Freezing Zucchini for Baking
Since I have so much zucchini in the garden I decided to preserve some of it for use in the winter. I really enjoyed the zucchini bread that I had baked a few weeks ago so, I decided to freeze some of it to use for baking. I think it would be wonderful to have a taste of summer produce in my winter baking.
The best way to preserve the zucchini for baking is to freeze it. To do this I grated the zucchini. I washed the zucchini well and cut off the ends of the zucchini. If I happen to have a zucchini that I left on the plant a little too long and the skin is a little tough and I still want to use it in my cooking recipes I use my potato peeler and remove the zucchini skin. Also with a too large of zucchini the seeds are often big and I do not want these large seeds in my cooking so I slice the zucchini in half length wise and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. All of this extra parts that I remove from the zucchini I feed to my pigs or cows. If you don’t have animals that will eat these types of food scraps add it to your compost pile. I use my cheese grater to grate up the zucchini. If the zucchini is young and tender I grate the zucchini with the peel on it.
Next, I steamed blanch it in small quantities of about 2 cups until it was translucent. I then packed it in 1 cup amounts because, it is the amount I use to make the zucchini bread. I placed it in a sandwich size Ziploc bag. I then placed the Ziploc bag in ice water to cool it down. Since I am using a plastic bag and I am putting a hot product into the bag it is necessary to make sure that if the bag gets to hot I will need to cool it down by dipping it into ice water. Then add more hot zucchini so that I do not run the risk of melting the plastic bag. It is important to work next to my ice water when filling plastic bags with hot food.
To ensure that I had a 1 cup measurement of zucchini in each bag I had a 1 cup measuring cup that I put the bag of zucchini in before I sealed it.
Next, I removed the excess air by pressing down on the bag and then sealed it shut. I then placed this bag inside of a freezer strength Ziploc gallon size bag, squeezed out all of the excess air, labeled it with the contents and date, and froze it. If there is any water in the zucchini when I get ready to use it I will discard the liquid before I add it to my baking because if I don’t it will make my zucchini batter watery.