How to Identify and Resolve Common Issues ?
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Frozen squash can be taken out of the freezer later when you are ready to cook them. If you plan on making fried squash from the freezer, the technique is the same, except you can flour them before freezing if you prefer.
Place squash pieces in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm. Place frozen zucchini pieces into a large gallon-sized ziplock bag and store for up to 3-4 months in the freezer.
To make sure your squash doesn`t get mushy, the key is to lightly blanch it before you freeze it. If you freeze it raw, the texture will be way off when you thaw and cook it.
CAN YOU FRY SQUASH THAT HAS BEEN FROZEN? Squash that has been previously frozen will have a rather high water content. If you intend to fry squash that`s come from the freezer, make sure it is completely thawed and you might even consider patting it dry with a paper towel to remove any excess water.
An alternative method is to cook the squash first – using your favorite recipe for a zucchini casserole, or sauteed squash, etc., and then simply freeze the cooked squash! Of course, it does take up more room in your freezer.
More good news: It does fine whether frozen raw or cooked. And the fact that yours has been cut into small chunks is no problem. You can freeze raw butternut squash pieces in the same way you would freeze berries: Place them on a baking sheet, spaced out so they don`t touch each other, and freeze until very firm.
Carefully slice each squash into slices that are about 1/4 inch thick. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Then carefully drop the squash into the pot and blanch for 2-3 minutes max. While the squash is in the boiling water, go ahead and prepare your freezer bags to put the squash in to freeze.
Properly packaged and frozen, squash should maintain high quality for approximately 10 months in the freezer.
I don`t recommend freezing already cooked fried zucchini. However, you can freeze before frying. Blanche sliced zucchini in boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes. Let dry completely, then coat the zucchini in the flour/egg/breadcrumbs and arrange on a baking sheet.
Can You Freeze Zucchini Without Blanching It? Yes, you can freeze zucchini without blanching it! Blanching vegetables before you freeze them is thought to deactivate their enzymes, which could potentially cause discoloration or make vegetables mushy.
Slice the squash into manageable chunks (roughly 1-inch cubes). Lay out the diced squash on a baking sheet in a single layer, then place it in the freezer for about an hour, or until frozen. Transfer the squash to a plastic bag, and store in the freezer for up to a year.
Stove Top or Deep Fryer Directions
PREHEAT vegetable oil to 350°F (sufficient amount to cover squash). CAREFULLY PLACE 1/2 package (14 oz.) frozen squash into preheated oil. COOK 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.
Let the zucchini chill for 2 minutes in the ice water bath, then drain. Blot the zucchini dry with a paper towel and place on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Freeze the zucchini for 1-2 hours. Once they`re frozen, transfer them to a freezer safe storage bag and freeze for several months.
Wash the squash and cut it into ½-inch slices. Water blanch the squash for 3 minutes. Cool the squash in ice water, drain, and package it in rigid freezer containers. Leave ½ inch of headspace before sealing and freezing.
The optimal way to freeze butternut squash is to peel the squash, remove its seeds and cut it up into 1-inch cubes. Spread cubes in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for one hour.
Once the water returns to a boil, blanch squash for 3 minutes (4 minutes at elevations greater than 3,500 feet). After 3 minutes, remove the squash, using the basket or colander, and plunge pieces into cold water or ice water.
Blanch the squash by steaming or boiling them for about 3 to 5 minutes (less time if grated). I use an inexpensive metal steamer, but you can also just plop it straight into boiling water. This destroys the enzymes and bacteria that would, over time, remove nutrients and flavor from the squash.
Except for onions and peppers, which you can freeze raw, you should blanch or fully cook vegetables before freezing. Blanching vegetables, or dunking them into boiling water, stops the enzymes that cause discoloration and turn frozen produce mushy. Raw fruit, on the other hand, freezes just fine.
Freezing cooked squash:
To prepare squash for freezing, roast, boil or steam it until the flesh softens. Leave cooked squash in chunks or mash it. Place in airtight containers and freeze for up to 10 to 12 months.
Squash store best at an even 50°F in a dark place. This could be a cool and dark shelf, cabinet, or drawer in the kitchen, pantry, or closet. They also store well in a warmer section of the root cellar such as on the top shelf.
Store in the fridge, properly wrapped
To store zucchini in the fridge, keep the squash whole, dry and unwashed. Store them in a plastic or paper bag with one end open to encourage air circulation, and pop them in the refrigerator crisper drawer.
While freezing zucchini is a great way to extend its life, it`s not as simple as just popping a few squash into your freezer. Raw zucchini gets weepy and watery after thawing. To effectively save it, you should chop and blanch it first. This helps set the texture and color and makes it last longer.
If you don`t blanch vegetables before freezing them, those enzymes will still be at work (albeit slowly), and in the end, you get food that has lost its vibrant color and may even develop spots. Unblanched veggies can have weird off-flavors, too, leaving you with food that`s wholly unappealing.