Summer is a delightful time of year for growing summer squash and reaping the rewards. Harvesting and freezing squash for tasty meals during the winter is worth a few minutes effort. Bargain shoppers take advantage of great deals at farmers markets each summer purchasing large quantities for freezing. Don’t feel intimidated if you are not familiar with the freezing process. Let’s examine two methods of how to freeze squash. Learn how to prepare any kind of summer squash for freezing and you will see just how easy it really is.
Freezing Raw Squash
Yes, it is true, you really can freeze raw squash. You do not necessarily have to go to all the trouble of blanching, which is not that difficult. Blanching is of course more time consuming and some people believe that it preserves the flavors better while lasting a bit longer in the freezer.
After cutting to size, place individual slices on cookie sheets laying the pieces out flat so they are not touching. Arrange the cookie sheets in the freezer and allow them to freeze for 24 hours. Scoop the frozen pieces off the pans and place them in plastic bags or use a vacuum sealer for packaging. The neat thing about this method is, you can choose exactly how much squash you want per package because each piece is frozen individually.
Wash and cut into ideal cooking sizes about 1/2 inch in thickness to prepare for blanching. Note, that you have about 30 minutes to complete the blanching process for cut squash slices before they will begin to discolor and turn brown. You’ll need a pan that holds about a gallon of water and a wire vegetable basket or use a vegetable blancher if you have one for each pound and a large bowl filled with ice.
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Freezing Squash Tips
Just like with storing vegetables in general, the truth about freezing squash is that there are a number of variables that determine just how long it can be frozen. Packaging is the biggest determining factor of how long it will keep. Using high quality bags with good seals or a vacuum sealing machine can make your squash last the longest as opposed to storing it in flimsy plastic bags without removing most of the air. Six to nine months is about the average length of time squash can be frozen.
Provide one inch to 1/2 inch of headspace within each package. Seal carefully, label packages with dates and freeze.
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