It’s that time of year: Friends, neighbors, coworkers, even some side-of-the-road vegetable vendors are trying to give away zucchini.
Our advice? Take it! Use fresh zucchini and summer squash in pasta dishes, chocolate cake, brownies, pizza, and a whole lot more. See over 100 zucchini recipes available on Almanac.com.
Got too much zucchini now? Freeze it! Here are two methods.
How to Freeze Zucchini
Wash the zucchini, then cut it into one-and-a-half-inch rounds. Blanch it in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain the slices, and allow them to cool and become completely dry.
Wash the zucchini, then grate it.
Now you have two options:
1) Blanch it in for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and cool it. Place measured amounts of zucchini pieces into containers or freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as you can and put the container into the freezer. Freeze smaller portions in an ice cube tray. When the cubes are solid, remove them from the tray and put them into a freezer bag. Note that blanched, drained zucchini loses substantial volume: If you blanch and drain 2 cups, you will have a lot less to freeze and so a lot less when you defrost the zucchini later.
2) Put grated (not blanched) zucchini into a freezer bag or other containers (in measured amounts), mark the amount, and freeze it. Thaw to use. Your zucchini will retain most of its volume when thawed.
Use frozen zucchini in soups, stews, casseroles, lasagnas, and more (essentially anything but salads).
With so many options, you’ll never say “no” to zucchini again.
How do you use your zucchini? Please share below!
Photo: Zucchini blossom. See how to grow zucchini.
Janice Stillman joined the Almanac as editor in 2000. When she is not working the words, she enjoys peddling a bicycle, growing things to eat, cooking, and handcrafts (especially knitting because needles and yarn can be taken anywhere).