I have been recently given a lot of courgettes by my friend, who had a lot of these growing in her garden and they had far too many to eat by themselves.
I love using courgettes in cooking and baking and I use quite a few per week, but even I couldn’t use up the amount they gave me.
I thought about pickling them, but then I run out of time, so decided to freeze them instead. I’ve tried few different ways of freezing the courgettes and I have to say that it’s not only convenient way to keeping them, but it’s also very simple thing to do.
If you are reading my blog in the USA, then it’s worth mentioning that courgettes are UK term for zucchini. They are exactly the same, so if you are looking for tips on how to freeze zucchini, you can follow my step by step guide in exactly the same way.
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Can you freeze courgettes? The quick answer
Yes, you can freeze courgettes and keep them for 1-3 months safely in the freezer. There are several ways you can prepare them, depending on how you want to use them in the recipes afterwards.
MY FAVOURITE COURGETTE RECIPES
Why freeze courgettes?
Freezing courgettes is a great way to preserve them in the shortest and easiest possible way. This is particularly great if you buy or you are given far too many courgettes at the same time.
Courgettes do keep in the fridge for 3-5 days, but they do start to get softer as the days go and the coldness of the fridge can make them go soggy and spoiled completely in about a week.
What type of courgettes are best for freezing?
Any kind of courgettes can be frozen, but you want to make sure they are as fresh as they can be. The best time to freeze courgettes is straight after you buy them in the shop or pick them from your garden.
Courgettes need to be fairly firm to freeze and defrost well.
Once they are softer or start to go mushy, it’s probably not the best idea to freeze them and expect them to be in the perfect condition when you do defrost them.
You could grate the courgettes and freeze them in smaller portions and then ad them to soups, smoothies or other types of dishes where it doesn’t matter if the courgette is soft.
What to expect when you freeze & defrost courgettes
Depending on what type of courgettes you have (and how fresh they are), you will have a much softer version of the courgettes when you defrost them. The freezing does change the texture of courgettes and they can become mushy.
They are not going to look great if you want them freshly grated in a summer salad or to coat them and fry (as they will turn very soft).
I don’t think that’s something to be overly concerned about, but you need to know that frozen courgettes will look and behave differently than fresh ones. It’s better to use them for completely different recipes, such as soups, baking, puddings and cakes, where their softer texture won’t matter too much.
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How long do courgettes last in the freezer
Providing that you’ve carefully frozen your courgettes in a freezer suitable container (and your freezer is in a good condition and the temperature doesn’t fluctuate), your courgettes should be fine in the freezer for a minimum of 1-3 months.
Courgettes won’t go off (or get spoiled) if you keem them in the freezer for longer, but if your freezer temperature fluctuates they might get slightly defrosted and then frozen again and this will make them even softer.
How to freeze courgettes
You have quite a lot of options here, depending on what you want to use your courgettes for when they are defrosted.
You can freeze:
- whole courgettes – no preparation needed
- grated courgettes – best for soups, smoothies, egg omelettes
- sliced courgettes – best for coating and frying
- cubed courgettes – quick to prepare, best for soups, smoothies, cakes
Place the courgettes in a suitable freezer bag, add a date and place in the freezer.
Grate courgettes on a medium (to large) grater and portion them into sizes that you are likely to use later in your cooking or recipes. You can also place the grated courgettes in large ice cube trays, which will keep them nicely portioned for later.
Alternatively, you can weigh them out and place in individual freezer bags and then add them (laying flat) into a large plastic container. If you add greaseproof paper in between each bag, they are not going to stick together.
The courgettes could take on stronger flavours from your freezer, so keeping them in a large plastic container is a definitely good idea.
Slice courgettes into thicker slices first and spread them on a large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Place in the freezer as it is and without any cover. Leave to freeze completely for 3-6 hrs.
When the slices are completely frozen, place them in the larger plastic container or large plastic bag and keep in the freezer until you need them.
When defrosting spread them out individually again to prevent them from sticking together and squishing themselves.
Cut your courgettes into large cubes and leave them to freeze individually on a tray (like with the sliced courgetes). When completely frozen, place them into a freezer bag or other suitable container.
When you want to use them, just take out what you need for your recipe and keep the rest in the freezer.
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Blanching your courgettes before freezing
This method is particularly useful if you want your courgettes to be pre-cooked and ready to go be added to your recipe. I usually do this with my potatoes when I’m preparing them for baking or freezing individually sliced potatoes to keep for later.
Blanching also helps to protect courgette’s taste, nutritional value, nice texture and of course flavour.
I never blanch grated courgettes, but sometimes blanch thickly sliced courgettes, because they are quicker to prepare afterwards.
To blanch your courgettes, boil water in a large saucepan or a pot.
Add tiny pinch of salt if you want to add flavour. When the water is boiling, the add the courgettes and boil for 30 sec to a maximum of 60 minutes (depends on the thickness).
Take out with a slotted spoon, leave to drain on a cake cooling rack or something similar (where the water can drain from the courgettes).
Leave to cool down completely (this will also dry the courgettes a little).
Freeze individually on a tray first, before placing it in a large plastic container or a strong freezer bag.
Cooking or roasting your courgettes before freezing
You can also fully cook, roast or bake your courgettes before freezing, which is a great way to have a ready vegetables ready for your main meals.
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- Tips on freezing lemon and other fruit curds >>
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What containers are best for freezing courgettes?
- Plastic container with a lid for individual portions
- Large ice cube trays
- Large plastic container suitable for the freezer
- Strong plastic freezer bag with zip lock
How to defrost courgettes
The easiest thing is to take out the frozen courgettes from the freezer the night before you need them and leave it to defrost in the fridge overnight (still in the closed container or spread out flat on a tray if you are defrosting slices).
This is particularly best method for already cooked, blanched or roasted courgettes that have been already prepared as a meal.
If you forget to take the courgettes out from the freezer the night before, you can also leave them out at room temperature to defrost, as they won’t take much time.
If you are adding your frozen courgettes into soups, you can add them in straight from the freezer and they will defrost and cook in no time.
If you are making green smoothie with courgettes, use them straight from the freezer and you don’t need to use any additional ice cubes as the courgettes will be cold enough to cool down your smoothie.
RECIPES FOR GREEN SMOOTHIES (FOR ADDING GRATED COURGETTES)
Can I re-freeze courgettes?
Re-freezing something that’s already been frozen is never a good idea and with courgettes you will just end up with a lot of mushy greens.
At a push, I’d freeze something like a courgette cake, if I didn’t use a lot of frozen courgettes for the recipe and all the other ingredients were not frozen beforehand too.