How to Freeze Zucchini
Unsure what to do with all that summer zucchini? Instead of pawning it off on all your neighbors or letting it go to waste, freeze it.
Unsure what to do with all that summer zucchini? Instead of letting it go to waste, freeze it.
Prepare & Cut
After your zucchini is washed, cut off both ends and discard them. Cut the zucchini into thick rounds (about 1/2-inch), chunks, or shred it with a box grater or food processor.
How you will use the zucchini will help you determine the best way to cut it. Planning to serve it as a side dish? Rounds or chunks will do. Making a zucchini cake or bread? Shred it.
Blanch in Boiling Water
Giving zucchini a quick bath in boiling water will keep it from becoming discolored and mushy. Fill a large pot about 2/3 full with water and bring it to a full boil. If you’re using zucchini rounds, add them to the water until they’re bright green and slightly softened (about 1 to 3 minutes). Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to blanch in several batches. For shredded zucchini, steam it in a steamer basket for about 2 minutes.
Cut only enough zucchini for one blanching at a time. If it’s left sitting for too long it will turn brown. Also, don't add salt to the blanching water, as salting prior to freezing will turn your veggies into mush.
Cool in Ice Water
Fill a large bowl with ice water (this can be done prior to blanching). Working quickly, use a slotted spoon to scoop the zucchini from the blanching water and into the ice water bath. Leave it to cool for 3 to 5 minutes. This step will prevent your zucchini from over-cooking.
Using the same slotted spoon, scoop the zucchini from the cold water and into a colander. After the water is drained, pat the zucchini with a paper towel and remove any additional moisture.
Spread the zucchini pieces across a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours (or until the zucchini is frozen).
While optional, pre-freezing will prevent the zucchini pieces from sticking together once they’re packaged in the freezer. Pre-freezing is not necessary for shredded zucchini.
Package & Freeze
Place the frozen pieces in a zip-top bag or freezer-safe container. When sealing the bags, try and push out as much air as possible. Label each bag or container with the correct date, and store the zucchini for up to one year.
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