Freezing zucchini is easy. When zucchini season is getting ahead of you it is easy to freeze the overload for up to a year. We show you how in this post.
One of the most prolific producers in the garden world is the zucchini. Zucchini is king of the gardener jokes. ” O no! Here comes Aunt Minnie with more zucchini.”
I have been an ‘Aunt Minnie’ and… I’ve run from a few in my day. It’s like playing the hot potato game. Who gets stuck with the zucchini?
Instead of dodging zucchini FREEZE IT. Zucchini is easy to freeze and use in many recipes in the off season.
It’s also rewarding to pull out a loaf of frozen zucchini bread and get a bite of summer in January. Learn my method for freezing Zucchini bread here:
More Zucchini Recipes:
During the growing season we are always looking for new ways to enjoy zucchini. Here are a few of our favorite zucchini recipes.
Reasons to Freeze Zucchini:
Frozen and defrosted zucchini is great in casseroles, muffins and breads.
Whole Foods describes all the zucchini Health Benefits here. Zucchini are loaded with vitamins and minerals and lots of goodness.
There are several Zucchini health benfits of eating young zucchini. Your dogs can have zucchini in small quantities and enjoy zucchini benefits too. My dogs love veggies for snacks and in their dog food.
Dogs can eat zucchini when it is young. Old tough Bitter zucchini is not good for dogs or humans.
Over ripe zucchini is very tough with large seeds and a dry interior with a big cavity in it. Don’t eat it. Compost it.
DON’T freeze it. It has no flavor and the texture is very rough. Old dry frozen zucchini will not turn out well in your recipes.
Zucchini, like many other garden products starts out young and tender with a thin skin. It cuts easily, the seeds are small and the meat of it is moist and even when cut.
This is the zucchini you want to eat, bake with, and freeze.
An advantage of freezing the shredded zucchini rather then the recipe is it saves freezer space and gives you more options.
Helpful Tips on freezing all your garden produce are found at the National Center For Food Preservation.
For tips on blanching, the whys and wherefores and a list of times and methods for blanching various vegetables visit their page on blanching here.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE:
Freeze Zucchini that is thin skinned and tender. For larger zucchini (12 inches long) cut in half and desseed.
Use an ice cream scoop to quickly eliminate seeds, if necessary, before shredding the zucchini.
- Grate each zucchini by hand or use a food processor. I use this one for large batches of zucchini.
- Put the shredded zucchini into your blancher in batches of about 4 to 5 cups at a time. Large batches will not blanch evenly, causing your frozen zucchini to age fast and lose nutrients.
- Blanch one to two minutes until the zucchini becomes a vibrant green but NOT cooked.
- Immerse the hot zucchini quickly in an ice bath to stop the blanching.
- Strain the water out of the zucchini before freezing. Don’t squeeze it out, just drain out the extra. You want some moistness in the packages to protect the zucchini while freezing.
- Put the drained zucchini into a quart sized zip lock freezer bag.
Freezing Zucchini in Bags-TIPS:
- Use FREEZER bags: Freezer bags are meant to take the abuse of freezing and will protect all produce best.
- Do not overfill the freezer bag: When freezing, the bag will expand. If it’s too full, the seal will burst or the side will split. This exposes your produce to freezer burn and dirt.
- Properly seal the freezer bags: Push out ALL of the air from the bag. Fold the flap over, as shown, and seal the bag, most of the way. Then press out any remaining small bubbles and complete the seal.
- LABEL THE BAGS: With the name, and DATE.
- FREEZE THE BAGS FLAT: Use a cookie sheet or a piece of heavy cardboard or whatever will fit into your freezer and give the bags a flat level surface until they are hardened.
- Zucchini will last up to a year in your freezer if properly frozen.
Defrosting Frozen Zucchini:
- Put the frozen zucchini block into a large bowl. Now the bowl will catch any liquids from condensation or a damaged bag.
- Drain out any extra liquid from the frozen zucchini before you use it in a recipe.
- If you need it really dry go ahead and squeeze out the extra liquid.
Happy freezing everyone. Enjoy!
Here is your Printable Recipe for Freezing Zucchini:
The process to shred and freeze zucchini in ziplock bags for long term storage. Up to a year.
- 4 Zucchini (or however many you wish to freeze. Choose young tender zucchini for best results.)
- Wash the zucchini and cut the ends off.
- Grate each zucchini and put into your blancher in batches of about 4 cups at a time. Large batches will not blanch evenly, causing your frozen zucchini to age fast and lose nutrients.
- Blanch about 1 to 2 minutes until the zucchini is bright green but not cooked!
- Remove immediately to a cold water bath or ice water bath to stop the blanching process.
- Strain the water out of the zucchini before freezing. Don't squeeze it out, just drain out the extra and press the water out of the zucchini if necessary. You want some moistness in the packages to protect the zucchini while freezing.
- Put the drained zucchini into a quart sized zip lock freezer bag. These bags are designed to hold up well in the freezer. They have a sturdy seal and are thicker than regular storage bags. You may also choose to use your vacuum sealer at this point.
- DO NOT OVERFILL YOUR BAGS! When freezing, the zucchini will expand. If the freezer bag is too full the seal will burst or the side will split. This exposes your produce to dirt and air.
- Properly seal your bags. Push out ALL of the air from the bag. Suck it out with a straw or push the air out by folding the bag over as you seal it.
- LABEL THE BAGS with the name and date.
- Freeze the bags flat.
You CAN freeze shredded zucchini without blanching. The result will still be useable after defrosting. However, blanching will kill for the enzymes in the zucchini and prevent discoloration and help retain the best texture.
To frost your zucchini put a frozen bag in a larger bowl and let it sit on the counter or in the fridge until it defrosts. Drain off the excess water before using.
Amount Per Serving Calories 8Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 2mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 1g