Vegetables are excellent in the summer. When the warm weather arrives, we start to yearn for all the produce found at farm stands, particularly summer squash, tomatoes, and corn. However, have you ever wondered how to freeze summer squash so you may consume it all year? Discover the most effective method by reading on!
How do you freeze squash? Fortunately, there are many ways to freeze this nutritious vegetable. Here’s how to blanch squash before freezing. It’s also possible to thaw and refreeze other varieties of squash. Follow these tips to get the most out of your frozen squash! Enjoy!
How do You Freeze Squash?
Select a New Squash
Although it might seem obvious, pick the freshest squash you can find. Look for squash that is firmer and free of wrinkles and skin imperfections.
Make sure to wash the squash in warm water and clean any parts that appear to have dirt on them using a soft brush. Squash that has been unclean shouldn’t be frozen.
Cut Up and Dice
Depending on how you typically use squash, slice off the ends and cut the squash into 1/2-inch thick rounds or cubes.
Before you freeze your squash, briefly blanch it to prevent it from becoming mushy. The texture will drastically differ when you defrost and prepare it from uncooked frozen food. To blot: Summer squash slices or cubes should be boiled for one minute. With a slotted spoon, remove the squash from the water, and put it in a dish of ice water for an additional minute to halt the cooking. Squash is drained and transferred to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.
The squash will still have some moisture on it even after you drain it, so you’ll need to flash freeze it to keep it from freezing in one large clump. Flash freezing Squash slices or cubes should be arranged in a single layer on a dry baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Until solid, freeze for an hour.
Keep and Freeze
The squash can be transferred from the parchment paper once it has frozen solid and kept in the freezer for up to 10 months by sliding it off.
How to Store Squash?
It all depends on the kind of squash you brought home regarding how to store it. Acorn and butternut squash, as well as other winter squash, should be stored outside the refrigerator for up to two months (but leftovers should be refrigerated once they have been chopped). On the other hand, summer squash and zucchini should be stored in the refrigerator, where they can survive up to four days. Be careful to make some extra room in your refrigerator before bringing in that abundant zucchini harvest!
Sort out any winter squash with mushy patches or a small ding on the surface after you have harvested it. These should be taken out of long-term storage and eaten immediately or composted.
Once the winter squash has been harvested, clean it with a dry cloth to eliminate any dirt or debris. Cure winter squash in a room with a relative humidity of 80 to 85% and temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees. Make sure there is only one layer of fruit. In some manuals, curing squash outside in the sun is advised. While some locations would love this, others might find it too frigid.
Depending on the variety, winter squash can be kept in a dry environment for up to 6 months. They won’t last as long in environments with higher humidity than the typical kitchen or in colder climates. If you don’t want to spend more money on canning, fermenting, and preserving them, store them this way.
Summer squash has considerably thinner skin and doesn’t require curing, whereas winter squash must. And while you can keep winter squash in its entire state in storage for a long period, the same isn’t always true with summer squash varieties.
Although spaghetti squash may require curing, it may be consumed immediately.
This group includes summer squash, zucchini squash, and other summer-maturing squash. They are easy to come by right off the vine in your garden, but they don’t last as long in dry conditions.
Again, summer squash won’t last very long in dry storage since it will never be a cured squash. Squash from a summer crop has a maximum storage life of two weeks. Even though the squash is still good, it will eventually lose flavor if stored at room temperature.
What to Look for in a Bad Yellow Squash?
The most crucial step in determining whether yellow squash is bad is to give it a good sniff. A decaying squash will have an awful smell and taint the nearby vegetables. It is not ideal if the texture is mushy or rubbery. Peel the exterior and throw it away if it appears to be dry. It’s not good if the interior appears dry or withered.
Here are a few telltale indications of poor yellow squash:
- To determine whether your squash is bad, look for rot symptoms. These might be genuine bugs that are surface-crawling or fly larvae. Additional indications of rotting flesh include soft spots on the skin or shriveled skin. Throw them out if you see these indicators. The flesh could be rotting if the skin is soft. Checking the meat is necessary to make sure it hasn’t gone bad. A fully developed yellow squash has smooth skin and brightly colored skin.
