When you’ve worked hard to grow zucchini in your garden and finally reaped a big harvest, you do not want to risk the entire harvest spoiling.
Even if you are not a gardener, if you purchased one too many zucchinis at the grocery store, you do not want your zucchini to go to waste.
You can fire up your natural gas grill and grill the zucchini to perfection or make a casserole with it.
At some point, you’ve got to admit; there is only so much you can do with zucchini, especially if you’ve got a lot of it on hand.
In an effort to save the zucchini, you may refrigerate them. However, 9 times out of 10, you will forget about those zucchinis in the fridge.
This is why knowing how long zucchini lasts in the refrigerator is so essential.
How To Shop For Zucchini
To extend the shelf life of your zucchini, you need to choose the best zucchini.
When shopping for zucchini, choose small firm zucchini that have tender, shiny skin.
Make sure you select zucchini that does not have any blemishes or visible signs of deterioration.
Although it is natural to pick out the biggest zucchini, it’s best to stick to small or medium zucchini.
Large zucchini usually has dull skin, large seeds, and stringy flesh.
How To Store Zucchini
You can store zucchini at room temperature. However, you can also keep it in the fridge.
To store zucchini in the fridge, leave it whole. Do not wash the zucchini.
Place the zucchini into a plastic or paper bag and leave one end of the plastic bag open.
Leaving the bag open allows air circulation and allows the zucchini to breathe.
If you leave the bag closed, the zucchini will produce moisture and cause them to spoil faster.
Place the zucchini into your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. If you have zucchini squash blossom, you must use them as soon as possible.
Squash blossoms are fragile and can spoil very quickly.
If you are storing cooked, chopped, or sliced zucchini, place it into an airtight container before storing it in the fridge.
Set your refrigerator at or below a temperature of 41°F-50°F. Yes, this is a little warmer than most fridges, but zucchini is high maintenance.
Therefore, it is best to store the zucchini in the crisper drawer, in the door, or in the front of the fridge.
All of these spots will be warm enough to preserve the zucchini. Storing zucchini at or below 41°F will shorten the zucchini’s lifespan drastically.
How To Freeze Zucchini
You can also freeze zucchini. However, this involves a lot more work than simply placing it into the fridge.
The zucchini will need to be blanched. Blanching the zucchini restricts enzymatic activities in vegetables, which can create textural changes.
It can also cause the vegetables to lose nutrients. Nevertheless, it is still a great way to store zucchini if you have an excessive amount of zucchini.
To freeze your zucchini, wash it and cut it into 1/2-inch rounds. Boil a large pot of salted water.
Then add the zucchini and cook it for 1-2 minutes until it is tender and has a bright color.
Drain the blanched zucchini in a colander and place it into a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process.
Once the zucchini slices have cooled down, put them into freezer bags. Make sure you portion the zucchini into 1-2 cup portions, or it will not freeze properly.
You can also freeze grated zucchini. However, once the zucchini is defrosted, it will release a lot of moisture.
You can drain the water, use it in soup or stew or toss it in the trash.
Frozen zucchini will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How Long Does Zucchini Last In The Fridge
Zucchini will spoil at some point. However, knowing how long it lasts in the fridge will prevent you from wasting food and money.
Zucchini can last for up to 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
On the other hand, cooked or sliced zucchini will last in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Zucchini will last at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. Meals containing zucchini will also last for 3-4 days.
How To Tell If Zucchini Is Bad
It is very easy to tell if zucchini is rotten. The zucchini’s skin will be noticeably dull and lose its sheen.
Do not eat zucchini that has rotten spots or mold on it.
If there are tiny spots or blemishes on the zucchini, you can cut them off.
However, if there are more spots or mold than zucchini, immediately toss it in the trash.
If the zucchini feels mushy or the skin is shriveled, the zucchini is rotten.
This is a clear indication that the zucchini is old and most of its moisture has evaporated.
If you cut into zucchini and the flesh is stringy or filled with large seeds, it is spoiled.
In addition to this, if you pre-cut your zucchini and notice mold or any discoloration, throw it in the trash.
Even if there is only one moldy slice of zucchini, throw the entire package of zucchini in the garbage.
If your pre-cut zucchini sits in the fridge for more than 4-5 days, discard it.
Even though the zucchini might be safe to consume, there is also a huge chance that it is not safe to eat.
Remember, it’s better to toss the zucchini and be safe than sorry after contracting a case of food poisoning.
Whether you’ve purchased a ton of zucchini from the store or harvested a large amount from your garden, knowing what to do with all of that zucchini can be challenging.
Even if you do not eat zucchini often and only eat it once in a blue moon, you still need to know how long it lasts in the fridge.
Knowing how to long zucchini lasts in the fridge will keep you and your loved ones from eating spoiled zucchini and save you money in the long run.
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