Freezing zucchini is not that difficult and in this article I will show how it is done. Follow through and you will learn everything you need to know before freezing this green vegetable for the first time.
How to freeze zucchini
Wash each zucchini thoroughly and peel it if desired. Now chop it into parts of convenient shape and size. In most cases you’re going to put the frozen zucchini parts right into the dish you’re cooking, so it’s smart to shape and size them appropriately.
Blanching is a process that helps vegetables to keep their color and texture for a longer period of time. That’s why it’s recommended if you plan to freeze a veggie for a longer period of time. If you don’t, you can omit it. The best thing you can do is test out blanching – if you like the outcome of freezing blanched veggies more than freezing vegetables that aren’t blanched, then you know that blanching is worthwhile.
To start, bring a pot of water to a boil. Then transfer the veggies you want to freeze to the pot and keep them there for about 3 minutes. Now it’s time to cool the veggies. Prepare a pot or a sink of cold water (ice cubes might be helpful) and transfer the veggies into the cold water (consider cooling them initially under running water before transferring into the pot or sink). Once the veggies are cooled down, it’s time to dry them. Paper towels are probably the best choice you’ve got. Dried zucchini slices are ready for the next step.
Image used under Creative Commons from ilovebutter
Similarly to blanching, this step is optional. If you’re not quite sure how many zucchini parts you will need at a time, I recommend following this step. If you can easily separate them into few servings, you can omit this step.
So, how pre-freezing is done? First off, take a cookie sheet (you can line it with parchment paper if you choose to) and transfer all parts onto it. Make sure each little part isn’t sticking to another one. Now put the cookie sheet into the freezer for a couple of hours (the time needed depends on how you’ve chopped the veggies). Once the parts have frozen, they are ready to being packaged. The main reason you want to pre-freeze veggies is to be able to scoop how much you need at a time from the freezer bag. Individually pre-frozen veggies don’t tend to glue to each other, so you don’t have to use the contents of the entire bag at a time.
Packaging and freezing
Take the chopped zucchini parts and transfer them to freezer bags or airtight containers. Make sure to not leave much space for air in any of the containers. When packaging the veggies consider how much you will need at a time and pack accordingly. Serving-sized packages are the best choice, so you can just take a package out of the freezer, open it and transfer the zucchini parts right into the dish you’re cooking. In other words, package the veggies in a way that’s convenient for you.
Right now you should know how to freeze zucchini. As I’ve mentioned earlier, pre-freezing and blanching are optional so I encourage you to test out both of those steps and watch the outcome. If you find any of them beneficial, put it into your zucchini freezing routine. If you don’t really see the benefits then there’s no point in doing the additional work, right?