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Drying Zucchini

September 19, 2008

Since this is my first year having a dehydrator, I’m trying different things with it. I’m sure some will work and some won’t. One thing I’ve heard that some people really like and some don’t is dried zucchini. I figure that the only way to know which side I fall on is to try it myself.

The benefit of drying foods is that it doesn’t require any energy to maintain it once it is dried. If you freeze vegetables, then you must ensure that you have a steady supply of energy to keep your freezer going. Considering the seemingly unstable times up ahead, I think that preserving in ways that don’t require using a freezer or fridge might be a prudent idea. If things improve and go just fine, then nothing’s lost by having done it this way either.

My two smallest kitchen helpers helped to toss some of the zucchini slices in soy sauce (Bragg’s liquid aminos here) and garlic powder, then placed them on the drying tray. We only did two trays of flavored, the other six were plain.

Here they are all hydrated.

Then, voila, hours later, they’ve shrunk!

Dried zucchinis are then put into glass jars for storage and kept in the basement in my cool, dark pantry area to be thrown into soups and stews during the fall, winter and spring.

The flavored zucchini slices were supposed to be a kind of flavored zucchini chip, but I found the taste to be a bit over-powering as a snack and they slices don’t stay crispy. They absorb enough moisture from the air to stay leathery rather than crispy, even if they come out of the dehydrator nice and crisp. Within a few hours they are leathery. So, they will all be used in cooking.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Angeleen permalink
    September 19, 2008 4:59 pm

    Interesting.

    I just got a vacuum sealer and if you had one of those and sealed them in an airtight jar they might stay crispy… Just an idea.

  2. Rane permalink
    September 19, 2008 5:30 pm

    have you tried other veggies yet?
    This sounds so fun! I bet your
    helpers had loads of fun! And
    learned a little science too!
    I wonder what else you can dry….
    humm….. LOL! How long did it
    take?

  3. September 20, 2008 10:19 pm

    Cherry tomatoes are another abundant veggie (at least in my garden) that I’ve heard are good as a dried snack. I have yet to try it, but just thought I’d mention it. I mostly use my dehydrator for making fruit leathers from applesauce. YUM!!

  4. Angelina permalink
    September 21, 2008 5:09 pm

    Oh- I haven’t really used my dehydrator at all this year! What’s up with that? I need to dry some herbs from the garden but I meant to dry some vegetables too. These look so good for soups. I think I might have to do some. I love how they look too.

  5. Lisa permalink
    September 22, 2008 8:54 pm

    Angeleen-I wonder if that would work. I don’t have a vacuum sealer. I might buy one next year.

    Rane-I haven’t tried any other vegetables yet. Just fruits and herbs.

    dg-That is an excellent idea. We had a lot of cherry tomatoes we bought from Bernards and a lot of them ended up going bad, but that would have been a great way to preserve them!

    Angelina-You should get some drying in. Not very labor intensive either. Just run it while you work!

  6. Rane permalink
    September 23, 2008 2:34 pm

    I took your advice! I went to a
    you pick farm for apples this
    past weekend! Are you ready~~~~
    we bought 2 bushles(is that how
    you spell it?) for 23 dollars….
    we picked Honey Crisp!!!! The best
    apple in the world! Sweet crisp and
    very juicy!!!! Not only that but
    the kids had a blast!!! The best
    23 dollars ever! And the kid have
    yet to get bored! We got such big
    apples!!!!!! The were the size of
    the baby’s head! But not old! Great
    apple!
    (*laughing at my own sales pitch*)
    So buy yours today for only $23.00
    shiping and handling not encluded.

  7. Lisa permalink
    September 23, 2008 5:57 pm

    Yay, Rane! Honey crisp are delicious. Are you going to save them for fresh eating or preserve them somehow?

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