Can you freeze courgettes? Yes you can. Do we freeze courgettes? No we don’t. Well, not on their own anyway.
The reason we don’t freeze our courgette is that the texture becomes soft and mushy and we don’t really like this. We prepare our courgette into soups and sauces and then freeze these. However, lots of people do freeze their courgette so it is certainly worth giving a go if you have a glut of them.
Always select small brightly coloured courgette. Try and pick the courgette when you are ready to prepare and freeze them, rather than leaving them in the fridge for a few days. This gives you the best chance of having nice tasty veg when you take them out of the freezer.
Prepare the courgettes by removing the ends and cutting into thick slices. Like all vegetables, courgette need to be blanched before freezing. This involves putting them in boiling water for 1 minute. Blanching will destroy any bacteria and enzymes on the courgette, which can cause them to deteriorate. Blanching is not the same as cooking. You don’t want to cook your courgette, merely destroy the bad guys. Use a large pan of boiling water, and do not put too many courgette in at once. You want the water to come back up to boiling point quickly. Once it is boiling again, blanch the courgette for one minute (use a kitchen pinger as you don’t want to leave them in too long), strain and then plunge them into a bowl of ice-cold water. This will stop them cooking any further. Once they have cooled, drain the courgette and dry on a tea-towel or kitchen-towel before packing in useful amounts in polythene bags. Remove as much air as you can, seal the bag and label. If you’ve got a fast-freeze area of your freezer then use this to freeze the courgette. The faster they are frozen, the smaller the ice-crystals will be which will help to maitain the texture of the courgettes.
Courgette prepared in this way will keep for 12 months in the freezer. When you want to use them, cook from frozen in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes, or fry in olive oil (watch out for them spitting!).
If you are freezing a lot of courgette, you may have to blanch them in batches. The best way of removing the courgette from the boiling water without draining the water away is to use a blanching basket or chip basket. Just lift the basket containing the courgette out of the pan and plunge it straight into the ice-cold water. If you’re doing just one batch, then use a colander or sieve to strain the courgette.
1. Growing Courgettes – QUICKSTART GUIDE to growing courgettes
2. Planting Courgettes – How and when to plant courgette seeds and plants
3. Harvesting Courgettes – How and when to harvest courgettes
4. Freezing Courgettes – Freezing Courgettes
5. Courgette Growing Tips – Some tips to help you grow good courgettes
6. Courgette Problems, Diseases and Pests – If things go wrong with your courgettes, help is at hand
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