Sunday, July 26, 2009

Drying zucchini

Its that time of year when I'm buried in zucchini. After making zucchini pancankes, grilled zucchini and zucchini bread several times. Then taking it everywhere I went as a gift, I was still left with all of this and much more to come. So I decided to dehydrate a bunch of it.
First, I got out my handy dandy plastic mandolin. I've had this for years and paid about 5 dollars for it. Nifty huh?
So I started slicing my zucchini on it. I was getting a nice 1/8 inch slice. Then all of a sudden, I was getting big, fat, irregular shapes. It had broken. The piece that holds the slicer in place snapped off. It figures it breaks when I'm trying to do a blog post. I knew its life span was only so long. Plastic isn't really known for its durability in things like this.
Thankfully, I am pretty good with a knife. I kept going slicing things up as evenly as I could.
I layed them out in a single layer on my dehydrator sheets. I was able to fit the 2 largest and 1 smaller zucchini on the trays. I think another few rounds will have to happen.
Filled up the dehydrator and set it on 125 degrees. I have an Excalibur dehydrator with 5 trays. It was a birthday present from hubby a few years ago. He's great at getting me things I mention would be nice, but would probably never buy for myself. Its great becuase it has a temperature gauge and a fan. I do all kinds of things in it like veggies, fruits and fruit leathers. I have yet to try jerky, but may someday. I like that it has nice low settings. My oven doesn't go low enough to dry things without really cooking them and possible burning them.
After 12 hours, they dry up to practically nothing.
I stuffed them into canning jars and put them in the basement. If I had a vacuum sealer, that would be even better for keeping them long term, but I don't. Maybe I should mention that to hubby? Nah... I already have too many gadgets.

These are great for throwing into soups and things. They actually rehydrate rather nicely. I hate frozen zucchini slices, they get soggy and the skin gets tough. The only way to freeze them is shredded in my opinion. I like that they store on the shelf without any further use of energy.


kitsapFG said...

That looks like they turned out really well. Perhaps you should mention that a new slicing mandolin would be nice to your hubby? I love mine and would be lost without it.

Everydaywoman said...

What a great idea! I never thought of dehydrating our over-abbundance of zucchini this time of year!

The Mom said...

kitsap, I should let that one drop as well. I just feel guilty when he buys be so many things.

Everydaywoman, I love having them nice and compact. It's so easy to just toss them into something.

The Gingerbread House said...

Heather you can get one of those cheap quizmo's at
Walmarts that sucks the air out of the bag..
And a nice food processor will slice thin also..and do other things for you..Ginny

Rissa said...

Hey, the gadgets that hubby buys you come back to bless him. After all he gets to share in the produce!