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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Freezing Zucchini

Zucchini is one of those veggies that can cause frustration when freezing.  After quite a few failed attempts, I have decided that there is only two ways to do it.  When first trying to freeze it, I went in with high hopes of having delicious sauteed zucchini in winter, and perfect slices for my ratatouille.  This dream was not to be.  Zucchini gets rubbery and, unless fried to oblivion, has a very weird texture when eaten.  The only two ways to save zucchini is to shred it, or peel it and cube it.

Zucchini does not to be blanched, it will turn into mush when frozen, so when you are getting ready to freeze it, make sure it is as fresh as possible, and that it is washed with warm water and veggie soap.  Because it is being frozen raw, I do like to ensure that there is no cross contamination, so all knives are washed in hot water, and I have two cutting boards set specifically for veggies and two set specifically for meat.  No mixing them up, as the veggie ones are green and the meat ones are white.  This is just good kitchen sense, even if you are not preserving.

Shredding is pretty easy with a food processor, just read the directions.  You can also just use a cheese grater, large hole side, to shred it.  I like to put the shredded zucchini in  vacuum freezer bags, pre-measured for the recipes I will be using the zucchini in.  When I mark the date on the bag, I also write the amount, like one cup, two cups, etc.  This way, if you are making zucchini bread that calls for 1 cup of zucchini, you do not waste any extra over 1 cup once it is thawed.

The other way I prepare it for the freezer is to peel it and cube it.  There are very few recipes that call for this,  so I only do a few this way.
Once the zucchini is vacuum sealed, I write the date, the amount, in the case of the cubed, it is the whole zucchini, and pop it in the freezer.  Due to the problems with the texture of zucchini once it is frozen and thawed, there are only certain ways you can use the zucchini without having to deal with the rubber-factor.  I will post next on some of my favorite ways to use frozen zucchini.

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