If you get my weekly newsletter, you most likely read Midge’s question regarding her request for ways to freeze, thaw and use zucchini (if you don’t get my newsletter be sure and subscribe via the sticky note in the upper right corner of the blog). Here are a few thoughts I had on how to keep this tasty squash for later use. Molly
I prepare and freeze zucchini in two ways: slices and grated. I like to use sliced zucchini with other vegetables (such as onions and peppers), saute them, add seasoning and serve over rice. What a nice treat in the middle of winter! The folks over at pickyourown.org have really great directions for preparing and freezing sliced zucchini and then how to use it once it’s thawed. Check it out and imagine how nice it will be in mid-February to have zucchini in your meals!
As far as grating, freezing and using zucchini in recipes; this is the method I do most often! I try to get the zucchini before they become monsters. Honestly, this usually doesn’t happen. I think they grow many inches over night! If you happen to get some huge zucchinis, cut lengthwise and scoop out any seeds before grating. I bought an extra cheese grater last season so my kiddos could help me grate zucchini. It gives them something to do in the kitchen and I figure if they help me grow it, prepare it and freeze it, they may be more likely to eat it. So far my theory has worked for the most part.
Ok, back to the zucchini. Make sure they’re clean before you start grating, dirt clumps aren’t a great addition to most recipes.
Once I have a good pile grated up, I measure it out and add to freezer bags. I like to freeze the zucchini in 2 cup increments, this seems to work well for the recipes I choose. I lay the bags flat while I freeze them so they can be stacked up easier or ‘filed’ in my freezer. Be sure to label and date so you know what the frozen green stuff is many months from now.
When I thaw the zucchini, I break up the frozen chunks and place them in a small colander with a bowl underneath. This catches the liquid that comes out as it thaws. Sometimes before using the grated zucchini in a recipe I squish it with the back of a fork to squeeze out any excess water.
As a side note, grated zucchini keeps for up to 12 months in your freezer. Ours never make it that long, we get really hungry for garden veges when the snow traps us inside during the middle of winter! I hope this helps you prepare for your upcoming zucchini delivery!
Love ya, Molly