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Thursday, July 30, 2009

How to freeze Zucchini

I found several large zucchinis this week so I decided that was a sign that it is time to freeze some zukes for winter use. I did not freeze any zukes last year and that was a mistake as I like to use them in pasta sauces throughout the year, including the 7 or 8 months we do not grow zucchini.

Here is how I freeze zukes.

You will need the following:
A large pan with lid for the boiling water
Slotted spoon
A large bowl or pot for cold water
Salad spinner
A cookie sheet
chest or upright freezer
Plastic freezer bags

Take any large (up to 18 inches) zucchini and cut it lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and than cut it into pieces. I usually cut it into 1" cubes but other shapes work too. While you are cutting up the squash put a lidded pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil. When the zukes are deseeded and cut up and the water is boiling put about 1 cup (2 or 3 handfuls, depending on the size of you hands. Larger hands need fewer handfuls) of the zukes into the water and blanch for 1 minute. Remove from water using the slotted spoon and plunge into cold water. You can add ice to the water. I don't, instead I replace the water as soon as it gets warm with cold water from the tap (if it has been hot-above 95F- for several weeks than I will use ice as the well water will not be cold enough). A couple of changes of water will get the squash cool enough for our purposes. When cool, load into a salad spinner and spin dry and put on a cookie sheet. Repeat this until all the squash is blanched, cooled and on the cookie sheet(s). Put cookie sheet(s) into the freezer for at least 10 hours.

Frozen zucchini in the freezer ready to be bagged

When squash is frozen remove from coolie sheet(s) and put into labeled/dated plastic freezer bags, put the full bags back into the freezer and you are done


cincinnatisipe said...

Thank you. That was very helpful as I'm sitting here looking at a counter full of zucchini's wondering what I should do with all of them.

Laurie said...

I just finished freezing a batch of yellow squash and I never thought of using the salad spinner and freezing on cookie sheets. I don't have room in the freezer for cookie sheets, but if I did, what a good idea!