Zucchini: How to Eat It, Store It, and Preserve It

Zucchini: How to Eat It, Store It, and Preserve It

It’s squash season! That means an abundance of zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan, as well as other delicious varieties. Regardless of how many varieties you enjoy, it can be challenging to figure out what in the world to do with all this goodness.

Here are some of our favorite recipes, along with ideas for increasing the shelf life of summer squash.

This post is sponsored by Garden Spot Vegetable Farm. Located in Princeville, Illinois, owner, Jim Buckley and his family, cultivate 34 acres of vegetables and 375 fruit trees. Garden Spot is a no-spray farm, offering a variety of CSA packages. Check their Facebook page for current programs and options for available produce.

Commonly Asked Questions

How do I store squash?

On the counter, it will generally last 3-5 days. Storing it in the refrigerator will extend the shelf life by 2-3 days.

How do I know when squash goes bad?

It will be softer. The skin will become pitted. You may see white liquid oozing out. All of these are signs that your squash now belongs in the compost pile.

Can I eat squash raw?

Absolutely! And we love it that way. Just slice and eat it plain. You can also drizzle it with some flavored balsamic vinegar or dip it in hummus.

Can I freeze squash?

Yes, you can freeze it. Use one of these two methods.

Slice it evenly and then flash freeze on baking sheets before moving it to a labelled freezer bag for long-term storage. This is known as flash freezing and I give you step-by-step instructions here.

Shred it and fill quart freezer bags with either 2 or 4 cup increments of shredded squash. Freeze flat and then store in the freezer for up to six months.

For a step-by-step tutorial on organizing your freezer, watch this freezer video from our YouTube channel.

Can I dehydrate squash?

Yes, you can. Just slice in even rounds and evenly space it on the dehydrator tray. Dehydrate it at 135 degrees for 6-8 hours or until dry and crisp. (If you need step-by-step instructions on using your microwave to dehydrate herbs and other leafy vegetables, read this post.)

Recipes

Zucchini Chips in the Air Fryer

I won an air fryer a few years ago at a local health fair. Although I truly have enjoyed using it, my boys are the ones who have branched out, trying new things in the fryer and reminding me to use it for more recipes. The 15 year old sous chef and I created this recipe a couple of years ago when brainstorming ways to create a zucchini chip without adding oil. The result was this crisp, lightly breaded chip.

Baked Zucchini Casserole

The 15 year old sous chef gets all the props for this recipe. It was purely his creation. One night, when I was exhausted and out of supper ideas, he grabbed some leftover homemade marinara sauce, layered it in a dish much like lasagna, and topped it with nutritional yeast. After popping it into the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, supper was served! This recipe is seriously easy and yet tastes great.

Zucchini Mac and Cheese

Who doesn’t like all American comfort food? However, carbs have fallen out of favor and folks are looking for ways to still eat their mac and cheese and not suffer an overload of calories, fat, and salt. This is the perfect solution! My version of mac and cheese features zucchini instead of noodles and a plant-based sauce in lieu of the traditional cheese. It’s a win-win!

Oven Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness. We adore them and often serve two huge pans of an assortment of roasted vegetables along with a salad and fruit for supper. Root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and parsnips work well. However, summer squash, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are equally yummy. Serve them over quinoa or rice for a complete meal. Use your imagination and you’ll be surprised at how quickly and simply you can rustle up supper for a hungry crew by just using a pan and about 40 minutes cooking time.

Zucchini Fritters

My kids place zucchini fritters firmly in the “savory pancake” category. We don’t just view pancakes as a sweet breakfast treat. Instead, we like to experiment with adding savory flavors, creating a surprising (yet delicious) twist on a traditional morning favorite. Serve zucchini fritters topped with salsa or another sauce of your choice.

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