The most common squash, and the closest to zucchini in the Middle East is kousa which literally translates as squash in English.
This is the kind of squash I have here in Jordan, but squash will freeze in just the same way regardless of variety.
One of the most common uses for squash is to stuff them with a meat and rice mixture.
Cooked most often in tomato or a yogurt sauce, these parcels of vegetables, rice, and meat are irresistable!
I love kousa especially when cooked with rolled stuffed grape leaves and lamb. Yum!
That recipe is for another time.
Can You Freeze Zucchini?
The short answer is YES!
But do it the right way so that you end up with the best possible quality when thawed.
Once fresh zucchini and other vegetables are picked they produce enzymes that cause them to start to fade in color and taste, and worst of all nutrients.
To help prevent the zucchini from these losses, it’s best to freeze them.
But before you that you must blanch the zucchini, which simply means giving them a quick bath in boiling water.
This process stops the enzymes dead in their tracks from doing their job.
It also brightens the color, cleans the vegetables of any unwanted debris, and keeps the nutrient levels high.
Another option is to freeze cooked zucchini.
Simply cut up squash, place it on a tray with a little oil and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes, remove from the oven and cool completely.
Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet, then once frozen transfer to freezer bags.
How to Freeze Zucchini
Starting with fresh zucchini, decide how you most often use your squash and how it makes most sense to chop it before freezing.
Once you have your zucchini slices, using a large pot, fill with water.
Get a bowl of ice water ready, and line a plate with some paper towels for drying after blanching.
Wash zucchini, and slice into pieces, or grate using a grater or food processor.
Place pot of water over high heat and bring water to a boil.
Once water is boiling place the squash into the water.
Depending on how much squash you are working with you may have to do this in batches.
Using a slotted spoon fish out the zucchini pieces after 1 to 3 minutes, and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process after which allow squash to drain in a colander.
Once you have allowed the zucchini to drain, place the blanched pieces on paper towels, and pat dry.
It’s important that things going in the freezer are as dry as possible, so as to help avoid crystallization.
Place the chopped blanched and dried zucchini on a baking tray, and put the zucchini in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours, or until solid.
Remove from the tray and place in freezer bags, filling them about ¾ of the way.
As you are sealing the bags, try and push as much air out as possible before storing for a longer period, this will help prevent freezer burn.
Freeze for up to one year.
Next time you are craving zucchini bread, get your frozen shredded zucchini out of the freezer and go to town!