Can you freeze zucchini? Zucchini is a hybrid of the cucumber, but unlike it, it’s mostly served cooked. It’s available at stores all year round, but when winter comes, its price rises significantly. If you live a long way from a store, where you can buy fresh zucchini, or you’d simply like to have some zucchini at hand all year round, you need to have a way of extending its shelf life. Fortunately enough, you can freeze zucchini and it’s a fairly simple process.
The first step of the process is to chop the zucchini. Size and shape of zucchini’s parts are of your desire. You can even grate the vegetable. Please remember that you’ll probably put the frozen parts directly into your dish, so it should be chopped in convenient sizes and shapes.
Blanching is a process that deactivates some vegetable enzymes that cause vegetable to change color and become mushy after some time. This process is recommended for probably all vegetables before freezing them, or storing in the fridge for an extended period of time. The process is simple: you need to bring a pot of water into boil, put the vegetables into the boiling water for a few minutes (3 minutes should be enough ) and then quickly cool the vegetables down. A pot or a sink of cold water will allow you to cool the vegetables almost immediately.
Image used under Creative Commons from Matthew Jolly
Since zucchini shouldn’t stay chopped and on air for too long, I suggest you should chop them after putting the pot on heat. After blanching the zucchini particles, you should dry them out pretty quickly. Paper towels might become very handy here. Please bear in mind that blanching is recommended but optional. You can freeze zucchini as-is if you’d like to.
Pre freezing zucchini
This step is optional. Pre freezing is used to prevent vegetable pieces from freezing to each other. If you know exactly how much zucchini you’re going to need for every dish you plan to make with them, you can omit this part. If not, pre freezing might me a great idea. You simply need to put chopped zucchini individually on a plate or a baking sheet and freeze them. That takes at least a few hours, sometimes even a day. It depends on how the vegetables are chopped. After the parts are frozen, you get the plate out of the freezer and it’s time for the last part of the freezing process.
Packaging chopped zucchini
Now you just need to put the chopped parts into freezer bags or containers. Remember that packaging vegetables in suitable amounts makes easy scooping vegetables from the bag as you go.If you’ve pre frozen chopped zucchini, it should be easy to get only a portion of vegetables out of every packaging.
Freezing zucchini – video
If you’d like to watch a short video that shows how you can freeze zucchini, check out the video below (if the video doesn’t show up, watch it on Youtube):
As you can see, you can freeze zucchini and it’s pretty easy to do that. The whole process is pretty similar to the process of freezing other vegetables.