This is how to freeze courgettes

can you freeze courgettes
How to freeze courgettesAniko Hobel - Getty Images

The courgette is a vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of meals, from curries to pasta dishes.

But, if find yourself with too many vegetables ⁠— can you freeze courgettes? We've put together a guide on everything you need to know about freezing courgettes, including how to prepare them for freezing and how to store them.

Can you freeze courgettes?

Most vegetables can be frozen, including runner beans, carrots and cauliflower. Vegetables with a high water content like courgettes benefit from being cooked or blanched before freezing – this will avoid spoilage and loss of flavour and colour.

can you freeze courgettes
Aniko Hobel - Getty Images

How do you prepare courgettes for freezing?

Even-sized young courgettes are best for freezing, avoid freezing vegetables that have marks and blemishes. Cut selected courgettes in half lengthways or cut into 1cm slices. Blanch approximately 500g courgette in a large saucepan of boiling water. If you have a larger amount, blanch in batches – the same water can be used for 6-7 batches. Put the courgette into the boiling water, bring back to the boil and blanch for 1 minute. Lift out with a slotted spoon, then immediately plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water or place under cold running water until completely cold to stop the cooking process. Pat dry with kitchen paper.

How do you store them properly in the freezer?

You’ll need to ‘open freeze’ blanched courgettes first. This will keep courgette pieces separate when packed so they don’t clump together. Place courgette slices or halves on plastic trays or foil-lined baking sheets. Spread them out so they do not touch. Freeze for around 4 hours until solid. Remove from the freezer, pack quickly in freezer-proof sealable bags or containers. If storing in bags, squeeze out the excess air before sealing, this will avoid discolouration (the exception to this rule are liquids and fruit in syrup which need room to expand when they freeze). Label with the date of freezing and return to the freezer.

If you’re more likely to use grated courgettes in a recipe, place fresh coarsely grated courgette in a bowl lined with kitchen paper, wrap the kitchen paper around the courgette and squeeze out the excess moisture. Pack into freezer-proof sealable bags, squeezing out the excess air. Lay flat until frozen.

can you freeze courgettes
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How long can they last for in the freezer?

Frozen courgette can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What does freezing do to their flavour? And what is the flavour like once defrosted?

If prepared carefully as above, there won’t be any noticeable loss of flavour but it is best used in cooking, blanched courgette will not be suitable to eat ‘raw’ as the cooking process will have already been started. Grated frozen courgette is best cooked to help any additional water content from freezing evaporate.

How should they be defrosted once removed from the freezer and how quickly should they be used?

Frozen courgette slices can be cooked from frozen, simply plunge into boiling salted water for 3 minutes or stir-fry slices straight from frozen in a little olive oil or butter for 5-10 mins, until cooked through. To defrost grated courgette, sliced courgette or halves first before cooking, place onto a plate lined with kitchen paper, cover loosely with cling film and allow to defrost in the fridge for 1-3 hours (depending on shape/size). Squeeze any excess water from grated courgette with additional kitchen paper.

It’s best to keep courgettes in the freezer and use or defrost as you need them.

can you freeze courgettes
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What can they best be used for afterwards. (suggestions of some GH recipes would be great)?

Stir-fried or sautéed courgette frozen slices are delicious used in frittatas or stirred through risotto’s. Defrost courgette slices or halves, then chop and use in this delicious Courgette and thyme tart. Or add defrosted slices of courgette with the garlic in step 2 in this tempting Courgette and goat’s cheese tortilla. Add frozen slices of courgette directly to the pan in this warming Greek inspired lamb stew. Add frozen, grated courgette directly to this family favourite of a dish; Easy courgette and leek lasagne.

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