
How To Store Frozen Zucchini
Frozen Zucchini is an ingredient that you can use in a number of different recipes. But it can be frustrating if you don’t know how to store zucchini properly. There are a few tips that are actually quite useful, and they will help you keep your frozen zucchini fresh and tasty for much longer.
- Always thaw in the refrigerator
- Do not refreeze after defrosting
- Be sure to dry it off before freezing
Using Frozen Zucchini
Frozen zucchini is the perfect addition to a lot of recipes. It thaws quickly and revitalizes any casserole. You can even prepare savoury sauces and soups with frozen zucchini.
It is an excellent alternative to fresh, especially year-round. You can slice it and add it to your favourite dishes. Additionally, you can juice and drink it, too! This session outlines a few of the best ways to use frozen zucchini.
Most people associate zucchini with one thing only: zucchini bread. But this vegetable can be used in a ton of different recipes!
- Zucchini Mini Muffins (I love these things!!)
- Blend into soups
- Puree into cakes, pancakes, muffins and other baked goods
- Turn it into zoodles
Does Freezing Zucchini Affect The Taste?
Freezer burn is one of the worst things in the world. You buy a turkey or bags and bags of grapes, and then you freeze them because they’ll keep longer. However, later when you want to cook that turkey or eat those grapes, they have this awful taste to them.
The good news is that freezing doesn’t affect the taste of zucchini. So you can thaw it out and prepare it for any dish without worrying about making it into mush.
By now, you have learned how to freeze zucchini slices, shredded, and also understood how to cook them once they are frozen. I hope this article helped you learn how to freeze zucchini so that when Summer is over, you have an ample supply of it.
Have more thoughts or questions? Please leave a comment.
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FAQs About Freezing Zucchini
What Is Zucchini?
Zucchini (also sometimes called courgette or baby marrow) is a summer squash and a vining herbaceous plant whose fruit are harvested while the immature seeds are fleshy and edible.
Can You Freeze Zucchini
Yes! One of the easiest and tastiest ways to preserve a bumper crop of zucchini is by freezing it. It’s so simple to do, and there are endless ideas for how to use it.
What’s the difference between zucchini and cucumber?
Cucumber and zucchini may be similar in appearance, but they are very different in texture and taste. Cucumber is a quiet vegetable; it’s mild and has a soft texture. Zucchini is the more boisterous of the two, with only subtle hints of cucumber flavours.
How long does zucchini last in the fridge?
Zucchini stored in the refrigerator will last only 2-3 months before spoiling. Although, some people make a few tweaks here and there to extend the shelf life as long as possible.
Can you freeze shredded zucchini?
The quick and easy answer to this question is yes, you can. You can blanch it first, shred it into not too small pieces and pack it in a freezer-safe container. The best idea is to use a vacuum-sealed container and lay the zucchini fluff flat, so the air doesn’t get in contact with it.
Can you freeze zucchini noodles?
YES! You can freeze zucchini noodles, and I personally do it all the time.
The process for freezing zucchini noodles is super simple and easy. All you need to do is cut, peel, and dice your zucchini into narrow strips. These strips are sometimes referred to as zoodles, then pack them into freezer bags for later use.
What happens if you freeze zucchini without blanching?
Blanching vegetables is a safe way to avoid a nasty taste and make them last longer when freezing. When you freeze vegetables, the texture changes when they’re cooked because they’re partially thawed. But if you don’t blanch your veggies, they might still turn out fine.
Is it better to freeze zucchini cooked or raw?
The short answer is it depends on your situation. You can freeze raw zucchini, frozen zucchini in marinade, or cooked zucchini noodles. Both types freeze pretty well, so it just depends on what you like to eat more.
What can I do with too much zucchini?
If your garden is producing more zucchini than your family can eat, or you’re tired of picking the green fruit off your plants, you have options. You can freeze or can zucchini to store it for later use. Which option you choose depends on how long you want to keep your excess harvest.
Can you lose weight by eating zucchini?
Zucchini has been appreciated for its nutritional properties for a long time. Zucchini is rich in valuable carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fibre and trace elements. These play a big part in healthy nutrition.
It also contains a lot of water. 1 cup of zucchini contains approximately 90% water and 1gram of fibre.
If a large portion of your meal comes from the consumption of water-rich fruits and vegetables like zucchini, you will feel full faster and subsequently eat less.
How long do you blanch zucchini?
It has to do with how hot your water is and how tender you like it. Nevertheless, the standard time is between 1-2 minutes.
Can you use frozen shredded zucchini for baking?
Yes, you can. Frozen shredded zucchini can be used to replace regular zucchini in any recipe. This is great news if you don’t have fresh zucchini and want to bake a quick bread or cake recipe! Shredded zucchini can be frozen for future use. Frozen shredded zucchini can be used for baking, casseroles and bread. Zucchini holds up well when frozen and is easy to work with when preparing meals. The process of shredding the zucchini is up to you.
However, if you are inexperienced in working with a vegetable shredder, it is also possible to cut the zucchini into slices and freeze them before shredding. You can also purchase already shredded zucchini if you prefer sitting back while your vegetables are being prepared for you.
What’s the healthiest way to eat zucchini?
When it comes to zucchini, juicing is not the only way to enjoy its health benefits in a delicious, easy way. You can add the vegetable to your cakes and muffins, soups, tacos, entrees and other dishes. Just keep in mind that you will want to consume it raw by washing it and then cutting or grating. Remember that cooking can destroy many of the health benefits of zucchini.