Preserving small zucchini and summer squash

jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)August 26, 2009

How is best to preserve these? I know I can shred the zucchini for breads and freeze it. What I am looking for is a way to preserve these more as a whole or cut up veggie I can eat with a meal. Preferably with no sugar or other sweeteners needed.

I have access to most preserving methods, meaning I have a BWB, PC, dehydrator and freezer.

THank you

Jenny P

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hi Jenny - since neither can be safely caned except as relish or pickles of some kind, drying or freezing is the best option. But even frozen they will go mushy.

We thick slice them, lightly blanch, batter and freeze individual slices on a cookie sheet then into ziplock bags.

Per NCHFP:

Why is canning summer squash or zucchini not recommended?
Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar. It is best to freeze or pickle summer squashes, but they may also be dried.

If you search this forum using squash or zucchini you'll find many discussions and recipes for both.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 3:21PM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

Crud, all the info I am finding is for zucchini relish, or grated for bread. Due to dietary restrictions, I don't eat sugar, or grains, so relish, and bread are out! I was hoping to find information on freezing, or dehydrating it.

Thanks anyway
Jenny P

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 6:21PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sorry - I explained how we freeze it above. Other recipes often discussed here is stuffed summer squash - your choice of stuffing - and frozen. Even blanched chunks can be frozen.

The thread 101 ways to use zucchini and summer squash offered no recipes that appealed to you?

Dave

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 6:25PM
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junelynn(7NC)

I blanch both fairly thick, blanch, drain well and then some, place in a bag to freeze, then the next night I vacuum seal it for the freezer. Don't know if it will work on the grill by then or not, but time will tell. I'm sure I could broil it or pan saute it with garlic and onions, etc.

Some yellow squash I blanch with a thinner cut and do the same freezing process, so I have it for squash casserole later. I also make sq. casserole and freeze that in portions in a vacuum bag (once it's frozen). Some zucchini I shred and freeze for bread later or you can add it to soups. You can also puree (and freeze) it to use as a soup base with chicken stock.

A friend of mine halves the squash, takes the middle of the pulp out, blanches it and freezes the whole squash with filling in it...filling can be your choice, for baking later.
Even though squash is limited in canning, it seems to have unlimited uses that can be frozen.

I still give a lot away at work, as this year has been a good one for squash and zucchini for me.
Like Dave said there are endless possibilities

Here is a link that might be useful: 101 things to make with squash

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 6:56PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Dehydrate some slices for use in soups.
Freeze some slices or chunks (after blanching) to try in saute, stir fry, soup, etc.
Grate some for soups, add to meatloaf, or try making into patties later with ingredients you can eat (egg, veggies, meat, etc.)
Make some DILL Relish...no sugar! Just vinegar, dill, garlic, zucchini, etc. Search this forum for Dill Relish if you wish.

Try it now! While you still have time to decide if you want to invest your energy in lots of it.

Just blanch a little, freeze it, thaw it a couple of days later and see if you can live with the texture! If so, stock up! If not, you've only wasted one bag and one squash (or portion of one).

Good luck!
Deanna

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 7:38PM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

Thank you,
Somehow I missed the 101 things list, I will take a look at it later.

I will try the blanching and freezing thing. I LOVE zuchini and summer squash, and they are a food I can eat all I want of. But I think I planted too many! LOL a common problem with zucchini!

Jenny P

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 9:55PM
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junelynn(7NC)

Here's a good one for you! Zucchini Lasagna! Page down and you'll see it!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Zucchini Lasagna

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 11:56PM
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gardensue(5)

Last year we had an over abundance (don't we all of something) of zucchini. I sliced them thin, dehydrated them and then into the freezer. I did not like them this way at all!! Once defrosted they were squeaky and the taste was off. :P This year I am going back to our previous way, grating, draining and freezing in zip bags in 2 cup increments for adding to soups, breads, and sauteing.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 12:04AM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

Thank you, although the lasagna sounds good, it won't work for me. I have a number of dietary restrictions, and need my food as plain and simple as possible.

Jenny P

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 12:23AM
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