- Although the fruit’s skin may be soft or rough, it won’t rot if you scratch it. It ought to weigh about one pound. A crooked or uneven neck indicates poor health.
- A healthy squash will have bright, silky yellow skin, while a light yellow squash will have a dark beige tinge. If the stem is too big or unconnected, the squash tastes horrible, and mold will grow if the stem is missing.
- Yellow squash should have a beautiful shine and be worm-free; otherwise, it is poor if the skin is mushy or spongy. The inside of the squash should be mushy and rotten, and it should not have wrinkled or soft skin.
- If any of these signs appear, throw the item away and look for another that is still edible.
- Another simple way to tell if yellow squash is bad is to check its size and weight. One must weigh at least one pound to be regarded as normal and healthy, and both yellow squash with straight and crooked necks typically weigh one pound.
- While collected or carried, yellow squash shouldn’t be scratched or dropped. Vegetable skin is incredibly sensitive and, if handled improperly, can become scratched, leaving soft spots.
What is the Shelf Life of Yellow Squash?
Yellow squash has a limited shelf life while being a nutritious veggie. Something will quickly go wrong if you don’t take care of it. Furthermore, the storage conditions have an impact on its shelf life. Yellow squash stays at room temperature for about three to four days, and the refrigerator can help it stay fresh for up to a month. On the other hand, if kept in the freezer, yellow squash has a shelf life of at least three months.
If you enjoy using it, you must learn everything there is to know about yellow squash, including how to keep it from going bad. To avoid using the spoiled yellow squash again, you should be able to distinguish between fresh and spoiled yellow squash.
How Should I Prepare Kabocha Squash?
Cutting these suckers, like butternut or acorn squash, can be difficult for a sharp knife to cut the kabocha squash in half lengthwise. Although the skin of the Kabocha squash can be cut off with a knife, it can be eaten intact. Slice the fruit into wedges after scooping out the flesh and seeds, which should be roasted like pumpkin seeds.
Kabocha squash can be prepared in various ways and used in savory and sweet meals. Try using it in recipes instead of an acorn, butternut, or pumpkin squash. We’ve prepared a selection of the top kabocha squash recipes to get you started.
Kabocha squash should be tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices before being baked to make our Roasted Kabocha and Kale Salad. Kabocha halves make wonderful containers for cooking rich ingredients, as seen in Quinoa Stuffed Squash.
Pumpkin Poblano Casserole, kabocha, and cheese are a match made in heaven, as demonstrated by our rich take on the traditional gratin.
Use a box grater to finely grind raw kabocha to add flavor and texture to cakes, muffins, slices of bread, and sweets. We recommend trying our Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bundt if you enjoy carrot cake with grated carrots.
How Long is Squash Good for?
How long does a spaghetti squash stay good for? How long does butternut squash last? Winter squash comes in a variety of names, shapes, and sizes. Winter squash is distinguishable from summer squash by being harvested later in the year. Due to this, they have developed tough, thick skin that is typically inedible, hard seeds that make them fruit, and the requirement to boil them for a lot longer than their cousins (summer squash).
All types of winter squash are rich in riboflavin, iron, and vitamins A and C. Among the most popular winter squashes are spaghetti, butternut, and acorn varieties. Each of these varieties varies in texture and flavor. This group includes Hubbard, Delicata, Calabaza, Kabocha, and Sugar Pumpkin. The market’s best bets in this category of winter squash are the ones that are hefty and have dry stems. Avoid squash that has striations, fissures, or soft areas. The squash usually has a pale spot on the ground at the bottom. The lustrous-skinned winter squash was picked too soon (the skin should be challenging and matte).
Winter squash does not have a sell-by, use-by, or best before date, so figuring just how long it will last may be challenging. The sell-by date is the day the squash was purchased with an eat-by date.
There are a few things to keep in mind when freezing squash. While it won’t change the nutritional value, it should be cooked and blemish-free before freezing. To avoid sogginess, cook the squash according to the package directions, and don’t let it sit in the fridge for too long. This will ensure that it will stay fresh for at least two months. You can also freeze cooked squash and cook it at a later date.