Zucchini is one of those vegetables (some experts may even call it a fruit) that can be harvested and cropped by virtually anyone with a tiny garden and, for those living in regions with meteorological temperate seasons, especially during spring and summer. It’s a blessing since this summer squash is a source of nutrients such as Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and Zeaxanthin, a cancer-prevention compound. One of the downturns of zucchini is, ironically, that you may never run out of it. That means that much of the zucchini you’re able to harvest is in danger of rot, so it’s probably a good idea to find a way to preserve some of the crops. So you start asking these questions. Can you freeze zucchini noodles? How to freeze zucchini noodles? And how long does zucchini noodles last in the fridge?
Yes, you can freeze a zucchini. However, freezing it will cause it to eventually lose its crispness. Luckily, if you only want to make zucchini noodles (or “zoodles”, as they’re usually called) you can freeze them without any significant loss.
Zoodles are a great low-calorie and gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat noodles, thus it might actually come in handy to save yourself some money on carbs.
Normally, for noodled zucchini, you wouldn’t have to necessarily blanch them, since the quality loss is practically indiscernible once you thaw them.
However, if you aren’t pressed by time, it’s always a good idea to put them in boiling water for a little while (literally seconds) to deactivate the enzymes responsible for discoloring and for producing the mushy texture. Afterward, drain them to eliminate the excess water. You can spread them onto a paper towel that can absorb all the moisture. Finally, secure them in airtight zip lock freezer bags or containers.
Some tips to keep in mind:
Freezing vegetables can affect their taste and texture since in the thawing process moisture always creeps into the cells. However, if thawed correctly, there shouldn’t be major discernible differences. In the case of zoodles, the difference is much less noticeable, since there is less chance of retained moisture.
You should be able to refreeze them if their temperature has not been over 40º F for more than 2 hours, while ice crystals remain. Keep in mind that ice formations will eventually destroy the form of the noodles, so it would be better to plan ahead to avoid having to refreeze them.
Raw zucchini tends to last over 4 to 5 days in the freezer in optimal quality. In the freezer, it can last fresh up to 2 weeks, being able to endure after 12 months for safe consumption.
You can defrost them by putting them in a strainer basket, paper towel, or bowl for a while (the desired dryness depends on the recipe). You could also defrost them in the microwave or by putting them in the fridge the night before.
You can cook them by using a skillet or frying pan and steam them on medium to high heat with a lid until they are al-dente (which usually takes about 5 to 7 minutes). Be careful not to leave them steaming past that point, as they tend to get soggy rather quickly.
Then, put them in a colander or strainer basket to eliminate the excess liquid and serve or add to your recipe!
Avoid cooking the noodles in a sauce. Cook them separately first and then add them to the sauce.
Various recipes use zucchini noodles, to wit: With plain pasta sauce or Alfredo sauce, with butter and shrimp, accompanied with chicken parmesan, garlic parmesan zucchini pasta, and mushrooms.