Yes, you can. In fact, shredded zucchini is easy to freeze since you have the option to freeze them raw. With this option, shredded zucchini will retain its freshness for a maximum period of 3 months. If you intend to freeze them longer than that, you can blanch them and enjoy them all year long.
Blanching is the process of scalding vegetables briefly in boiling water then plunging in iced water to stop the cooking process. It helps to stop the enzyme action that leads to quality loss over time hence prolonging the shelf life.
Frozen shredded zucchini become mushy once thawed regardless of how you freeze it. That may limit its use in several recipes like salads that require a crunchy feel. But, it works really well if you incorporate it in recipes like soups, casseroles, breads, and cakes where no one can notice the mushiness.
Here’s how to freeze shredded zucchini:
1. Rinse zucchini under cold, running water rubbing off any dirt or soil with your fingers as a vegetable brush can bruise the tender skin.
2. Shred zucchini using a food processor or a greater depending on what works best for you. For larger zucchini, slice lengthwise and scoop out the seeds first as they tend to be tough then shred the remaining part.
3.Portion the shredded zucchini depending on the amount that will work best for your recipe and put in a zipper bag. This will save on time when preparing your dish in future and also minimize food wastage.
4. Seal the zipper bag and ensure to squeeze out any air inside to maintain the quality and prevent freezer burns
5. Label the bags before putting them in the freezer to prevent over-storage.
6. Put them in the freezer and use within three months.
In case you want to blanch them before freezing to prolong the shelf life, you can do so after step 2 above. Simply boil water, put your shredded zucchini in and let them boil for 1 minute. Drain and put them in ice-cold water for 1 minute then drain and continue with step 3.
How to use frozen shredded zucchini.
If you are using frozen shredded zucchini in bread, cookies or cakes, thawing is necessary so as to drain excess water that builds up during freezing which can mess up your recipe.
Here’s how to go about it
- Allow frozen zucchini to thaw slowly preferably in a colander.
- Let them sit for a while after thawing
- Pat out the rest of the moisture with a paper towel.
- Add zucchini at the last process and avoid over-beating.
For soup, thawing is not necessary just get it from the freezer and toss it in your soup right away and you are good to go.