There are 3 common ways to store zucchini and yellow squash: freezing after blanching, dehydrating, and refrigerating. If you follow the correct process, the lifespan of your favorite veggies will be successfully lengthened.
Zucchini or you can call it squash, is a type of vegetable well-known for its various health and nutrition benefits. According to many scientists, it contains rich vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds.
Due to the combination of these helpful substances, consuming zucchini can support the human digestive system, reduce blood sugar levels, etc. Besides, since its appearance, zucchini has been applied in folk medicine to cure common diseases.
Knowing the benefits, people consume vast amounts of squash daily. However, sometimes you may wonder how to store zucchini and yellow squash because of their short lifespan. For further information and explanation, the content below would help you a lot.
Best Ways To Store
As many professional chefs state, you should consume zucchini as soon as possible when having it. It is all because squash is among the top vegetables that will spoil immediately after being harvested.
However, it is likely for individuals to own more yellow squash than they can actually eat due to excessive purchase, harvesting, etc.
If you are stuck in a similar case, you might keep zucchini fresh by freezing, dehydrating, or refrigerating.
- Freezing zucchini:
The first optimal solution for you would be freezing your squash with these below steps:
- Wash zucchini curiously with cool water in order to remove harmful substances like dirt, chemical residue, etc., if any.
- Slice squash into half or any size you feel comfortable with while eating. Though, make sure they are the same size because uniform pieces will cook more evenly. That is a pre-blanching step, which is used to stop enzyme activity leading to changes in texture and nutrition of vegetables.
- Boil water with salt in a pot. Plunge zucchini in the pot when it is boiling and leave it there for 2 minutes.
- While boiling zucchini, prepare a bowl full of ice water. After 2 minutes of placing it in hot water, drain and transfer them to the ice bath.
- Wait until zucchini slices are cool, drain them again, and pack them in any types of bags you have. Freezer bags will be ideal.
Conducting these detailed steps would allow you to keep zucchini fresh for up to three months. Besides, some people dislike the blanching squash process before freezing. Therefore, feel free to pack grated raw zucchini with freezer bags.
Click here for more information about the ten best recipes with frozen zucchini.
- Dehydrating zucchini:
If you want to enjoy zucchini after the season, you should try the dehydration method.
- Cut it into thinner slices and blanch.
- Put all the slices into a dehydrator tray and cook at 135℉ for six hours.
- After cooling down for ten minutes, transfer it to an airtight container.
Despite not being as effective as the method mentioned above, it is still considered a suitable one.
- Refrigerating zucchini:
To refrigerate zucchini, you should keep it whole and unwashed. Then, put it in a bag (plastic or paper) with one end open.
With this method, zucchini must be consumed within 1 to 2 weeks. Otherwise, it will wither and lose nutrients.
Can You Store Zucchini In Water?
Although putting zucchini in water is not an advisory method for storing, you can still apply it as a step that belongs to the whole process of maintaining zucchini, as illustrated above.
Simply putting it in water and wishing for a long lifespan will not work because the appearance of water only damages it, much less lengthen zucchini’s life.
Do Zucchini And Squash Need To Be Refrigerated?
There is nothing wrong with refrigerating zucchini and squash. The refrigerator is invented to store and maintain new food by keeping it cold. Cold temperature makes bacteria destroying food act slowly so that the lifespan of food can be lengthened.
Owing to the reason mentioned above, keeping them in your house’s refrigerator must be the first and common way you should think of. However, remember that simply putting zucchini and squash in the fridge will not remarkably contribute to the process of storing. Conduct tips illustrated below to optimize the function of your refrigerator:
- Avoid washing them: This is the top-secret key to maintaining these types of vegetables. It is because being wet is the ideal environment for active bacteria, which boosts its activities tremendously. Some people even take this step so seriously that they pat the two vegetables with a paper towel to make sure they are as dry as possible.
- Place them in a plastic bag: Create some holes poked around the bag to allow airflow and stick everything with the crisper drawer.
Appropriately stored and your vegetables can “live” up to a weekend or even more.
How Long Is Zucchini Good For After You Pick It?
A healthy uncut zucchini placed at room temperature will naturally be damaged and spoiled after two or three days. Yet, don’t be shocked because of this extremely short period. What’s more, remember that two or three days are only for well-chosen zucchini. Here is how to choose a good one:
- Prioritize small-to-medium size zucchini: This sounds quite strange if you are a fresh cook. So what is a small-to-medium size zucchini? You might ask. It should be less than 8 inches long; around 6 inches is ideal. When it comes to large zucchini, it tends to be pulpier because of more moisture and rots more rapidly.
- Vibrant green skin with no wrinkles: Choosing zucchini based on this criteria would allow you to have pretty firm ones. Besides, if possible, you should select the one that contains no shriveling, nicks, cuts, blemishes, and bruises.
Refer to this link to discover the health benefits of these vegetables.
How Can You Tell If A Yellow Squash Has Gone Bad?
The simplest way for you to detect bad yellow squash would be to taste it yourself.
When vegetables are spoiled, the concentration of cucurbitacin will make them slightly or significantly bitter depending on how long it’s gone bad. Anyway, you will certainly feel it when tasting them.
However, people usually do not use this way to figure out spoiled squash since if you accidentally swallow it, your health will be affected.
Secondly, pay attention to the changes in observable factors such as smell and thick and liquid substance to quickly stop consuming spoiled yellow squash. Unfortunately, many fresh cooks ignore these signs because they have relatively low experience and knowledge of squash.