What and how to store zucchini for a long time - we create ideal conditions
Zucchini appeared in Europe after the discovery of the New World in the 16th century. They were first brought to Russia from Turkey three centuries later. Mexicans ate exclusively zucchini seeds, and only Italians in the 19th century discovered the real taste of this vegetable to the whole world. It became popular in cooking and is still in demand today.
Zucchini are used for soups, cereals, baby food, vegetable stews and casseroles, side dishes for main dishes all year round. If you choose the right way to store the fruit, you can save the freshness and benefits of the product until spring.
The content of the article
Choosing fruits for winter storage
First, decide on a storage method:
- in the cellar;
- in a refrigerator.
For these types of storage, the varieties Golden Cup, Festival, Gribovsky are suitable. Their fruits are distinguished by a dense skin, dryish pulp.
Attention... For storage, choose only ripe, not overripe and undamaged fruits with a stalk and hard skin. Make sure there are no signs of freezing and rotting.
Let the harvested zucchini sit in the sun to harden the skin. Shake them off the ground or wipe them with a dry cloth, put them in boxes. Vegetables should not be in contact with each other. To avoid this, wrap each one in paper. You can pre-fill the box with straw or sawdust.
The storage area should be dark, cool and clean. The sun's rays and high temperatures cause premature germination of seeds inside the fruit, mold and rodents will prevent zucchini from being stored for a long time.
We select a convenient way
In the refrigerator, the zucchini is kept whole in the vegetable compartment. This storage method is also suitable for early varieties. Wrap each fruit in paper or a plastic bag. Pre-make holes in the package so that moisture does not accumulate and the zucchini does not start to rot.
Attention... Avocados, pears, peppers, tomatoes, apples and melons are unwanted neighbors for squash. They release ethylene, which decreases the shelf life of the crop.
In a cellar with a humidity of 80-85% and a temperature of +4 to +10 degrees, it is possible to keep the harvest until spring. To do this, check that there is no mold or rodents in the basement. Maintain optimal temperature and humidity. Ventilate if necessary.
Arrange the fruits so that they do not touch, on racks, shelves, in boxes. Hang from the ceiling of the cellar in stockings or nets.
Protect crops from the spread of disease and moisture:
- spread dry straw;
- make partitions of thick cardboard between the zucchini;
- wrap each fruit in wax paper.
There are several options for storing zucchini in an apartment:
- in boxes that can be placed under the bed, on a heated balcony, in a closet;
- spread in one layer on sawdust or straw under the bed.
Find storage methods that are convenient for you. Check once every 10-14 days the condition of the fruit, especially the tail. Maintain the optimum temperature (+4 degrees) and humidity in the cellar or apartment. When performing these simple manipulations, you will save the harvest until spring.
In the refrigerator on a vegetable shelf, zucchini can withstand storage for 2-3 months. In the freezer, the shelf life of zucchini is increased to six months.
Zucchini at home can be stored not only as a whole. There are other ways that we will now look at.
Drying is a simple, convenient, financially beneficial method in which the vitamin and taste qualities of the vegetable are not lost. All varieties of zucchini are suitable for her.
Choose young fruits that have not yet set seeds, or peel them off. Spread the washed, peeled, chopped vegetables at a distance of 5-10 mm from each other or string them on a strong thread.
reference... Before drying, zucchini can be blanched in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. After heat treatment, the pieces are quickly cooled under running cold water or in a container with ice and remove excess moisture with paper napkins (towels).
- sunny-air - on a sieve in direct sunlight, on a string in a well-ventilated, warm room or outside for 3-4 days;
- in an oven preheated to 50 degrees - on a baking sheet for 6-7 hours;
- in an electric dryer at a temperature of 45-50 degrees - on a wire rack for 4-5 hours.
Zucchini are dried until the moisture has completely evaporated, while they lose up to 90% of their weight. The degree of readiness of zucchini is determined by their appearance after cooling. The pieces darken, wrinkle, become elastic.
The resulting dried product is stored closed in glass, plastic jars or bags, in a dark place.
Attention... When drying outdoors, protect vegetables with a net from flies and other insects.
Before adding to dishes, dried zucchini can be soaked in warm water for 20-30 minutes so that they return to their original shape. But this is not necessary, because during stewing and cooking it will happen without your participation. Porridge, vegetable stew, soup, vegetable casserole, scrambled eggs - an incomplete list of dishes that you can cook with this product.
Freezing is a modern, convenient way of storing vegetables and fruits. Consider how to properly freeze zucchini.
