Squash All Year Long
The first summer I grew squash in my garden I was absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of squash I harvested. I had no idea what to do with it all! Fortunately, my Grandpa was able to teach me how to freeze my squash so I could enjoy it all year long.
This article will walk you through the steps to freeze your summer squash so you may enjoy it throughout the year. I have also included a delicious recipe for Summer Squash Bread which is a wonderful way to use your frozen squash.
What Is Summer Squash?
Summer squash has a soft, edible rind and seeds. Basic summer squash varieties include zucchini, yellow squash (also called straight neck or crookneck) and scallop squash (also called patty pan)
Summer Squash got it's name from a time before produce was available all year round at the supermarket. Both Summer Squash and Winter Squash are harvested in summer and early autumn but one variety is stays good for many months while the other does not.
Summer Squash, with it's soft rind does not keep for long once the summer is over. Winter Squash, on the other hand, has a hard rind and can be stored in a cool basement and eaten well into the winter.
Of course, with modern appliances, you can now freeze your summer squash so that you can enjoy it all year long as well!
Freezing squash is a simple process once you get the hang of it. Follow the steps listed here and you will soon have plenty of squash stored away for a cold winter day.
First of all, you need the right supplies:
a big pot for boiling water, a bowl of ice water, Ziplock bags or a foodsaver system, a cutting board & a knife.
1. Slice the squash - cut 1/2 inch slices
2. Boil Water & Prepare the ice water. Set a pot of water on the stove to boil. While you wait, fill a large bowl with water and ice.
Fruits and vegetables contain bacteria and enzymes that will eventually break down nutrients and change the color, taste and texture of frozen food. Blanching the produce before freezing will destroy the enzymes.
3. Blanche the squash for 3 minutes - place squash slices in boiling water and cover. Remove them promptly at the 3 minute mark.
4. Cool The Squash - remove the squash from the boiling water and place in the bowl of ice water. Leave them in the water for around 5 minutes or until they are cool to the touch. It is important to cool the squash quickly to prevent overcooking. Drain thoroughly.
5. Bag The Squash. For best results, do not overfill the bag and get as much air out as you can before placing in the freezer. I used the Gallon size Ziplock freezer bags for my first batch of frozen squash and they worked pretty well but it was difficult to get excess air out. I recently purchased a FoodSaver vacuum sealer and have loved it! (see more below)
Summer Squash Bread
This recipe is a delicious way to use up some of that excess summer squash. It works well with frozen squash too so that you can enjoy it anytime!
This recipe can be made using yellow squash or zucchini. Try different squash varieties to see how the flavor changes.
Instead of loaf pans you can also use a 9x13 baking pan or make muffins using a cupcake pan. Muffins will only need to be baked for 20-30 minutes. I highly recommend checking at the 20 minute mark to determine if they are done.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 5 min
2 Loaves - 20 Slices
Squash Bread Ingredients
- 2 Cups Summer Squash, shredded
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 3 Eggs, beaten
- 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 3 Cups Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)
- Grease 2 loaf pans
- Shred squash
- Beat eggs in a large bowl using an electric mixer.
- Beat in the sugar, oil and vanilla
- Mix in the baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour
- Fold in the squash
- Transfer mixture to loaf pans
- Bake loaves together for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean
Sarah Switalski (author) from Iowa on September 04, 2014:
Glad to help Mel! Squash freezes wonderfully if you do it right! Yes, always good to have on hand :)
Melody Lassalle from California on September 04, 2014:
I had no idea you cook freeze uncooked squash. I've blanched vegetables before but not fruit. I could have really used this last week when someone bought me several different summer squashes from the Farmer's Market. I had it coming out of my ears. I will have to try this. It's always good to have some squash handy. Thanks for the tip!
Sarah Switalski (author) from Iowa on September 01, 2014:
Thank you smine27. Enjoy!
Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on September 01, 2014:
What a delicious recipe. Can't wait to try it out as I love squash.
Sarah Switalski (author) from Iowa on August 29, 2014:
Happy to help aka-rms :)
Robin S from USA on August 29, 2014:
Thanks for the lesson and the recipe too!
Sarah Switalski (author) from Iowa on August 28, 2014:
Scott - it's delicious! :)
Glad to be of help billybuc! I had a good year for squash too. I wish my other crops had fared as well but it's been a strange summer in the midwest.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2014:
Very helpful information. We have squash for sure. This has been one of the best summers for growing in recent memory, so this will come in handy. Thank you.
Scott A McCray on August 23, 2014:
Sarah Switalski (author) from Iowa on August 21, 2014:
I was really scared of it last year and decided not to blanch my carrots before freezing. It was a huge mistake! This year I've been blanching and freezing squash at least once a week since July which is why I bought the food saver to help with freezing! I feel like an old pro at blanching now :)
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on August 21, 2014:
How practical! An easy explanation of freezing summer squash. Terrific explanation of "blanching" too. When I was a young mother it took me almost a year to find out what the heck blanching meant
Nathalie Roy from France (Canadian expat) on August 21, 2014:
sounds easy enough and the squash bread looks yummy