Summer is in full swing, and that means enjoying the bounty of the season, including the yellow squash! Yellow squash is a type of squash that is often used in cooking. It is best used in stews and soups because the vegetables make the broth richer. From the skin to the flesh, every part of the yellow squash is edible. Although yellow squash can be enjoyed all year round, how do you preserve the veg for long-term storage? Can you freeze yellow squash?
Yellow squash can be frozen as long as the squash is properly prepared and packaged. This applies to fresh, blanched or cooked yellow squash! Yellow squash has an extremely short shelf life. It only keeps for a week in the fridge. This is because the yellow squash contains enzymes that decompose quickly at room temperature.
By freezing the vegetables, the yellow squash could be kept for up to 3 months. However, we recommend consuming the yellow squash as soon as possible for optimal flavor. Even if you freeze the yellow squash, there’s no guarantee the enzymes won’t break down and cause flavor or texture changes. Storing the squash could also decrease its nutrient content.
There are two ways to prepare yellow squash for freezing. You can freeze the yellow squash either raw or blanched. While it’s much easier to freeze the yellow squash without cooking it, blanching the vegetable will extend its shelf life. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to freeze yellow squash:
How to freeze yellow squash?
If you are freezing whole and uncooked yellow squash, we do not recommend cutting the squash into chunks before freezing. The rind protects the yellow squash from freezer burn and preserves its natural texture and/or flavor.
First, wash the yellow pumpkin under running water. Remove any sticky bits or residue, then pat dry with paper towels. Take a large resealable plastic bag and place the yellow squash inside. Squeeze as much air as possible before sealing, then write the storage date on the label. Stick the squash in the freezer and you’re done.
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If you choose to blanch the yellow squash first before freezing, wash the squash and pat dry with paper towels. On a cutting board, slice the ends of the yellow squash, about ¼ inch on each end. Heat a pot of water on the stove on high, add the yellow squash and blanch for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes of blanching, scoop the yellow squash out of the boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water. This will keep the heat from cooking the yellow squash through. Leave the yellow squash fully submerged in ice water for about 5 minutes. Drain the water with a strainer and pat the yellow squash dry with paper towels. Finally, pack the yellow squash in a resealable plastic bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing and allowing the squash to stick in the freezer.
How do you thaw frozen yellow squash?
To thaw frozen yellow squash, all you need to do is move the container from the freezer to the fridge. Allow the yellow squash to thaw for several hours to overnight. Do not thaw the squash at room temperature. The drastic change in temperature will change the texture of the yellow squash!
Slow thawing is key to preserving the original flavor and texture of the yellow squash. Once the yellow squash is soft enough to cut, simply slice it according to the cut you want and it’s ready to cook. Reheating the yellow squash is not necessary unless the squash has been cooked in stews or soups. Just add the thawed yellow squash halfway through cooking.
Yellow squash might be a delicate vegetable to freeze, but as long as you prepare and package the squash properly, it will last in the freezer for months! Now that you know how to freeze yellow squash, why not keep a supply of this healthy vegetable for future meals?