There are several options:
- In pieces (cubes, sticks).
- Chopped on a grater.
Whichever method you choose, wash and dry the vegetables thoroughly.
Put the zucchini, cut into rings, in one layer on a cutting board, flat plate or tray, and put in the freezer for 2-3 hours. After that, put the frozen pieces in bags or containers and put them in the freezer for storage. They are added to a vegetable casserole, an omelet, fried in a pan with garlic and dill.
Freeze cubes and sticks, grated zucchini immediately in containers or bags. From the pieces, you will get the perfect semi-finished product for vegetable stews, soups, cereals. After defrosting grated vegetables, you can bake pancakes and pancakes.
Freeze squash puree for feeding the baby in plastic jars or molds. For ease of use, try to choose small forms (1 time).
Preservation is a laborious, but excellent method in terms of results and shelf life. After heat treatment, workpieces are stored in sterile jars from one to three years. Zucchini do not have a distinct taste of their own. Preservation with salt, vinegar, spices helps to acquire it.
For this method of harvesting vegetables for the winter, both early and late varieties are suitable. Fresh fruits are taken for processing without traces of rotting and mold. In jars for the winter from zucchini, you can close salads, caviar, lecho, salted or pickled rings or slices of zucchini.
Delicious recipes for the winter
Let's take a closer look at what dishes can be made from zucchini.
You will need:
- zucchini - 5 kg;
- bitter pepper - 2 pcs.;
- garlic - 15 cloves;
- dill - 500 g;
- parsley - 500 g;
- carrots - 10 pcs.
- salt - 4 tablespoons;
- sugar - 4 tablespoons;
- vinegar 9% - 200 g;
- water - 2 l.
Cut the courgettes into 2x2 cm cubes. Grate the carrots on a coarse grater.Pepper to clear of seeds and cut into rings. Chop the herbs and garlic. Put everything in a saucepan and cover with cold marinade. Put on fire and boil for 20 minutes. Arrange in sterile jars and close.
- 3 kg of zucchini;
- 1 kg of carrots;
- 1 kg of onions;
- 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste;
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- vegetable oil;
Zucchini, carrots, onions, peel, cut and fry separately. Cool and mince. Put in one container, simmer, stirring constantly, over low heat for 40 minutes. Add tomato paste, vinegar, salt to taste 20 minutes after the start of stewing. Put the prepared caviar in sterile jars and close.
Adjika from zucchini
You will need:
- 3 kg of peeled zucchini;
- 500 g carrots;
- 500 g sweet pepper;
- 1.5 kg tomato;
- 5 heads of garlic;
- 100 g sugar;
- 2 tbsp. l. salt;
- 2 tbsp. l. ground red pepper;
- 100 ml vinegar;
- 200 g of vegetable oil.
Grind washed vegetables with a blender or mince, add pepper, salt, sugar, vegetable oil. Cook for 35-40 minutes. Add chopped garlic and vinegar five minutes before cooking. Arrange in banks, close.
If vegetables start to spoil
With long-term storage in the refrigerator, apartment, cellar, zucchini begin to deteriorate. If you notice signs of rotting on a vegetable, immediately remove it from storage so that the entire crop is not infected. Cut off the rotten area and use this zucchini first. Strongly spoiled and moldy vegetables must not be eaten!
How to store zucchini - housewives' secrets
For storage in a cellar, apartment, do not use plastic bags. Ventilate the room, periodically turn the zucchini from side to side. This will help extend their shelf life.
Dip the tail of the squash in hot paraffin before storing. This will save the fruit from rotting, which begins precisely from the stalk.
For freezing, make small portions of the product: this is more convenient to place vegetables in the freezer and easier to use later.
Leave hot sealed cans with conservation until they cool completely in a warm place upside down, covered with a blanket. Start trying the blanks in 1-2 months, when the dish acquires a rich bright taste.
Important... Whichever method of harvesting you use, in case of kidney problems, stomach ulcers, impaired excretion of potassium from the body, use zucchini with caution.
Zucchini is a healthy, tasty vegetable. Salads, caviar, adjika prepared in jars will serve as a decoration for your table all winter. In this article, we have offered you other options for storing crops in the winter at home. Choose the one that suits you best.
But remember that during freezing, drying, storage as a whole, the vitamin and mineral composition remains unchanged, and during heat treatment, some of the useful properties are lost. Do not overexpose unprocessed vegetables in storage. Use the summer harvest actively before it loses its appearance and useful qualities.