Zucchini is one of those vegetables that can basically grow abundantly in any garden and it’s a great accompaniment for summer dishes due to its highly refreshing taste. It has been used in ancient times for aches, colds, and other illnesses. It’s also proven to be a great source of Vitamins A, B6, C, and K; Magnesium, and Potassium. Other properties include: rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, and water. The hardest part about harvesting zucchini is not wasting any. When you harvest zucchini, there’s always the fear that it may never run out before going rotten. Now the question is can you freeze Zucchini? And, how long does zucchini last in the fridge?
The short answer to that question is yes. You can preserve the harvest by freezing it and thus keeping it relatively fresh for the following months. However, in order to freeze them properly, you might want to perform some extra actions to guarantee that they are preserved correctly. Also, the texture will lose its usual crispiness, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used as ingredients for other cooked meals.
In order to freeze zucchini well, I usually blanch them first by putting them in boiling water for a short period, in order to slow the enzymes responsible for texture, color, and flavor loss, while also killing off any bacteria that might survive on the surface.
You can theoretically freeze zucchini without blanching, but they won’t last very long in the freezer and they will get mushy when defrosted. There are ways to get around this and skip the blanching process if you plan on using them for particular purposes:
Yes, it will invariably affect it. All freezing does is delay the decay process. Also, vegetables tend to exude moisture upon thawing, affecting their chemical properties. If you did proper blanching, however, there should be no discernible difference in taste.
Usually not recommended, but if you thawed more zucchini than what you ended up using, you could refreeze the unused pieces. But after thawing them properly, the zucchini should not been exposed to hot temperatures. Also, make sure that they were not contaminated with utensils used for cutting or handling other ingredients, such as raw meat.
Speaking from experience, zucchini can last 4 or 5 days in a regular fridge.
In the freezer, without any special treatment, they can endure approximately 2 or 3 months, while properly blanched and packaged they can hold their own for up to 10 months.
Thawing a zucchini works best when you want to use it for baked, grilled, or fried recipes, as the zucchini accumulates a lot of moisture and can add an unpleasant soggy or mushy texture.
The best way to thaw a Zucchini is to place it in a fridge overnight. However, if you can’t wait that long, you can put the bag of frozen zucchini in a bowl filled with warm water. In case of emergency, if you have a microwave with a “defrost” function, then you can safely use it. If your microwave is more basic, then there should be an option to put it in half power, that way you prevent the zucchini from cooking.
However, you can skip thawing the zucchini if you plan to use it on more liquid recipes like soups or sauces, as it doesn’t drastically affect the overall texture of the meal. You need to keep in mind that zucchini is already composed of 90% water, so take necessary precautions to make sure that the recipe is not already too watered down before adding it.
After you have shredded zucchini, please them in a zip loc bag and remove as much air out of the zip loc bag. In this way, you can keep it up to 4 months in the freezer.