How to freeze zucchini?
How to freeze zucchini? Zucchini is at the top of the ranking of our favorite vegetables. It would therefore be a shame to deprive yourself of it for a whole part of the year! Take advantage of the warm weather to fill your freezer for winter. We tell you how to do it.
When is the zucchini season and how to choose them?
The zucchini is a vegetable of the sun present on the stalls throughout the summer, from June to September. We love to taste it in all its forms: stuffed, au gratin, quiche, ratatouille or even in soup.
During high season, the price per kilo of this ultra-sweet, nutty-flavored vegetable is particularly advantageous and can drop below the €2 mark. Take the opportunity to stock up for this winter!
Choose it carefully: its skin must be smooth and uniform; its flesh must be firm under the fingers and relatively heavy. Also favor smaller zucchini which contain less water and are more crunchy.
Fresh courgettes: should they be blanched before freezing?
It is not necessary to boil zucchini before freezing. You can indeed put them in the freezer after having simply rinsed them and cut them into small cubes or slices (depending on the use you will have of them).
We also recommend that you do not remove the skin from the zucchini. It will allow the flesh to hold together better after defrosting. You should know that freezing will soften the zucchini , which is a waterlogged vegetable.
In any case, it is essential to freeze vegetables as soon as possible after picking or when returning from the market.
How to blanch zucchini?
Blanching before freezing can be interesting to preserve the flavor or color of a food and prevent it from deteriorating with the cold. Taking this precaution will also allow you to keep the zucchini longer: up to a year (compared to 3 months for raw zucchini) and to save cooking time when cooking it. But you will really lose texture, especially on this vegetable!
So, if you choose to blanch the zucchini, immerse them, after having detailed them, in a pot of boiling salted water. Wait for the resumption of boiling and remove them .
Take them out of the pan using a slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and fix the chlorophyll which gives them this beautiful green color. Drain them.
How to freeze courgettes, blanched or not?
To prevent ice crystals from appearing and altering the flavor and texture of the courgettes, it is essential to dry them well before packaging them. Don’t forget to pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towel after draining them.
The faster a vegetable is frozen, the better! The correct method for zucchini is to lay the cubes or slices flat (without overlapping them) on a tray and slide it into the freezer. 24 hours later, you can distribute them in freezer bags.
Good advice: really avoid freezing grated zucchini; you would get a rather disappointing result when thawed.
And how to freeze round zucchini?
It is not possible to freeze a whole courgette , but you can put already cooked round courgettes, for example stuffed, in the freezer.
Otherwise, to freeze them raw, you will cut them into pieces, like the others.
The extra trick: to better preserve the crunchiness of raw zucchini , place them in a colander then sprinkle them generously with salt to make them lightly drain. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Don’t forget to wipe them well with paper towel before freezing them to remove excess salt and dry them.
How to properly freeze cooked zucchini?
Nothing could be simpler than freezing already cooked zucchini. All you have to do is pour your preparations into freezer bags (be careful not to fill them too much). Each sachet should ideally contain one portion: that is to say the quantity that you are used to cooking (for 1, 2, 4…). Remove the air well before closing them hermetically, note the date of the day on the package, the quantity and slide everything into the drawer of your freezer.
Good advice: As for the zucchini gratin, it is better to finish it immediately or keep it in the fridge for a few days. Freezing does not do it justice at all!
Freezing Stuffed Zucchini
The next time you prepare stuffed zucchini , don’t hesitate to plan a little more to be able to freeze them. All you have to do is stuff them as your recipe calls for. But rather than putting them in the oven, slip them individually into a freezer bag (it is preferable that the stuffing is cooked). Consume them within 3 months. You can also freeze them right out of the oven , after cooling your stuffed zucchini. They can then be kept longer: between 3 to 4 months.
Freezing Zucchini Soup
Would you like to freeze zucchini soup? The easiest way is to pour it into a bottle or a clean plastic box. Do not exceed 2/3 so that it does not explode. For small portions of zucchini purée (for baby meals, for example), use the compartments of an ice cube tray or small silicone moulds. Once the puree has set, unmold the ice cubes and place everything in a freezer bag.
The extra tip: to make your soups take up less space in your freezer, thicken them well. All you have to do is thin them out with a little water when you heat them up.
How to defrost plain or cooked zucchini?
Zucchini is a vegetable composed of 95% water. To avoid it becoming soft , it is best not to thaw it. Incorporate it directly into your recipe. It will thaw quickly when you simmer or brown it.
To cook frozen stuffed zucchini, the method is different. Place them in the fridge overnight, then slide them into your preheated oven.
To thaw a soup or mashed zucchini you will have the choice between reheating it in a bain-marie or directly in a saucepan.