Preparing Freeze Dried Squash Dishes Is Commonplace In My House
Two of the main veggies I grow every year are zucchini and yellow squash. And, every year, my humble backyard vegetable garden produces much more than my family can eat. Thus, I freeze dry most of the harvest.
- My family can’t eat everything. And, even if we tried, we would get very tired of it eventually.
- Freezing zucchini and yellow squash destroys the texture. After thawing, it becomes a mushy mess.
- Dehydrating squash turns it into hard chips that do not rehydrate well. They are very chewy and stay tough – even when cooked.
- Freeze drying my squash retains its flavor, shape, and texture – allowing it to be rehydrated – in water or an appropriate broth – creating an almost exact copy of its original fresh self. Even without rehydrating, freeze dried zucchini and yellow squash make great additions to raw salads and cooked dishes. My Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer makes this process carefree and simple – no muss – no fuss.
So, Here’s The Freeze Drying “How-To”…
- Slice the squash into “chip sizes” – the thinner the better. I like to keep mine less than a quarter inch thick.
- Lay everything out in the freeze dryer trays – allowing some air space – here and there – to facilitate the freeze drying process.
- Load the trays into the Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer.
- Follow the Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer Operation guidelines – press “start”, select “non-liquid”, select “non-frozen”, make sure the drain valve is closed, and press “continue.”
That’s all there is to it!
The Freeze Drying Process Is Complete
It takes about 24 hours to entirely freeze dry squash – give or take a few hours. But, break open a couple of them when removing the trays to make sure they are thoroughly freeze dried – from top to bottom – inside and out. If not, stick ‘em back into the freeze dryer for a couple more hours of “final dry.”
I’m a big cheerleader of using Mason jars to store my produce. And, this case is no exception.
My freeze dried squash goes into Mason jars – either quart sized or half-gallon sized – along with an oxygen absorber. Then, I trot out my Foodsaver Vacuum System and my Foodsaver Mason jar attachment to pull a tight vacuum on the jars.
NOTE: Don’t forget to label the jars – so you know what’s in them – and the date they were processed!
Now, the freeze dried squash can stay on the shelf for up to 25 years. But, they usually don’t last that long. Most of our jars of squash don’t make it through the winter because they are constantly added to daily meals throughout the garden “off season.”
Rehydration Is Easy
Nothin’ to it! Just soak the freeze dried squash in water – or chicken broth – or beef broth – for a couple of hours and it springs back into its original, fresh form. Pat the squash dry with paper towels and utilize it however you want.
Typically, though, I skip the “water soaking” step and just add them “as is” to a raw salad. Or, I stick them into just about all of my stews, sautés, and stir fries – because, the squash will readily absorb the flavor of the dish being created. And, boy, does this freeze dried squash – be it zucchini or yellow squash – add a whole bunch of nutrition to any meal!
End Of Story
And, there you have it. Another triumph for my cherished Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer – keeping our family in good supply of nutritious veggies straight from our garden to our tables.
Can you see how utilizing a freeze dryer is also an advantage for anyone getting the bulk of their vegetables and fruits from the grocery store? Wait for a phenomenal sale, buy in bulk, and freeze dry to your heart’s content!
I can’t see how anyone can survive without this wonderful machine. Especially, since it’ll pay for itself in a very short time – because, garbage created by food spoilage will be a thing of the past – meaning, you’ll save a ton of cash. I know I have!
What are your thoughts on the freeze drying process? What are some of the things you would like to freeze dry? I’d like to hear not only from newbies – but, also veterans of the freeze drying community!
Comments and emails are welcome.