Q. I planted some summer squash for the first time this year, and I didn’t realize how much squash I would get from a few small plants. Now I have too much summer squash to use up all at once, and I don’t know what to do with it all. My neighbour suggested that I use up some of it in recipes, such as soups and stews, and then freeze the rest of it. It sounds like a good idea, but I’m not sure if summer squash freezes well. I don’t want to have to throw it out later. Can you freeze summer squash?
A. Yes, you can freeze summer squash! It’s actually an excellent way to preserve the nutritional value of the squash. It can be frozen alone, or in recipes. It does take a bit of work to freeze summer squash properly though, so set aside an hour or two to complete the task.
How to Freeze Summer Squash?
First, choose summer squash that are firm and ripe, without any large blemishes. Choosing food at its best is key to getting good results from freezing. Wash fruit free of dirt. Summer squash should be blanched before freezing to preserve colour, texture, and flavour.
To blanch summer squash, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water, and have more ice water on hand. Cut the squash into slices or chunks of about ½ inch thick, and add them to the boiling water in batches. Once the water returns to a boil, blanch for about 3-4 minutes. Remove squash from the water with a slotted spoon or colander basket, and plunge them in the ice water. Remove and lay on paper towels or clean dish cloths to dry. Repeat the process until completed, refreshing the ice water between batches. Pat dry.
Place summer squash slices on a baking tray in a single layer and put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes, or until the slices begin to harden. This stops them from clumping together when frozen. Place the slices into freezer bags. Squeeze out the excess air, then seal the bags. Label and date the bags, then place them in the freezer.
To thaw frozen summer squash, remove the bag from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. Summer squash can also be added directly from frozen to soups and stews.