The other day, I went out to the garden and discovered two gigantic zucchini hiding under the leaves. Of course, I already have several zucchini in the refrigerator just waiting for me to make something delicious with it. During the summer it seems like everywhere I look I see tons of zucchini and it is incredibly cheap to buy. It makes sense to learn how to freeze zucchini so that when winter rolls around you can still be eating locally raised zucchini instead of vegetables imported from overseas. Once you learn how to freeze zucchini you will no longer be eating the stuff 3 meals a day and leaving it on your neighbor’s doorstep because you are so sick of eating it. There is only so much spiced zucchini bread that I can make in one summer! Finding ways to preserve the harvest will reduce your carbon footprint significantly. And your neighbors won’t start hiding from you because they really don’t want any more zucchini!
How to Freeze Zucchini
The first step of the process is to wash your zucchini and make sure it is free of any bad spots. Leaving the skin on is preferred. Chop the zucchini into 2 inch or so chunks, removing the stem and taking off the little bit at the end.
Once you have your zucchini chopped up you need to bring a large pot of water to a boil. You will need to blanch the zucchini for just a short amount of time before freezing to help preserve the freshness once it is thawed. Do not add salt to the water. While you wait for your water to boil, get a large bowl of ice water ready to ‘shock’ the zucchini before you freeze. This will stop the cooking process so you don’t end up with overcooked zucchini. Once the water is boiling, add the zucchini chunks and start timing. You only want to cook for about one minute.
After the zucchini is boiled, toss it immediately in the ice bath for 10 seconds or so. If you are doing large amounts of zucchini make sure you work in batches so things don’t get overcooked. Drain the zucchini thoroughly. If you have the freezer space, you can spread the chunks of zucchini out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet before freezing. This will give you individual chunks for use this winter. If you don’t have that kind of space, you can just throw all the chunks in a freezer bag and freeze the whole thing. I prefer to freeze in plastic zip to lock bags. I know some people freeze in glass but I don’t have that kind of freezer space and bags are much more easily ‘stacked’ on my shelves. Make sure you label and date your freezer containers!
When I was a kid, I remember going with my dad out to the garden dragging along my little red wagon to harvest the zucchini. My friend’s moms would say that YES I could come over to play but PLEASE do not bring any more zucchini! I still have fond memories of my parent’s garden and wish I had more space for my own vegetable beds but even my small little raised beds can provide a bit too much produce at one time. Knowing how to freeze zucchini means that I will just have to reach in the freezer for my vegetables this winter instead of making a trip to the grocery store. What do you do with this lovely frozen zucchini in December? I plan on trying these Zucchini Cobbler Bars! They look heavenly!
Have you learned how to freeze zucchini yet or do you eat it all as soon as it comes in from the garden?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.