Do you like to feast on healthy and low-calorie pumpkin dishes? We will tell you how to preserve zucchini for winter at home, so that the fruits remain fresh and tasty as long as possible.
Zucchini can be cooked many appetizing dishes: casserole, zucchini caviar, pancakes, soup, mashed potatoes, cake, etc. But for this, vegetables need to be removed from the garden on time and properly stored in suitable conditions.
When to remove zucchini from the garden for storage
Squashes for winter storage are harvested in the fall before the onset of frost, as the frozen fruits will not last long. Damaged, diseased and over-ripe vegetables are also not suitable for storage, so do not keep them in the garden longer than the deadline.
For the preparation of salads and stewing, you can collect slightly immature zucchini (15-25 cm long). They have a soft skin, and inside there are few small seeds. But for long-term storage of such vegetables are not suitable. Only mature fruits are harvested with thicker and firmer skin and color characteristic of the variety. When lightly tapping the fetus should be heard a thud.
The first harvest of zucchini is harvested approximately 15-20 days after the end of flowering, but such vegetables do not lie for a long time. Squash storage is removed from the garden in the fall
Note: immature zucchini is stored longer than overripe. Therefore, if you do not have the opportunity to collect them on time, it is better to cut off a little in advance when they have still soft stems.
How to collect zucchini for storage
Using a sharp knife or pruning shear, carefully cut the stem. Do not jerk, unscrew or crush the fruits, especially if they are fully ripe and are not well separated from the whips. At the same time, the stalk should be as long as possible (at least 5 cm), with an even cut. If the tails stratify and begin to rot, the fruit will quickly deteriorate.
- Dangerous diseases of pumpkins and zucchini during storageThese diseases of pumpkins and zucchini can slowly destroy the entire crop.
Where and how to store zucchini correctly
Before putting zucchini in storage, they must be thoroughly cleaned from the ground, wiped with a dry cloth and dried in the sun during the day. In no case can the fruit be washed!
Zucchini usually begins to rot with a tail. To prevent the development of rot, before storing the fruit stalk should be lowered into melted paraffin for a few seconds.
To keep the fruit fresh as long as possible, it is necessary to comply with the storage conditions of zucchini. Vegetables should be kept in a dry, dark and relatively cool ventilated area. It is desirable that they are located one by one (do not touch each other). They can be put in boxes, the bottom of which is lined with straw or pine sawdust. Or hang in separate grids.
How to store zucchini in the apartment
At home, zucchini can be stored in the pantry, under the bed or near the door that leads to the balcony. The main thing is that there was dry and dark enough. At the same time near such a storage should not be heating devices.
Squashes are not recommended to be stored on the balcony or in the loggia: they are frozen there
When storing zucchini in an apartment, each fruit is best packed in paper and put in one layer in a wooden box or cardboard box. If you managed to collect an unprecedented harvest, it is quite problematic to wrap each vegetable with paper. In such a situation, you can simply put cardboard partitions between the fruits.
Keeping zucchini in the refrigerator and freezer
A small amount of the crop can be stored in the refrigerator - in the vegetable compartment. At the same time, whole and dried courgettes should be packed in plastic bags, tie and make several holes for ventilation.
In the freezer zucchini stored in the form in which they will be eaten. For example, if you plan to cook vegetable stews in winter, cut the fruits into cubes, and store zucchini for frying in sliced circles of 8-10 mm thick.
Large circles of zucchini can be cut in half
After that, lay the zucchini on a pallet and send in the freezer for several hours. Then remove the frozen slices, put them in bags and return to the freezer.
How to store zucchini for the winter in the cellar
In the cellar or basement in which the zucchini is stored, the air temperature should be from 4 to 10 ° C, and the humidity should be about 80%. If the store is too wet, putrefactive bacteria will multiply in the fruit. Therefore, do not forget to regularly air the room. Also, hang a thermometer to control the temperature.
Squashes can be stored on shelves that are covered with straw. The fruits are laid in rows so that they do not touch each other. If the size of the cellar does not allow to fit the entire harvest, put one vegetable in a nylon stocking and hang it from the ceiling.
Varieties of zucchini for long-term storage in winter
Squashes with thin skins are poorly stored, even if you create ideal conditions for them. Therefore, if you want to eat vegetables from your garden before spring, give preference to large fruits (30-45 cm long) with thick skin and a small amount of seeds.
These characteristics are endowed with zucchini varieties Festival, Gribovsky, Gold Cup, Aeronaut, Arlika, Asseset F1, Aral F1, Yellow-fruited. Quand, Marquise, Diamond, Gray, Tristan.
If the zucchini has not reached the desired size, do not lay it in storage, but use it in the fall to prepare tasty dishes.
How many are kept zucchini
Squash later varieties can be stored for 3 to 5 months. However, over time, the skin of the fruit thickens, the seeds begin to germinate, the flesh becomes loose and bitter. In the spring, such zucchini is no longer suitable for human consumption. Closer to March, only frozen vegetables remain tasty.
Whatever way you choose to store zucchini, regularly check the storage and immediately remove the damaged and rotten vegetables until the infection has spread to healthy ones.