Summer got off to a late start here in the Pacific Northwest, but now that we’re having plenty of sunshine and blue skies, my garden is finally producing more than just greens. Yippee!
Like me, if you grow a garden, you’ve probably thought about preserving some of your bounty. Sure there’s canning and freezing, but let’s not forget about drying! One of the oldest methods of food preservation, it’s easy and doesn’t require a lot of attention or special equipment. I let a few of my zucchini get a wee bit over-sized so that I could make zucchini chips—the perfect snack when you’re craving something salty or crunchy.
Start by washing and drying the zucchini. Cut off and discard the ends. Slice the zucchini as thin and uniformly as possible (about the thickness of a quarter). If you have one, you can use a food processor or mandoline, I actually cut mine by hand.
Arrange zucchini slices on dehydrator trays, taking care to put like-thicknesses on the same trays. Sprinkle with sea salt. Periodically rotate the trays, keeping an eye on the thinnest slices, they will be done sooner. Once the chips are to the desired crispness (about 6-8 hours), let cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.
Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and coat lightly with olive oil. Arrange the zucchini slices on the baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 45 minutes and then rotate the slices and bake another 40 – 50 minutes until desired crispness. Let cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container—unless you eat them all first, they’re pretty irresistible!
There are several methods for drying a wide variety of both fruits and vegetables, which are great for snacking on, although you can also rehydrate them for cooking with. Have fun, it’s all in the experimentation!
If you make this recipe, snap a pic of your dish and hashtag it #kellylenihancooks. I'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
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