How to Store Zucchini for the Winter? Tips for Enjoying Good Vitamin Dishes During the Cold Season
You planted several zucchini plants in your vegetable garden this summer and there they are everywhere? Once harvested, they can be prepared in a thousand and one ways! But sometimes, it happens that you harvest a little more than necessary. Then you need to find a way to slow down the process. That’s why we share some tips to keep zucchini for later. In the freezer, in an airtight box or in a jar, in oil or plain, raw or cooked, here is how to store zucchini for the winter and enjoy them all year round by preparing small summer dishes in the middle of winter!
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How Long Can Zucchini Be Stored?
Gratin, salads, pan-fried or stuffed, there are so many summer zucchini recipes that allow you enjoying this delicious cucurbit. If your garden has been generous to you this year, you’re probably looking for a smart way to store your zucchini longer. But how long can they be kept? In the refrigerator, the shelf life of a raw zucchini is about seven days. After this time, it begins to wither, then to rot. Stored in a jar, the cucurbit can be stored for 4-5 months. It is also possible to freeze it to keep it until next summer.
Also read: How to store chestnuts properly?
How to Store Raw Zucchini for the Winter
Packed with vitamins and minerals, raw zucchini deserve all our attention in terms of conservation to preserve its many properties. For this purpose, it is better to avoid peeling it. Its nutrients are located in the skin. Also avoid cutting it. Keep it as is and put it in a dry, dark place. Another option? Store it in jars with vinegar and oil. Storage in the freezer and using it for freezer meals is just as good.
How to Store Zucchini without a Fridge?
To keep your zucchini as long as possible, you have to choose them well. Make sure they are quite firm, smooth and without black spots. Again, avoid peeling them. Stored in the fridge, they wilt after a week. So, to maximize their shelf life, put them in the dark, in a cool, dry place. The ideal will be to put them in your cellar away from humidity and light! Place them in crates and spaced from each other. Thus, they will keep for up to 4 months. Of course, you can keep them in the fridge in the vegetable drawer. Place them in perforated plastic bags to slow down the wilting process.
How to Store Zucchini Without a Freezer?
You can also store your raw zucchini in jars. For this purpose, cut them into thick slices, salt them well to remove the water. Then immerse them in two liters of white wine vinegar for 2-3 minutes. Drain them and dry them. Layer them in a jar with basil (or bay) leaves and a clove of garlic. Cover them with oil and close the jars. Keep in a cool place, away from light and moisture.
In the Freezer
To keep your raw zucchini all winter long, or even all year round, there’s nothing like keeping them in the freezer. Cut them into slices without peeling the skin. To keep them fairly firm, blanch them and transfer them into a bowl filled with ice water. Then put them on a baking sheet and space them well. Place them in the freezer overnight and take them out the next day. Transfer them to a plastic container before putting them back in the freezer. To make thawing easier afterwards, avoid stacking the slices on top of each other in narrow containers. If you have no other choice, slip a sheet of paper towel between each layer to absorb the humidity. When you fancy a gratin, simply defrost the amount of zucchini you need and cook them.
Using the Dehydrator
After you froze and marinated zucchini in jars, do you still have any left? So why not have them dried? For this purpose, cut them into slices and put them in the dehydrator at 50°C. Drying time is normally 12-18 hours or until all moisture is gone. Remember to turn over the slices during drying and to move the trays. Store them vacuum-packed or in airtight jars, away from light. To rehydrate them, immerse them in boiling water and let them soak for a few hours. Once drained, roll them in flour and brown them in a little butter.
How to Store Cooked Zucchini for the Winter?
Very rich in potassium and minerals, zucchini is beneficial to the proper functioning of the brain and heart. In addition, it is very low in calories, and therefore ideal for a balanced diet to follow throughout the year. But still, can we keep them once they are cooked? Of course, especially if they are mashed beforehand.
Everyone loves zucchini. To preserve them when they are already cooked, you can mash them with potatoes and a carrot. Your baby will love it. Once cooled, transfer the puree to ice cube trays and put it in the freezer. At mealtime, unmold the quantity of your choice and reheat it. This allows you to enjoy zucchini all winter long.
In a Soup
Cooked zucchini is easier to store than you might think. Depending on the season, the ingredients of your zucchini soup may vary and you can add garlic, potato, squash, cheese or curry. Zucchini goes well with many ingredients and flavors. Once your soup is prepared, let it cool and pour it into airtight containers that you will put in the freezer. Attach a small tag with the date of freezing and the ingredients used. Thaw in the middle of winter whenever you want.