Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Freezing Zucchini

Zucchini grows well around here.  Really well.  My husband always teases me because I always plant two zucchini plants and we always have it coming out our eyes.  I tell him I plant two in case one plant dies.  One has never died....until this year.  He has teased me so long, and no plants have ever died, so this year I only planted one.  And a snail ate it.  I think my husband paid the snail.  Never fear, neighbors and friends to the rescue and we are not yet hurting for zucchini.  Our favorite ways to eat it are young, sliced and sauteed, or in baked goods.  When a zucchini gets away from you and suddenly you have one the size of your leg, this is how you can enjoy it through the winter.

Zucchini freezes with very little preparation.  First, wash the outside well, cut of the ends and split the squash horizontally.  If the seeds are large and mature (they usually are in a big zucchini) take a spoon and scoop out the seeds, leaving only the squash and rind.  Discard the seeds. Shred the zucchini, I like to use my food processor for this, and measure 2 cups into each freezer bag.  Squeeze out the extra air, making the bag flat.  Label and freeze.  When you want to use frozen zucchini in a baked item, you thaw and then drain alot of the extra liquid off before using it.  Freezing bursts the cells and you will have more water when it thaws than when you started fresh.  After draining, use just as you would fresh.  Use within about 3 months for best taste.  Try this recipe for zucchini bread.  I like that it takes 4 cups of zucchini, makes 4 loaves (which also freeze beautifully) and has chocolate chips! (The best part.)
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If you are visiting, welcome! I am in the process of a Vulcan Mind Meld with my computer to put all of my right hand recipes for feeding my family on here as fast as possible. Please come back often and stay awhile. There are so many exciting things to come!

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