Sunday, August 9, 2009

Storing zucchini

Whenever I think of zucchini, I think of my buddy Gretchen and how we were at her parents' house one time and her mother offered us both a piece of chocolate cake. I happily accepted a slice - it was frosted beautifully, it was homemade and hell - who can say no to chocolate cake? Well, apparently Gretchen can say "no" to her mother's chocolate cake - especially when she found out that her mom had put zucchini in said offering.

I gave her hell about it later. "How can you refuse your mom's cake? You can't taste the zucchini in it!"

I don't remember precisely what Gretchen said in response, but it boiled down to this. Every summer without fail, her mom would harvest BUSHELS of zucchini which she would shred and freeze. Then Jackie would proceed to put zucchini in everything - spaghetti sauce, chocolate cake, cookies, etc.

"I don't care if it tastes good, I can't stand the thought of zucchini in everything."

I wonder if when I have kids they'll feel the same way, because since I've started eating zucchini, I think that I could put it in everything - just like Jackie.

So far, I've not grown my own zucchini - I've been lucky to find good-sized squash at the Farmer's Market and been gifted zucchini, so my freezer isn't nuts with it quite yet, but I can see where if I grow my own, I'll need more room.

So far, I've just been shredding my zucchini and freezing it in 2-cup increments because that seems to be what baking recipes call for. When it comes time to use it, I thaw it and squeeze out a bit of the wet like I'm handling frozen spinach. (I admit - I could be totally wrong here ...)

And since I think I could be wrong in my process - I've made it a bit easier for the rest of you - these are a couple of articles I've found regarding the proper storage of zucchini.

This is from About.com: To freeze, slice zucchini into rounds, blanch for two minutes, plunge into cold water, drain, and seal in airtight containers or baggies. Frozen zucchini can be kept for ten to twelve months.

This is an AWESOME article from the University of Minnesota Extension Office regarding the storage of various harvested vegetables. The only problem is it doesn't tell me jack about freezing my lovely zucchini.

This is from eHow.com: To freeze a zucchini, wash it, slice it into 1/2-inch slices and then boil for three minutes. Remove from boiling water and place into ice cold water for five minutes, adding ice to keep the water chilled if you are processing several zucchini, according to PickYourOwn.com. Remove from water and place in freezer devices such as freezer bags or vacuum-sealed containers. Frozen zucchini will last between nine and 14 months frozen.

1 comment:

kellypea said...

Good info! I haven't grown my own in years because I have no space and think it would be ridiculous to grow it in a pot (hilarious, though!) I'm writing about zucchini soup today so this caught my eye...