Freezing zucchini is a great way to preserve the flavors of summer. Here we provide a process to freeze zucchini that has already been grated. You freeze it in amounts appropriate for your recipes, usually in two-cup portions.
This method works very well for dealing with over-grown zucchini. You may have noticed that they are filled with large, unappealing seeds and a watery core. You may be tempted to compost them, but there are still parts of this zucchini you can use. In this video (a Traditional Foods classic made with a video camera designed in the years BC), the focus is on overgrown zucchini, though you can use this method on zucchini of any size.
Grated zucchini, defrosted from your freezer, can be used in an assortment of ways: cake, bread, muffins, and as a thickener for soups and sauces. You will be so glad you went to this trouble when you pull out a couple of packages of grated zucchini to add to a pot of potato chowder on a cold December afternoon.
Freezing Zucchini Steps
Thoroughly wash the zucchini. You will be surprised how much dirt those things can hold on to.
Slice the zucchini in half longways. Slice the halves in half so you are left with long quarters. You have exposed the pulpy, seedy core.
Use a sharp paring knife to slice out this core. Compost it or feed it to the chickens. The seeds in it are too hard for you to digest and no one will be impressed with them in soup or in zucchini bread.
Cut up the zucchini that is left into pieces that your food processor can handle.
Toss the pieces into the processor and grind them down.
Pile your grated zucchini in a colander. Allow it to drain for about thirty minutes. These overgrown squash are carrying a lot of water.
Package 2 cups of pulp in a quart sized zip-lock freezer back. Two cups fits nicely and is the exact measure for many breads and cakes. Press the pulp flat in the bag to get the air out and to establish a nice flat package to freeze.
Freeze these bags on cookie sheets to insure the flatness.
12-24 hours later remove them from the cookie sheets and stack on a shelf in the freezer. Because the packages are flat and of uniform size, they stack well and waste no freezer space.
Fresh and Frozen Zucchini Recipes
To use your frozen zucchini, you simply remove a bag from the freezer and allow it to defrost. It will be ready to add to your recipe and is already measured in two-cup portions.
Zucchini Pancakes: Ingredients
3 cups freshly ground spelt or whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
6 tablespoon coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups ground zucchini
Zucchini Pancake Steps
Measure and mix all the dry ingredients.
Measure and mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Stir but do not overmix. You will see the baking powder begin to work on the batter.
Cook the pancakes on a medium-hot griddle dressed with coconut oil. Form the pancakes to be about three inches across. If you make them larger the outsides may burn before the center is cooked.
You will have pancakes for 4-5 hearty eaters. If any pancakes are left, refrigerate or freeze for another day. Warm them in butter. They make a great snack.
Zucchini Corn Bread
This recipe comes from an older book, Zucchini Cookery by Wilderness House. The recipe has stood the test of time. The addition of the zucchini keeps the corn bread moist long after traditional corn bread would be brick-hard. Honey helps as well. We make this bread with fresh-ground spelt – it adds flavor, body, and is nutrient-dense. This recipe can easily be adapted using a sourdough process. replacing the baking powder and part of the flour with a sourdough sponge.
Zucchini Corn Bread: Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or freshly ground spelt flour
1 1/2 cups organic corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups ground zucchini (use yellow zucchini to fully disguise its presence in the bread)
Zucchini Corn Bread Steps
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl mix all the wet ingredients. If the honey is not runny, warm it a bit to bring it to that point. Otherwise, it will not mix adequately with the other wet ingredients.
Add the zucchini and wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well, but do not over-mix.
Pour the batter into an oiled 9×13 oiled pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. When the bread is browned around the edges and the middle is puffed and browning, it is probably cooked. Check with a long toothpick or sharp knife. Either should come out free of dough.
Serve immediately although this bread does reheat well.