Zucchini has a very short shelf life, but it can be extended by using some preservation methods. It is very rich in nutrients that are useful for the body and have very few calories and fats. Now, let’s see how you can preserve zucchini.
According to the Michigan state university, freezing the zucchini by shredding, dicing, slicing, or halving is the best way to preserve it. It also states that canning, dehydrating and fermenting it can increase its shelf life, but it may change the texture of the zucchini.
The ways mentioned above will help you a lot to use zucchini for a longer period of time and in a wide variety of recipes. So, let’s get started with the detailed information about preserving it.
How You Can Preserve Your Zucchini?
Zucchini can be preserved by freezing, canning, pickling, dehydrating and fermenting. Now, let’s discuss the comprehensive ways to increase the shelf life of zucchini.
1. Freezing Zucchini
To freeze zucchini, it is suggested to shred it, make noodles, dice or slice it, cut into halves or make a puree. Then, it can be used in soups, stews, pasta, baked goods and zucchini bread.
- By Shredding: To freeze zucchini, shredding is a very effective technique. It is very easy to freeze. You can also shred other vegetables such as carrots and cauliflower and then freeze them for later use.
You just have to shred them and freeze them for later use. There is no need to blanch it and it can go directly to soups, pasta and baked goods. Make sure that you drain the liquid after thawing the zucchini and only keep the liquid when you are using it in baked goods.
- By Making Noodles: Another way to freeze zucchini is by making noodles from it using a noodle maker. Don’t forget to strain the noodles so that moisture gets out.
There is no need for you to blanch them as the spirals are very small. When you want to use them, you can boil or put boiling water over them using a strainer. You can use them in soups or when stir-frying.
One disadvantage of this method is that the texture doesn’t remain fresh. They can also be mushy when cooking and reheating.
- By Dicing or Slicing: You can also dice or slice them before freezing them. The best aspect of this particular method is that you don’t need to blanch it.
When you want to use them, boil them in water for a minute and you are ready to go. To stop the cooking process, strain and put in ice water.
- By Halving: Zucchini can also be preserved by halving it. They are best for baking zucchini boats but make sure you thaw them before putting them in the oven. You can also stuff them if that’s what you like.
- By Pureeing: Making puree of zucchini is another innovative way to increase its shelf life. The green sauce that is obtained by pureeing it can be added to soups, stews and baked goods.
When you make a puree, don’t forget to freeze it. Also, thaw it before using it.
2. Pickling Zucchini
Pickling zucchini is best at places where there is a scarcity of cucumbers. If the zucchini is young, then pickle them in rounds and if large, then in spears or flat slices.
You can also make zucchini relish but make sure you aren’t using bitter ones to make it. To check whether it is bitter or not is by checking the taste first and only then using.
Some other ways include making jam, marmalade, or salsa.
3. Canning Zucchini
There are a lot of canning ways to increase the life of zucchini, such as making a salad, relish, marmalade, salsa, or jam. These all are delicious and healthy recipes that can be made.
4. Dehydrating Zucchini
One other way that has been proving useful for increasing the shelf life of vegetables such as zucchini, carrots and cabbage is dehydration.
You can dehydrate zucchini slices for cooking or make chips by sprinkling some seasoning. You can also make use of a food dehydrator to dehydrate it and increase its life.
They are paired perfectly with soups. Another innovative way of storing it is by making pasta or noodles by dehydrating them with the help of a vegetable peeler. Or you can shred and dry the zucchini and store it in a vacuum-sealed jar. But make sure to use it within a month or two.
5. Fermenting Zucchini
Last not but not least, fermentation is one of the best ways to store zucchini for up to 6 months in the refrigerator.
To ferment zucchini, put zucchini spears into a jar and cover them with brine. Then, cover the jar with the help of a towel and fasten it with a rubber band. Store in a cool and dark place.
Now that you know all the ways to preserve zucchini make sure you implement these in your daily life. These are the major ways that will help you to increase your life, but if you have got any other way, I would love to listen to it in the comment section below. Also, if you have any queries, you can post them in the comment section below and I will respond to them asap.