After the awesome responses on my post about what to do with my extra zucchini last week, I was excited to get to work and try some of your ideas. I decided that my first attempt at zucchini preservation would involve dehydrating. I don’t actually have a dehydrator, but the stove at my dad’s house (where I was working on this project) does go all the way down to 150 degrees, so I felt confident that I could make it work.
I followed this recipe pretty much exactly. First, I preheated the oven to 150 and got out a large cookie sheet and lined it with parchment paper. Next, I sliced the washed zucchini into 1/4 inch pieces. I arranged the pieces on the cookie sheet so that they weren’t touching and placed them in the oven.
The website said that the zucchini would be ready in 4-6 hours and to leave the oven door cracked. I did not crack the oven door because I have some very naughty, nosy dogs. Even with the oven door shut though it still seemed to work great. I left the zucchini in for a full 6 hours because when I checked them earlier than that they were not fully dehydrated yet and still retained some of their mushiness. At the 6-hour mark a few of them were still mushy, which seemed odd, but I just took out the finished ones and left the mushy ones in for another hour. All of the zucchini were ready at the 7-hour mark.
Overall, dehydrating the zucchini worked great! I wouldn’t mind trying to season a batch or spice them up a bit somehow in the future, but I was happy with how easy the whole process was. For this batch I only used one zucchini because, in the spirit of zero food waste, I didn’t want to end up with a bunch of ruined zucchini. I figured if I tried it with only one and that one turned out crummy, I could throw it away pretty guilt-free.
My plan for this dehydrated zucchini is to seal it up in vacuum-sealed bags and mail those bags to my house in Alaska. Then, this winter I can pull them out and add them to soups and such. I’m very excited to see how they turn out when I actually start cooking with them!