Zucchini is one of the most prolific vegetables found in most home gardens. Many of us don't know what to do with all of the zucchini that we grow. When we've eaten all that we can fresh and our friends run the other direction when they see us coming with our bounty, we should probably start thinking about saving some in the freezer for during the winter when fresh vegetables are scarce and we miss the zucchini's proliferation. Here are a few suggestions on how to freeze zucchini to use for specific dishes this winter.
Things You Will NeedZucchini
Freezer bags (note: Freezer bags not storage bags.)
other vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, other kinds of squash, onions, broccoli, cauliflower. (Whatever vegetables you have in your garden that you want to use)
Step 1Before you prepare your zucchini for your zucchini bread, decide how many loaves of zucchini bread you are likely to make during the winter. I usually figure no more than one loaf a month for about six months. Sometimes if I plan to make zucchini bread to give away at Christmas time I might put an additional 3-4 bags of zucchini in the freezer.
To prepare the zucchini, shred zucchini and put raw into freezer bags. Put only as much zucchini as you'll need to make a single batch of zucchini bread into each freezer bag. Freeze flat so that you can stack the bags easily. Thaw before using in zucchini bread
Step 2Decide how many Zucchini Lasagnas you plan to eat this winter. I plan to eat maybe 6-8 zucchini lasagnas each winter. I like to slice my Zucchini for the lasagnas in long thin strips like lasagna noodles but some people might find it easier to cut the zucchini in thin coins like you might carrots. Zucchini cut like this can be used in other squash casseroles as well.
Put raw slices into freezer bags. Freeze flat in a single layer. May stack after vegetables are frozen.
Step 3In food processor, grind excess zucchini, tomatoes, (great use for cherry tomatoes) peppers and onions. In pot on stove, cook at low heat until the sauce reduces 50%. (You can use a crockpot for this purpose). Allow to cool. Place in quart size freezer bags. When you're ready to use, thaw the sauce then add seasonings, mushrooms, meat and one small can of tomato paste.
Step 4Steam zucchini for about 3 minutes with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions and green peppers. Put in ice water to chill vegetables quickly then place vegetables into freezer bags. Place into freezer bags enough for servings for one meal each bag.
Just because our zucchini comes all at once, doesn't mean we have to eat it all at once. With proper planning, we can enjoy our zucchini harvest throughout the winter. Zucchini will keep in the freezer for about one year when properly stored in freezer bags.