July 06, 2011

Zucchini Chips or How I Conquered My Zucchini Overload

Anyone who has ever grown zucchini knows that you eagerly await the first green baby and lovingly pluck it from the vine, only to be inundated with multitudes of the stuff for the next few weeks.  Some will grow overnight into giants, not really all that great for eating unless you grind them up into zucchini cakes or make zucchini soup.  At some point, I give up on those and have some fun chucking them into the adjacent field as far as I can.  When I am on top of things in the garden though, I pick them early, about 6-8 inches long. They are tender and tasty at this stage and we might even be able to keep up with production.  


When they are at peak season, however, drastic measures are called for to get rid of the excess.  I'll freeze some for winter eating (slice, blanch, freeze on a cookie sheet, then store in bags or grate, squeeze the water out, and store for zucchini muffins, etc.).  This year, I decided to try something new - dried zucchini chips.  These were so easy.  Slice about 1/8  inch thick.  If you have a mandolin, kudos to you, but I did it the old-fashioned way and it wasn't hard.  I sprinkled the slices with seasoning - choose whatever suits your fancy.  Place the slices in a dehydrator.  Turn it on and wait until they are very dry - several hours at least.  I know there are oven methods as well, but I invested in a dehydrator last year and am glad I did.  Once the chips are dried, spread them on paper towels to cool, then store in a glass jar.  These are tasty alone or with a dip.

6 comments:

  1. I'm impressed with your slicing skills! Thanks for sharing this Laurie D!

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  2. Well, we are off to buy a dehydrator. This is the second suggestion I've read requiring one. Thank you for your wonderful ideas. BTW - You write well.

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  3. Thanks so much, Jeanie. I hesitated to buy the dehydrator at first, but I've used it more than I thought. Makes great jerky too! I got mine from Amazon.com.

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  4. Did you blanch the slices before drying? How long can they be kept in the jar? Do you have a recommendation as to which jerky press?

    I have a very underutilized dehydrator.

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  5. Hi Anne,
    No, I just sliced the zucchini about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and laid them on the trays. They will shrink a lot! I made a couple of batches the first week in July and still have a few in the jar. They are still fine but they do get a little chewy over time. I am wondering if one of those little silica packs placed in the jar would help. I'm about to make some more this week.
    As for jerky, I just slice lean grassfed beef very thin, soak it in whatever spices I like with some vinegar and salt, then dry it in the dehydrator. I keep mine in the fridge in baggies and it keeps forever (or at least until we eat it all!).

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  6. Thanks for replying. I will try both jerky and zucchini soon.

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