Preserving Zucchini

My garden is winding down. I need to can tomatoes, but a free afternoon eludes me. Canning isn’t really that big of an operation, but until I get everything out, it feels that way.

But zucchini? Zucchini is easy. There are always several ‘escapees’–you know, those squash you somehow overlook until they are the size of a small child? Those are perfect candidates for freezing. If you have smaller zuchs, and you are more ambitious, you can pickle them, but for soups, sauces, muffins, and quick breads, freezing is the way to go.

Commence whining: BUT, as easy as it is to freeze zucchini, thawing and dealing with a mass of soggy squash is a bit of a turn-off, and always prevents me from freezing all of my excess. You have to thaw the entire bag, your recipe never needs that much, and then you’re left with a mess.

My solution this season is to individually freeze one cup portions of zucchini.  I shredded everything up in my food processor. (I found that a zucchini the size of my forearm yields approximately four cups.) I packed a one cup measuring cup with squash, and then gently turned it out on a silpat-lined cookie sheet. When the sheet was full, it went into the freezer for several hours, later to be removed and stored in plastic bags in the freezer.

The only drawback here is that a bag full of these cakes takes up more room in your freezer than a mass of zucchini that you can freeze flat. The advantage is that I can remove and thaw a compact, one cup portion.

And if your kiddo or yourself is so inclined, the raw shredded zucchini is delicious drizzled with a little maple vinaigrette.


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