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How To Freeze Summer Squash & Zucchini
Squash All Year Long
The first summer I grew squash in my garden I was absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of squash I harvested. I had no idea what to do with it all! Fortunately, my Grandpa was able to teach me how to freeze my squash so I could enjoy it all year long.
This article will walk you through the steps to freeze your summer squash so you may enjoy it throughout the year. I have also included a delicious recipe for Summer Squash Bread which is a wonderful way to use your frozen squash.
What Is Summer Squash?
Summer squash has a soft, edible rind and seeds. Basic summer squash varieties include zucchini, yellow squash (also called straight neck or crookneck) and scallop squash (also called patty pan)
Summer Squash got it's name from a time before produce was available all year round at the supermarket. Both Summer Squash and Winter Squash are harvested in summer and early autumn but one variety is stays good for many months while the other does not.
Summer Squash, with it's soft rind does not keep for long once the summer is over. Winter Squash, on the other hand, has a hard rind and can be stored in a cool basement and eaten well into the winter.
Of course, with modern appliances, you can now freeze your summer squash so that you can enjoy it all year long as well!
Where do you get your squash?
Freezing squash is a simple process once you get the hang of it. Follow the steps listed here and you will soon have plenty of squash stored away for a cold winter day.
First of all, you need the right supplies:
a big pot for boiling water, a bowl of ice water, Ziplock bags or a foodsaver system, a cutting board & a knife.
1. Slice the squash - cut 1/2 inch slices
2. Boil Water & Prepare the ice water. Set a pot of water on the stove to boil. While you wait, fill a large bowl with water and ice.
Fruits and vegetables contain bacteria and enzymes that will eventually break down nutrients and change the color, taste and texture of frozen food. Blanching the produce before freezing will destroy the enzymes.
3. Blanche the squash for 3 minutes - place squash slices in boiling water and cover. Remove them promptly at the 3 minute mark.
4. Cool The Squash - remove the squash from the boiling water and place in the bowl of ice water. Leave them in the water for around 5 minutes or until they are cool to the touch. It is important to cool the squash quickly to prevent overcooking. Drain thoroughly.
5. Bag The Squash. For best results, do not overfill the bag and get as much air out as you can before placing in the freezer. I used the Gallon size Ziplock freezer bags for my first batch of frozen squash and they worked pretty well but it was difficult to get excess air out. I recently purchased a FoodSaver vacuum sealer and have loved it! (see more below)
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer
Help prevent freezer burn and keep food longer with the FoodSaver. When I first started freezing vegetables I used regular Ziploc Freezer bags from the store and they worked okay. But, I had a terrible time getting all of the air out of the bags which is important in preventing freezer burn. The FoodSaver has spared me from the hassle of proper sealing and I'm much happier with my frozen produce!
Summer Squash Bread
This recipe is a delicious way to use up some of that excess summer squash. It works well with frozen squash too so that you can enjoy it anytime!
This recipe can be made using yellow squash or zucchini. Try different squash varieties to see how the flavor changes.
Instead of loaf pans you can also use a 9x13 baking pan or make muffins using a cupcake pan. Muffins will only need to be baked for 20-30 minutes. I highly recommend checking at the 20 minute mark to determine if they are done.
Squash Bread Ingredients
- 2 Cups Summer Squash, shredded
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 3 Eggs, beaten
- 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 3 Cups Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)
- Grease 2 loaf pans
- Shred squash
- Beat eggs in a large bowl using an electric mixer.
- Beat in the sugar, oil and vanilla
- Mix in the baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour
- Fold in the squash
- Transfer mixture to loaf pans
- Bake loaves together for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean
|Serving size: 1 Slice|
|Calories from Fat||108|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 12 g||18%|
|Saturated fat 1 g||5%|
|Unsaturated fat 11 g|
|Carbohydrates 23 g||8%|
|Sugar 8 g|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 3 g||6%|
|Cholesterol 37 mg||12%|
|Sodium 80 mg||3%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|