The Real Reason You Should Never Freeze Raw Zucchini

If you've ever grown zucchini or have a friend or family member who is a gardener, then you likely know that this plant signifies abundance when it comes time to harvest. You may have had someone give you gifts of zucchini because they had so many of them and couldn't keep up with making more zucchini-centered recipes

Zucchini is a summer crop that has a peak season from May-August, but may continue growing through early fall, depending on the region and climate. This summer vegetable is versatile and is eaten both in savory dishes and sweet ones — the most known is zucchini bread, a classic that starts appearing on the kitchen counter in late summer.

Because this vegetable can produce lots of zucchini during the summer, it's possible that after making a variety of recipes you've pondered other ways to preserve this veggie to enjoy when zucchini is no longer in season and growing in the garden.

Here's the cooking technique to use to freeze zucchini

The question often arises: Can you freeze zucchini? The good news is yes, you can freeze it — but it's not as straightforward as putting the entire vegetable in the freezer. If you do, it will become too watery and limp once it's thawed, according to the Food Network. This is the real reason you can't directly toss zucchini into the freezer. But if you implement a cooking technique, then you can freeze and store this summer squash to savor it in other seasons.

The Food Network recommends chopping zucchini and then blanching it before putting it in the freezer. Blanching before freezing will help maintain the color and texture. According to Epicurious, "Blanching stops enzyme activity in the vegetables, which causes them to change texture and lose nutrients—and blanching also keeps the squash's color vibrant."

This is great news because you make delicious zucchini bread in the winter to remind you of the lazy days of summer. But you'll also want to plan to use the zucchini within a few month's time, since frozen zucchini typically lasts up to three months based on recommendations from Epicurious. So now you know how to extend the season of zucchini when you get too much of it during the summer.