Friday, August 8, 2014

Dehydrating Zucchini

Did you know that August 8th is National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day?
It sounds like fun, but maybe you could try dehydrating some instead to use later in the year........

It's the time of year when gardeners who've planted zucchini are trying to be creative with ways to use up the excess.  I've frozen quite a bit to use later in spaghetti sauce and lasagna, but wanted to try dehydrating some as well.

Sliced zucchini ready to dehydrate 

I'm not exactly sure how many zucchinis I used.  I just kept slicing and filling the trays and didn't stop until the trays were full and I'd used all the zucchini I had on hand.  I followed the instructions in "The Dehydrator Bible"....slice zucchini (or yellow squash) to 1/4 inch thick and place on mesh drying trays.  Dry at 130 degrees for 6-10 hours.  I needed to dehydrate mine longer than 10 hours, about 14 hours.  It all depends on the humidity level in your house/kitchen.

Crispy thin dehydrated zucchini 

They're finished drying when they're a little crispy and no longer spongy feeling.  If they're not completely dry, dehydrate again for another hour.  If they aren't completely dry, they'll mold and you don't want that. Store them in airtight jars or vacuum sealed bags.

Dried zucchini filling 2 quart jars

The Dehydrator Bible is full of recipes for using dehydrated foods.  I'll be marking several recipes and dehydrating tomatoes & eggplant once they're ready to harvest from the garden.  The key to following recipes like the ones in this particular book is planning ahead and making sure you've dehydrated all the ingredients for any dishes you may want to try.

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