Did you know the courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it’s from the same family as cucumber, squash and melon? No? Me neither. But in fact, the humble courgette is one of the most popular vegetables in the squash family, with a raft of delicious dishes on offer from the simple green veg.
Can you freeze courgettes?
Many people are now turning to their freezer to make sure they have enough in.
You don’t have to eat fruit and vegetables before the date on the packaging.
This just refers to the quality of the food rather than the safety.
But to make sure they don’t turn bad, freezing can be a great option.
Courgettes are made up of 95 percent water so once it’s thawed out after freezing, it can become quite soft.
You might notice a little puddle of water surrounding it after defrosting.
Therefore, it’s best to use thawed courgettes in soups, casseroles, sauces and smoothies.
It’s not recommended to use it as a side, in salads or stir-fries because it will be too watery.
To freeze courgettes, first wash the vegetable to get rid of any dirt.
The best method is to slice the courgette though if you want to use it for baking then you can grate it.
Cut the courgette into quarter-of-an-inch thick slices then blanch them.
Steam blanching helps preserve produce before it’s frozen by destroying enzymes that can increase how quickly foods spoil go off.
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It also stops common foodborne bacteria Listeria and Salmonella from working, which improves the safety of the zucchini, and furthermore, blanching food may help preserve nutrients.
Blanching will also prevent your courgettes from becoming discoloured and mushy.
Add the courgette slices to a pot of boiling water for one minute.
Prepare a large bowl with water and ice. Once the courgettes have been in the boiling water for one minute, transfer them to the ice water bowl.
Let the vegetable slices sit in the cold water for roughly two minutes.
Drain the courgette from the ice water bath and gently pat the slices with a paper towel to blot it dry.
Pre-freeze the zucchini by laying the slices out on a tray using a baking sheet.
Place it in the freezer for between one to two hours, or until it’s frozen.
This ensures you don’t end up with one big clump of frozen zucchini.
Package your courgette in freezer bags. They will be good for up to a year thereafter.
You can also use freezer-safe containers to store them.