Short-term Storage of Summer Squash

Summer squash grows to maturity quickly, filling up refrigerator produce drawers in no time. Having a plan on how to store it will save you the disappointment of throwing away rotten squash.


Which Squash to Store

The best summer squash for storing and eating are small and tender. The zucchini and yellow types should not exceed eight inches long. The patty pan types should be no more than four inches across. Large summer squash can become stringy and contain large seeds; therefore, these are not the best for storing and eating.

The size is not the only qualification for the ideal squash. Here are some more qualities:

  • Firm
  • Heavy for its size
  • Even colored skin
  • Slightly shiny skin
  • Looks plump, not shriveled
  • No nicks, soft spots, or bruises
  • Fresh and green stem end

Where to Store Summer Squash

The storage life of your summer squash depends on where it is stored. With the almost endless supply, often summer squash is stored in any available space in the refrigerator; however, summer squash should be stored in the front part of a crisper drawer.

How to Store Summer Squash

Resist the temptation of using water to clean squash before short-term storing. The moisture will increase the chances of mold and rot. Just brush off any dirt. Store in an opened plastic bag. Squash can be cleaned with water just before cooking or long-term storage.

How Long Can Summer Squash Be Stored

Ideally, summer squash should be stored then eaten in one to three days after picking. If you purchase your squash, there is usually no way of knowing the date it was picked. This should be a great motivation for growing your own.

The quality and nutrition of summer squash decrease with each passing day after picking. This is why summer squash should be eaten so quickly, but it is sometimes impossible to consume in such a short time the large quantity a garden yields. If needed, summer squash can be stored for one to two weeks in the refrigerator under the proper conditions.

How to Use Summer Squash

If the amount of fresh summer squash you have is perfect for your needs, there are many ways to prepare it. Here are some ways:

  • Blanch or boil
  • Barbeque
  • Microwave
  • Bake
  • Stir-fry
  • Steam

When your refrigerator is overflowing with summer squash, it is time to quickly decide what to do with the abundance. Long-term storage of freezing, dehydrating, or pickling is an option to consider: sharing with your friends and neighbors is another option.