Like Ally and Rich, we’re currently swimming in zucchini! I mentioned in my comment on their post that we’ve been dehydrating ours, so I thought I should post some photos.
We’re currently getting up to 5 zucchini every day:
Little wonder that our fridge’s crisper looks like this, then:
So, on to the dehydrating. First, I cut the zucchini into slices about 5mm thick. It’s fairly important to get the thickness uniform, so the slices will dehydrate at the same rate. A mandolin slicer is very handy for this, but be careful! I cut my finger quite badly a few weeks ago on this one.
You generally need to blanch vegetables before freezing or dehydrating. This is done by boiling or steaming them for a short time, then quickly chilling them in cold water to halt the cooking process. Blanching destroys the enzymes that cause vegetables to develop off colours and flavours and get tough, and also kills off most of the microorganisms that can cause vegetables to deteriorate.
I’ve found the microwave to be a very convenient, precise and non-messy way to blanch vegetables. I spread them in a single layer in a microwave steamer, steam them for the recommended time, and then plunge them into cold water. About 2:30 seems to be the right time for zucchini slices.
At this point, Hannah likes to help me by arranging the slices in the dehydrator trays.
We then pat them dry with a clean teatowel, and put the trays into the dehydrator.
We run the dehydrator on the front deck. There’s a power point out there, it’s under cover and protected from the elements, and it keeps the noise and warm air out of the house. After about 8 hours, the slices have dehydrated.
All that’s left then is to bag up the zucchini chips, and store them for the soup-and-stew-making season!
What do you have a glut of at the moment? How are you dealing with it?