Can You Freeze Squash?

My husband loves to tend to his squash garden. Whenever it is harvest time, there are always more squash than what I could ask for. I tried exploring new squash recipes, but there are always some leftover squash. I do not like throwing out the unused squash because I do not like hurting my husband’s feelings. Will freezing it help extend its shelf life?

Squash comes in many kinds. Whether it is a summer or winter squash, freezing it is always doable. Just like other fruits and vegetables, freezing squashes can help extend their shelf life.

Most squashes need to be blanched first before washing to stop the harmful activities done by their natural enzymes and bacteria. Blanching also keeps it fresh and ready for use. When frozen properly, it can last for months in the freezer, allowing you to store it until the next harvesting period.

Can You Freeze Squash?

Squash comes in two classifications: winter squash and summer squash. Winter squash are those with relatively harder and thicker skins that are not edible. Summer squash have thin, soft and edible skins.

Generally, summer squashes have short storage period, ranging from three to five days. Winter squashes can last for two months. When prepared properly, both types can last up to twelve months in the freezer.

Blanching the squash before freezing is important. Especially for summer squashes, blanching maintains its original texture. For some winter squashes, you can skip this step.

Freezing the squash without blanching can cause it to lower its quality. The tightness of the plastic bag also contributes to its tastiness. If stored with air, the squash can become poor in flavor.

There are other ways to preserve squash, such as pureeing and drying. Nevertheless, freezing is still the easiest thing to do to leftover squash.

It is not required to thaw the squash before using. Sometimes, when it is thawed, the squash becomes too soft and mushy, especially to summer squash, so be careful if you decide to thaw it.

How to Freeze Squash

There are several ways to freeze squash depending on its type. Make sure to know what kind of squash you are using before freezing it.

Blanched summer or winter squash:

  • Place the squash in a colander or strainer and wash it thoroughly.
  • Cut off the ends of the squash and dispose them.
  • Slice the squash into rounds with uniform thickness and prepare for blanching.
  • To blanch: Boil a large pot of water. Drop the squash into the boiling water and leave for about two to three minutes or until the squash changes color. Do not overcook.
  • Remove the squash and place them in a large bowl with ice water to stop it from cooking. Leave for a few minutes.
  • Drain the squash and remove excess water.
  • Place the squash in an airtight plastic bag and seal it well. Remember to label the bags with dates for easy information.

Winter Squash

Option 1: Raw

  • Rinse the squash thoroughly with running water.
  • Peel the squash.
  • Cut the squash into cubes of the same thickness.
  • Lay them out on a baking sheet or tray, preferably with wax paper. Make sure to separate each piece.
  • Once frozen, transfer the squash into an airtight bag to save freezer space.

Option 2: Cooked

    • Rinse the squash thoroughly with running water.
    • Peel the squash.
    • Cut the squash into cubes or slices, depending on the size of the squash.
    • Cook the squash by roasting, steaming, or boiling.
    • Mash the squash and let it cool.
    • Freeze the squash in containers or pour them into ice cube trays. Remember to thaw this first before using.

Squash Recipes

With just five ingredients, you can keep yourself warm during cold nights by making this Butternut Squash Soup. Find out how to do it here:

Create the perfect Thanksgiving meal with this healthy and delicious Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce. Check out the recipe here:

Treat your kids with new treats using this Butternut Squash Cookies. They are not only tasty, but they are also easy to make.

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