Cooking English Gardening

How to freeze courgette / zucchini

There are numerous ways to freeze courgette, but these are the three most important ways. Here is some extra advice. This explanation is for those who don’t have a lot of fancy equipment at home. It is easy to execute!

If you’ve arrived here, you’re most probably dealing with a overwhelming harvest of courgettes (or zucchini, but I’ll keep talking about courgettes). Gardeners united, we’ve all made the “mistake” of planting too many courgette plants and after a while, you just can’t eat more. Too much is too much. Then it’s time to freeze the bunch! Freeze it now, eat it later.

This video shows how to freeze the courgette without fancy equipment

There is also a description below.

Freezertime!

Three ways to freeze

There are numerous ways to freeze courgette, yet, I’ll be focussing on the three most important ways and give some extra advice with it. This explanation is for those who don’t have a lot of fancy equipment at home. It is easy to execute!

Shredding courgette
Using simple utensils or second hand finds can be just as good as those fancy machines!

Common courgette cubes

The first way to freeze courgette is by cutting them in small cubes, blanching them and putting them in small freezer bags. This is what I’d like to call “the common” way, because it is also in this form that you can buy the vegetable in it’s frozen form. You can vary and for example cut in slices, but this could be a problem when defrosting, they tend to stick together. Avoid this by first freezing your slices separately on a plate, before putting them in bags.

Blanching is useful for fixating the colours, taste and nutriments in many vegetables. It is a little extra step, but with great benefits. And not so difficult to do!

  1. Wash your courgette
  2. Cut off the bottom and the stem
  3. Cut in slices and then in small cubes
  4. Boil water and prepare a bowl with ice cold water. For the ice water, I prefer to use icepacks or cold packs. They freeze faster and I have the impression that they stay cold for a longer time than ice cubes. Make sure they are very clean though.
  5. Blanche the cubes by boiling them for two minutes and then cooling them down in the ice.
  6. Prepare small plastic bags, go for the size of a portion, so you can measure easily when you take the courgette out for cooking. Don’t put too much in a bag, so you can flatten and stack them in your freezer. Write the date and the content on the bag with permanent marker (or a sticker).
  7. Fill the bags with the cooled cubes.
  8. Close the bags, but not completely. Then push out the remaining air without mashing the cubes.
  9. When most air is pushed out, you close the bag completely. If you have a vacuum machine, it is better to suck out the air.
  10. Admire your flat bag and put it in the freezer!
Common courgette cubes
The common courgette cubes

I particularly like to prepare courgette in the fat I used for preparing meats. The cubes absorb quite some aromas this way. And it is an easy win. You don’t need to season it a lot, but some salt or pepper is ok if you prefer that. Defrosted courgette shouldn’t be cooked too long, or it becomes a slimy paste. The cubes are also very practical for soups!

Spiralized courgette

Spiralized courgette is a delicious way to fake pasta in a Summer recipe. A big classic is the version with big shrimps and garlic. When you are spiralizing courgette, make sure you use the smaller courgettes. It depends on the spiralizer you’re using, but it can get difficult to get the courgette to the knives if it is too thick. If it happens to be too thick, you can make  your courgette thinner, by slicing off the sides.

courgettes with spiralizer
These courgettes don’t know a spiralizer is among them…
  1. Wash your courgette
  2. Cut off the bottom and the stem
  3. Take your spiralizer, put in the courgette and turn
  4. Cover the courgette in salt and let soak for a while
  5. Squeeze out the juice
  6. Prepare your freezer bags, write on the date and the content. Do this before filling! It is much easier. Also, if you use a ziplock bag (any type) try to fold the edges before filling. The lock system will stay clean and there will be less chance of problems when you close the bag.
  7. Fill the bags with portions and close them partially.
  8. Push out the air, without pressing too hard. Once most air is out, close the bag completely.
  9. Show off your flat bag of courgette to the nearest person and put it in the freezer!
courgette spaghetti or spiralized courgette
Courgette spaghetti or spiralized courgette

Shredded courgette

Shredded courgette is especially interesting if you like to make cake with courgette, mostly known as “zucchini bread”. I remember tasting this for the first time. At university, my English professor brought it to class. He always wanted to make us taste new things. His biggest dream was to bring the Chicago pizza to class, but that was difficult to realise, so once he spend half an hour explaining in the biggest detail how it was made, and how the textures and the taste were. He gave us the recipe of zucchini bread and it blow my mind (and also my family’s mind!!).

julienne machine with courgette
Shredding with my oldschool, but very useful julienne machine! A cheese grater also does the trick.
  1. Wash your courgette
  2. Cut off the bottom and the stem
  3. Shred the courgette with a cheese grater or if you have a julienne machine, that will do the job too.
  4. Boil water and prepare a bowl with ice cold water. When you boil water, I recommend to boil a part in a kettle, because it is quicker. You can prepare your ice water just before the water starts to boil.
  5. Blanche the shredded courgette for one or les than one minute. The shredded courgette is way smaller than the “common courgette cubes” so it becomes a slimy paste quickly. It should become slimy!
  6. Immediately put everything in the ice water after boiling.
  7. Drain and let dry for a moment. You can gently take of the water with a towel.
  8. Prepare your freezer bags and fill them.
  9. Sing a little song of happiness and put the bags in the freezer.
Nice, flat shredded courgette freezerbags
Nice, flat shredded courgette freezerbags

Fear no freezer

There is no need to fear the freezer. The freezer is your friend! And certainly if you had a plentiful harvest of courgette! Dare to experiment with freezing. There are many ways to prepare your vegetables or even complete meals for later and you’ll enjoy it a lot.

harvest of courgette
Pfff, more and more courgette every day!

Tell us how you like to freeze your courgette and how you prepare it once it is defrosted in the comments!

2 comments on “How to freeze courgette / zucchini

  1. Very timely post, thank you! I shred my zucchini, lay it in a colander and salt it to remove excess moisture, and then lay it out on a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the deuce out of it. It can be frozen then or used in baking or added to spanakopita

    Like

    • Maanboom

      Hi! Thank you for sharing how you prepare the zucchini. I had to look up spanakopita, it looks really tasty! Maybe I’ll try to make it too, soon! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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