Ever since he was on the first grade, my son loves to snack on zucchini at school. He especially loves raw zucchini wraps flavored with some mayonnaise and ketchup. I used to prepare it for him every morning. However, due to my new job, I can no longer manage to do it for him daily. I am wondering if it is a good idea to prepare his zucchini wraps good several days in advance to save time. What is the best way to preserve zucchini?
Loaded with enormous nutrients, zucchini is indeed a great and healthy food. It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, fiber, and protein. It also helps maintain a healthy nervous system.
Preparing a supply of zucchini rolls already good for a few days is a good idea. It saves your precious time, money and effort. Usually, the most convenient option for preserving zucchini is freezing. It can last for about three months when frozen. However, take note that frozen zucchinis are only best for dishes that require them to be served along other vegetables.
Can You Freeze Zucchini?
The answer is yes, you can freeze zucchini. If you don’t freeze it, it will only stay fresh five to seven days with proper storage. Properly freezing them can help ensure that it will last for up to three months.
There are several methods of preserving zucchini. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and is best for certain dishes.
Other methods for extending the shelf life of zucchini are canning, dehydrating, and pickling. Canned zucchini is good for many recipes including parmesan zucchini, zucchini corn pancake, and zucchini muffins.
Freezing will degrade the texture of zucchini. However, it works well for baked or stewed dishes. If not properly done, it may also cause freezer burn to zucchini.
Another important thing to note is that freezing zucchini right after blanching will make it a solid zucchini ice cube. To avoid this, let cool it immediately after blanching.
A general tip to preserve zucchini is to avoid exposing it to excess moisture and air. Avoid buying bruised ones as they are more prone to growing mold or wilting. It is good to store them in a crisper drawer as it has the optimum humidity to ensure freshness. Also, avoid washing it as much as possible.
How to Freeze Zucchini?
Freezing zucchini is simple. The key to ensure maximum quality is to follow the proper timing for each step. Furthermore, it is crucial to pick the right ones first and foremost.
- Cut – Cut off both ends of the zucchini and discard them. There are several ways to cut them. How you cut them depends on their intended use. Chunks of zucchini are suitable as side dishes. To make a zucchini bread, shred it.
- Blanch – Blanching deactivates the enzymes that can degrade the color and texture of the zucchini. It also prevents nutrition loss. Blanch for only about a minute. Steam the shredded zucchini for about two minutes. Do not add salt as it will make the zucchini mushy.
- Cool and Drain – Do this quickly as overcooking the zucchini can immediately affect its quality. Let it cool in a bucket of ice for 3-5 minutes.
- Pre-freeze – Pre-freezing can help keep the zucchini pieces from sticking together while being frozen. This is unnecessary for shredded zucchini.
- Pack and Freeze – You can now pack them in a freezer bag. Labeling them is crucial for you to keep track of how long they have been frozen. Keep the freezer bag as air-tight as possible.
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