If you have too many zucchini to eat and want to save for later, why not freeze them? You can freeze all zucchini (summer squash) without blanching. This method still helps the squash retain its flavor, color, and nutritious vitamins. You can also freeze raw zucchini and save it for baked goods or soups. So you have zucchini to eat all year round.
Zucchini – a great source of natural nutrients
Zucchini is a vegetable that provides a lot of nutrients but is low in calories and is easy to grow. The zucchini has a thin skin, so you can eat the whole skin, creamy white flesh and soft seeds.
Its shape resembles a cucumber, about 20cm long and is a versatile food that can be eaten raw or cooked, even used in baked goods.
Containing high levels of nutrients, Zucchini is great for your overall health.
Zucchini is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds, such as Vitamins like A, C, K, B6, Folate, Kali, fiber, …
Lots of vitamin A content can help support eyesight and the body’s immune system. Raw zucchini offers a similar nutritional value to cooked zucchini, but with less vitamin A and more vitamin C. However, nutrient that tends to be reduced when cooked.
The following are the most significant benefits of Zucchini:
- Support healthy digestion
- Reduce glucose levels
- Strengthen bones and teeth
- Slow down aging
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Control hypotension
- Support hair growth
- Help with vision problems, weight control and good for heart health
Can zucchini be frozen without blanching?
You don’t need to blanch zucchini before freezing. However, if you have time, you can blanch them. Squash requires a brief heat treatment, known as blanching, in boiling water or steam to destroy the enzymes before freezing. The chefs usually blanch the zucchini for 2 or 3 minutes. It should be best if you do not let zucchini blanch in boiling water for a long time.
You can freeze fresh unblanched zucchini. It is straightforward and will allow you to enjoy fresh zucchini all year round. Freeze the zucchini into cubes or slices if you plan to prepare zucchini as a side vegetable, stew, or soup.
Freezing zucchini does not require you to blanch it; frozen unblanched zucchini retains the nutrients inside and does not change the taste. However, blanching zucchini before freezing will help preserve the squash longer without losing its original texture.
Further reading: Best Top-Freezer Refrigerator without Ice Maker
Prepare zucchini for freezing
It would be best if you choose the fresh, straight zucchini with medium size. The texture must be firm, mature, and uniform, with a dark color. The skin is not too green because these are qualified fruits, neither too young nor too old. The color of the zucchini is an indication that it is not overripe.
Do not use soft or pale zucchini. Also, avoid letting the zucchini get damaged, rotten, or scratched. Use freshly harvested zucchini whenever possible.
When buying vegetables from the store, make sure they are fresh and refrigerated. If you can’t freeze zucchini right away, keep them in the fridge until you have time to freeze them.
Do not cut the stalk until you use it because the stalk will prevent zucchini from being rot and atrophy.
But before freezing, make sure the zucchini is still fresh and firm.
How to freeze zucchini without blanching
The proper freezing method helps to preserve the flavor, color, and even the nutritious vitamins of the squash. You can also freeze raw zucchini and save it for baked goods or soups. So you have zucchini to eat all seasons year-round.
You can freeze shredded or chopped zucchini without blanching.
Freezing shredded zucchini
- Chop off the top and bottom of the zucchini
- Shred it up by a knife or a grater. Use a big bowl to contain the shredded zucchini
- Divide the shredded zucchini into small portions which is enough for one cooking time. Put them into freezer bags.
- Squeeze the air out of the bags as much as possible. You can use a straw to get air out.
- Label the bags with date and content, so you know what is inside and when to use the frozen zucchini.
- Freeze it.
Freezing chopped zucchini
- Raise and clean the zucchini.
- Cut the zucchini into the size you want to use. Use a knife to cut the zucchini into even small pieces. You can cut it any size you want, but the 2.5cm size is perfect.With the pieces relatively uniform in size, you will easily measure for recipes later.
- Freeze the zucchini on a baking tray for 2 hours. Line the bottom of the baking tray with parchment paper. Spread the zucchini chunks on the baking sheet in a single layer, do not overlap. Place the tray of zucchini in the freezer and wait for about 2 hours for it to solidify. Zucchini frozen this way will not stick together when stored for a long time in the freezer.
- Transfer all of them to airtight containers to preserve the flavor as you store it. If using a plastic bag, get as much air out of the bag as you can before closing it.
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How long does frozen zucchini stay safe in the freezer?
Frozen fresh zucchini can be stored for up to 12 months. Put the bags of zucchini in the freezer and keep them there until you need to cook. Label the package with date of storing it in the freezer.
When using the chopped or shredded zucchini, you won’t see any odd texture when baked in bread or cooked in casseroles or nuggets.
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How to properly defrost frozen zucchini
You can defrost zucchini in the following ways:
Use cold water: Using cold water to defrost is always the most effective and most straightforward way to apply. Never use hot water to defrost it.
Defrost slowly in the cooling compartment: If you have more time, defrost in the refrigerator because this is the most optimal and safest choice for food.
Also, you can defrost frozen zucchini by adding it directly to some soups. When you need zucchini, you can add frozen zucchini right into a hot casserole or defrost it to use in other recipes.
What can you use frozen zucchini for?
You can use frozen zucchini in a few ways such as:
- Adding it to a zucchini smoothie
- Thaw and use it for Zucchini Hummus
- Put it directly Oatmeal as it can defrost as you heat up the food
- Thaw and put it in Chimichurri sauce
- Add it to your favorite soup
- Use zucchini as an extra vegetable in almost any cooked dish
The bottom line
Freeze zucchini without blanching is the easiest way to prepare food for the winter. Fresh zucchini is great for freezing whether you shred or chop it.
Zucchini is diverse and can be added to different dishes. I hope this article helps you to preserve your zucchini for a long time.