How Long Does Zucchini Last After Cooked (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 48-72 Hours

Zucchini, also known as baby marrow, is a summer delicacy. It is one of the foods with high nutritional value. Zucchini contains nutrients like dietary fiber, high water, and mineral content, vitamin C, and zero fats. It is rich in anti-oxidants and aids in weight loss. Zucchini can be consumed in, either way, raw or cooked. However, diet experts suggest that consuming it raw is beneficial than the latter one, as after heating it up for cooking, it tends to lose its nutrition value.

Besides weight loss, Zucchini is found useful against aging, high blood sugar levels, and weak eyesight. It also keeps the heart and guts healthy.

How Long Does Zucchini Last After Cooked?

Ways of storing ZucchiniDuration of Lasting
Raw, and Refrigerated 2 Weeks
Raw, and not refrigerated4-5 days
Cooked, and Refrigerated 2-3 days

Zucchini is one of the healthiest substitutes for junk food. You can always think of replacing your plate of pasta with a plate of sliced and cooked zucchini with sauces added. Zucchini can also be used in salads and muffins as a topping. It can be baked as a slice of bread and could be consumed with garlic butter or nut butter. It could be consumed both raw and cooked.

Zucchini stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator can stay fresh for 7 to 12 days. It is recommended to wash zucchini just before you are ready to use it. Wilting zucchini should be used immediately. Zucchini’s strong indication of deterioration is softness. When it starts turning mushy soft, it signifies the degradation of zucchini.

Zucchini cannot survive at room temperature after being cooked for more than 3 hours. Thus, if it is cooked and some portion is left over in the bowl to be consumed later, it must be stored properly. It is required to be covered by a lid and then kept in lower temperatures to prevent its degradation. Putting them in an airtight container is highly helpful in longer preservation. In such a way, you can store zucchini for 2 days or even up to 3 days if the weather outside is not so humid and hot.

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Why Does It Last That Long?

The bacteria starts growing on the cooked food as it already contains heat inside. The zucchini stored at 40 to 50 degrees of Fahrenheit starts decaying after 48 hours even in the fridge as the molds start growing on it. It contains a compound named cucurbitacin E which becomes a poisoning agent after the prescribed period of storage. Thus it is not recommended to intake the discarded dish prepared by using zucchini.

Even when zucchini is stored below 5 degrees Celsius it is not recommended to intake it because it may cause chilling injury shortening the shelf life of food items. It is always suggested to keep zucchini in such a place where there is proper circulation of air and a lesser amount of humidity. Too much humidity and the too much chilled surrounding may damage the nutritional content of summer squash.

The zucchini on fading due to delayed storage time starts getting wrinkled and mushy. The blemishes appear on the dish indicating that it is not good to consume anymore. A foul smell is also an indication that the nutritional value of zucchini has been destroyed and the taste will become bitter.

The consumption after the prescribed time may cause gastrointestinal sickness resulting in nausea, upset stomach, etc. If you have left your cooked zucchini unrefrigerated, it must not be consumed after a maximum of three hours as bacteria start developing in higher temperatures spoiling the quality of food.

Conclusion

Zucchini is a delicacy with a high nutritional quotient but demands proper storage. If stored carelessly, it may not serve the purpose for which it has been bought. To maximize the shelf life, it must be stored properly in an airtight container if cooked and in a perforated storage bag if it is to be kept raw. Once you see the skin is dull and it appears mushy with a bad smell, you can conclude that it would become bitter and unfit to consume. Such a leftover zucchini must not be eaten to prevent gastric sickness.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/aob/article-abstract/118/1/53/2196164
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0260877494901864
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