How to freeze zucchini for the winter fresh
Zucchini is one of the main products used for making stews, various snacks, fritters. In addition, this nutritious fruit is great for baby food. In order to eat it all year round, you must first take care of freezing the vegetable for the winter.
Can zucchini be frozen in the freezer
It is most convenient to freeze food in the freezer, so that later you can get the workpiece at the right time and use it in cooking.
With proper processing, the product can be frozen in the freezer and not be afraid that useful substances will not be preserved in a thawed form.
Did you know? The largest zucchini weighing 61 kg was grown in Chesterfield in 1998 by John Handbury. In addition, a preliminary selection of vegetables for freezing will help increase the likelihood of preserving vitamins. For dry freezing do not use damaged, rotten fruits. Methods of slicing the product into preforms also play a rather important role: the way they are stored depends on how the zucchini is cut.
How to choose zucchini for harvesting for the winter
Reviews of experienced chefs make it clear that in order for frozen zucchini to retain all its useful qualities and vitamins, you need to choose ripe copies without defects.
If you freeze fruits to subsequently feed a baby, you should carefully select them: they should not be ripened or too ripe, the skin should be shiny, free from defects, rot and cracks. If you freeze a low-quality product, you risk the baby’s health.
How to prepare zucchini for freezing
Before storing vegetables in the freezer, you will need to properly prepare the fruit. Find out also
To do this, follow these recommendations:
- rinse it under running water;
- dry on a clean towel or tray;
- cut dry ponytails;
- cut them into pieces of the required size.
Do you need to blanch before freezing
Blanching is a method of short-term processing of products with boiling water. Vegetables are blanched so that they do not lose their color and taste. This procedure is not necessary before freezing, but it extends the period of storage of fruits in the freezer.
Step-by-step instructions for blanching zucchini:
- Fill the pan halfway with water, bring to 100 ° C.
- Rinse the fruits, cut the tails, remove the seeds.
- Cut the vegetables into pieces of the required shape, so that later it is convenient to cook.
- Dip the pieces in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove them and dip them in cold water.
- Dry the cooled fruits and put them in a container for freezing.
If you are going to freeze grated zucchini (for example, as a preparation for pancakes), you need to blanch it. It is best to carry out the procedure not in boiling water, but over steam, so as not to damage the structure of the sliced fruit.
How to freeze zucchini fresh for the winter
Based on the purposes for which you will use a frozen vegetable, prepare the products, cut in the way that suits you best, and place in the freezer.
Temperature and shelf life
Store zucchini in the freezer at a temperature of –10 ° C to –20 ° C. It is necessary to create conditions for dry fruit, otherwise the process of decay will quickly begin. In order to prevent this, it is important to dry the fruits well before freezing and place them either in a paper bag or in an airtight container. You can keep vegetables in the cold for about three months, but if desired, this period can be extended to 1 year. Important! Remember that thawed zucchini should not be frozen again. After defrosting, the fruit should be used immediately. To do this, follow these rules:
- store vegetables of various varieties in separate bags;
- do not put too many sliced fruits in one container, otherwise they will begin to rot due to tightness;
- make notes on the date of creation of the workpiece so that in the future you know exactly the correct shelf life of the freeze.
Slicing methods for freezing at home
You can grind and freeze fresh fruits:
- chopped on a grater;
- in the form of mashed potatoes.
Pre-cut vegetables will help you spend less time cooking dishes.
Freezing Fresh Zucchini Rings
Most often, these vegetables are cut into rings - so it’s convenient to fry them later.
Fruits cut into rings should be frozen as follows:
- we prepare the vegetable for freezing - wash it, remove the tail, dry it;
- cut zucchini into rings;
- put the pan on the fire, bring the water to a boil;
- throw rings into boiling water;
- after 5 minutes have passed, use the slotted spoon to spread the zucchini on a dry surface;
- put the dried rings on the board and send them to the freezer for 2-3 hours;
- take out and portion the rings in the container.
- It is not recommended to place all the rings in the same container for storage, as they may stick together.
In order to freeze zucchini in cubes, you must:
- prepare the vegetable for cutting;
- cut into cubes;
- chopped zucchini in a large container and sprinkle with salt (1 kg of vegetable needs 2 tablespoons of salt);
- within 15 minutes there will be juice to be drained;
- then the cubes should be dried;
- then the vegetable is folded into a sealed container;
- chopped cubes spread on a board and placed in a freezer for 2-3 hours;
- after preliminary freezing, the cubes are laid out in a container for storage and conveniently placed in the freezer.
Freezing grated fruits is suitable for further use when frying or cooking fritters. This is the easiest and most inexpensive way to freeze.
To comply with the rules when freezing grated zucchini you need:
- grate the vegetable on a coarse grater;
- squeeze out the appeared juice from the gruel;
- evenly distribute into containers;
- put in the freezer.
How to freeze for baby food
Instructions for cooking baby food from zucchini:
- Prepare the vegetable - wash, remove the seeds, cut the skin and the stalk.
- Boil it in boiling water.
- Beat in a homogeneous mass with a blender.
- Pour the resulting slurry into molds. You can use molds for ice or cupcakes if they are not large.
- Place the mashed potatoes in the freezer for several hours.
- When it freezes, squeeze it into a bag or container for long-term storage in the cold.
Before you eat frozen whetstones in food, you must properly defrost them. To do this, the workpiece is placed in a refrigerator or thawed at room temperature. When cooking dishes such as stews or fries, it is not necessary to defrost vegetables. Read also whether it is possible to freeze fresh zucchini for the winter.
Compliance with the correct preparation, freezing and thawing zucchini will allow you to enjoy fresh vegetables year-round, getting the maximum amount of nutrients. In addition, the preliminary preparation of the vegetable simplifies the process of preparing a common dish.