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Freezing zucchini for the winter is easy. In two hours, the hostess, even without the help of someone from the household, can easily cope with all the preparation procedures for freezing zucchini for the whole winter.
The main thing is to have good quality vegetables on hand and a free freezer.
The article tells about the blanks, the process of freezing zucchini for the winter at home and about the other actions and nuances that you will have to face.
Can zucchini be frozen?
Many housewives and summer residents are very concerned about the question: Is it possible to freeze zucchini for the winter in the freezer? We hasten to please you - of course it is possible and even necessary. And the volume of the workpiece is limited by the capacity of the freezer of the refrigerator.
When living in a region where frosts come early and last all winter without the onset of thaws with a plus temperature, processed zucchini can be stored in an unheated annex (on the balcony) - if there is a supply of vegetables that have been lying whole since autumn.
Vegetables with these characteristics are ideal for freezing zucchini for the winter.:
- unripe fruits (desirable);
- no signs of rot, maximum with slight signs of spoilage on the peel that have just begun.
Before chopping zucchini:
- wash, release from the stalk, flower attachment points;
- dry thoroughly;
- cleaned of seeds and adjacent pulp, if the fruits are overripe;
- in large fruits, the top layer of the peel is cut off if it is dense, tough.
Algorithm for preparing zucchini for freezing:
- Thoroughly rinse the batch of vegetables to be frozen.
- Wipe each fruit dry.
- Peel large fruits from peel, seeds and chaff adjacent to them.
- Problanch (optional).
- Heat treatment in advance: fry in circles until tender, cook sauté, caviar - if desired.
- Squeeze out the mass if crushed with a grater or blanched.
- Lightly dry by spreading a mass of cubes, sticks, circles on a table, baking sheet, large flat plate in one thin layer.
- Collect in a bag (vacuum, regular), lay out on a cutting board, the size of which is smaller than the width and depth of the freezer.
- Put the prepackaged product into the chamber.
The shape of individual fragments is determined, focusing on the dish in which the zucchini frozen for the winter will be used. So, the types of slicing:
- rings (thickness 0, 7-10 mm) - for frying, use in complex sandwiches, pizza;
- cubes / cubes - for making stews, zucchini caviar;
- grinding with a grater - for pancakes, caviar, making cream soup, baby puree.
After you have more or less figured out the question of how to freeze zucchini for the winter, another equally important point pops up - blanching, is it necessary? It is done at will. Some housewives do not like the taste of zucchini after freezing, if it was not blanched before sending the vegetable mass to the refrigerator.
A simple experience will help determine your own taste preferences.:
- First, freeze a blanched and not blanched portion of zucchini.
- The next day, both blanks are prepared in the usual way.
- The result you like the most will help you decide on the method of harvesting zucchini for the winter.
What to put in?
Prepared zucchini can be packaged:
- In plastic / metal food containers.
- In ordinary plastic bags.
- In bags with a vacuum seal.
- On a flat board (suitable for making a couple of servings).
Temperature and shelf life
Vegetables are perfectly frozen both in a regular fridge freezer (-12 ° C; -18 ° C) and in a freezer with boxes for deep freezing of food (at a temperature: -24 ° C; -26 ° C). So how long does frozen zucchini last? Up to 10 months (once melted squash mass is not recommended to re-freeze).
Read about the general rules for storing zucchini in an apartment here, and this article describes how zucchini are stored in a cellar.
Zucchini is frozen:
- without prior blanching;
- without preliminary drying (cut and immediately put into the freezer);
- pre-boiling in boiling water for 2 minutes;
- mixed with chopped herbs, spices;
- by combining with chopped vegetables, passed / not roasted (peppers, carrots, tomatoes, eggplants).
In the freezer
Let's take a look what we need in order to freeze zucchini in the freezer:
- Wash vegetables.
- Remove moisture from the fruit by wiping it off with a towel or leaving it to dry naturally.
- Prepare packaging containers: plastic containers, plastic bags with or without a vacuum clamp.
- Get out the tool: cutting board, knife.
- Trim ponytails, remove scuffs, spoilage spots, growths.
- Cut large fruits into halves, free them from the peel, seeds, adjacent pulp.
- Grind the zucchini.
- Dry slightly if you don't want to blanch.
- Immerse the blanched for a short time in ice water, and then put on a sieve, waiting for all the liquid to drain.
- Place the processed mass in containers, packages, on a board and put it in the freezer for an hour.
- After half an hour, take out the containers, shake / mix the contents (so that the mass retains flowability).
- Placed on a baking sheet, quickly collect the mugs and place in a container, placing each piece on the edge, or pour into a bag.
- Remove the processed zucchini for storage.
In the fridge
Frozen zucchini can only be stored in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator. The processing algorithm for zucchini is the same as for the mass intended for storage in the freezer.
Storage with eggplant
Now let's move on to the question of whether and how to freeze zucchini with eggplant for the winter? Answering the first question, we assure you that yes, you can.
First, you need to remove excess bitterness from the eggplant. How to do it? If not all housewives blanch zucchini before freezing, then almost everyone subjects the eggplants to a slight heat treatment to make their taste more pleasant.
You can also remove the bitterness from the eggplant dry: by keeping the eggplant mugs or slices sprinkled with salt for a while. After twenty minutes of salt "therapy", the blue ones are washed, dried with a towel and subjected to further processing using the method of preparing zucchini for freezing.
Zucchini crushed with a grater are needed for the preparation of pancakes, mashed soups, dishes for baby food. Algorithm for freezing mass from grated zucchini:
- The fruits are washed.
- The stalk and the place where the flower is attached are removed.
- Ripe seeds are removed from large vegetables, peeled off.
- Rub the pieces on a grater (the size of the holes is chosen, focusing on the further use of the workpiece).
- The mass is squeezed out, added to taste, flavored with spices, placed in a plastic container, a plastic bag.
- The packaged mass is placed in a freezer.
There are many variations on how to freeze zucchini for the winter for various dishes, below we take a look at the most popular and demanded ones.
For a quick stew
Wash two zucchini 200 g each, peel, stalks, receptacle. Then:
- chop zucchini;
- peel two onions, cut and fry (butter to taste);
- add a couple of grated carrots to the gilded onion, simmer the mass almost until tender;
- simmer four red bell peppers separately in a little oil;
- cool vegetables processed by heat and mix with a squash mass;
- place the semi-finished product in a bag, then give a flat look;
- put the preparation for the quick stew in the refrigerator.
In order not to keep zucchini and herbs in separate bags, they can be mixed before sending to the freezer. First, vegetables and parsley / dill are washed, then they are freed from excess water. Clean blanks are crushed (zucchini in cubes, greens as usual), mixed, packaged, sent to the freezer for cooling.
Fried zucchini, flavored with fresh dill and garlic, are especially honored at the beginning of summer, when everyone wants to diversify the diet that has been fed up over the winter with fresh vegetables. To prepare a full-fledged dish, you will need to add tomato paste or tomatoes, garlic (at the end) to the preparation, and other vegetables - if desired.
Using the capabilities of the freezer, you can prepare typical summer squash dishes not only in season, but also at Christmas, on any winter or spring day. The main thing is to prepare more frozen vegetables in a timely manner.
If you decide not to read the instructions, then we bring to your attention a detailed video that tells how to properly freeze zucchini in three ways and all the subtleties of this process.