Q. I have a couple of leftover squash from the basket my neighbor gifted me. I’ve already made squash soup, squash stew, and a squash casserole. I would like to chop up the remaining squash and freeze it to add to recipes during the winter, but I’ve never tried to freeze yellow squash. I’ve heard that the process is complicated, and I really don’t want to get into anything that’s too difficult or time-consuming. I prefer the simplest method possible, without using any complicated techniques. Can you freeze yellow squash?
A. Yes, you can freeze yellow squash! It’s not as simple as just slicing the squash and throwing it in a freezer bag, but the freezing process is not all that time-consuming or complicated either. The blanching technique used is actually quite simple. Put aside an hour or two one weekend afternoon and you’ll be set.
First, choose yellow squash that are firm and ripe, without any large blemishes. The skin of yellow squash is not very thick, so there’s no need to peel the squash first. Choosing food at its best is key to getting good results from freezing. Yellow squash should be blanched before freezing to preserve colour, texture, and flavour.
To blanch yellow 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 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 yellow 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 yellow squash, remove the bag from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw, or add directly from frozen to soups and stews.