As gardeners we talk a lot about how to grow and harvest our vegetables but rarely talk about what to do with the excess from those prolific bearing vegetables. You know which ones I am talking about– zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes. In the past, I provided a tutorial on how to can tomatoes, but you can’t can zucchini or eggplant. For purposes of this article, I will stick to the overabundance of zucchini and summer squash issue. So, what the heck do you do with all those zucchinis and summer squash? Well, I have a trick for you so you can bask in zucchini and summer squash all winter long.
Just a side note, I grew one zucchini last year and preserved enough for a family of 6. We ran out of zucchini around March this year. It was a sad day so this year I doubled my gardening efforts and hopefully we won’t run out until the summer. So as I write this post, I am using my zucchini preservation trick.
Doesn’t the thought of home grown zucchini sound delicious in the winter?
I think so.
How to Preserve Zucchini and Summer Squash
Simply freeze them.
If you plan on simply using the zucchini as a puree, go ahead and throw them in a glass jar (cut up or shredded) or other container and store in the freezer.
However, if you want to make grilled zucchini from your frozen wonders, follow these instructions.
1. Slice the zucchini in 1/2 inch round slices.
2. Then lay them side by side in single rows on a cookie sheet and place parchment paper between each layer. I generally can put about four rows of zucchini on one cookie sheet.
3. Freeze for 24 hours.
4. Then you can either put them in a freezer bag, container, or air seal them to keep them fresh longer. (I use this Food Saver.)
Make sure they don’t defrost when moving them to another container. If they do, then you need to start all over again by freezing them side by side.
Sometimes, the zucchini sticks to the parchment paper so I let them defrost a teeny bit so it is easier to remove them.
Defrosting Your Zucchini
When you are ready to use them they will be soggy but will hold their shape. With this method, the zucchini rounds don’t stick to each other.
I simply season them with salt and pepper and grill them on the stove. Alternatively, I use them in recipes like ratouille or as a puree. I love having zucchini the whole winter.
Just in case, if you are having problems growing zucchinis due to the squash vine borer, read HERE on how to deal with this pest.
Join the Conversation:
How do you preserve your zucchini and summer squash for your summer harvest?