Zucchini and summer squash are easy vegetables to grow in a backyard garden. If you have an abundance and have the freezer space, you might want to freeze the surplus.
Preparation and Blanching
- Wash the squash and cut off the blossom and stem ends. There's no need to peel the squash.
- Slice or cube the squash.
- Fill a large bowl or container with ice and water.
- Fill a large stockpot or kettle with 1 gallon of water; bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Put about 1 pound of the prepared squash in the boiling water. If you have a wire basket, it will make it easier to lift all of the squash out at the same time. Once the water has returned to a rolling boil, begin timing.
Grated 2 Minutes Cubed or Thinly Sliced (1/4-inch) 3 Minutes Thick Slices (1 1/2-inch) 6 Minutes
- Immediately immerse the blanched squash in the ice water to stop the cooking.
- Drain the squash thoroughly and then transfer to freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace (leave at least an inch if using narrow-mouth glass jars).
- If freezing in zip-close storage bags or if you're using a vacuum sealing system, first freeze slices or cubes on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Seal in bags using a vacuum sealing system or by removing as much air as possible from a freezer bag before sealing.
- Label the containers or bags with the name and date and store for up to 3 months, or up to a year or more if vacuum sealed.
1 to 1 1/4 pounds of zucchini or summer squash will yield about 1 pint frozen.
Cooking Frozen Zucchini or Summer Squash
To cook, place about 1/2-inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a full bowl.
Add a pint of frozen vegetables, cover the pan, and cook until just tender.
Defrost grated zucchini before using it in a recipe. Blot away excess moisture with paper towels before adding to the batter for cake, bread, muffins, etc.