I was dubious. I imagined zucchini chips as bland and tough. However, I was ready to make a lot of use of my new dehydrator. I asked a friend who is more experienced with drying food. She said they are surprisingly good. Next, I researched details in my new resources, such as Preserve It Naturally and Preserving Summer’s Bounty.
The spice mixes I found were too complicated or exotic sounding for my taste and my projected uses for the zucchini pieces. I remembered what I had recently learned of the culinary attributes of kosher salt and my choice was made. The next problem was to decide how to cut them up. With my large kitchen being inundated with garden produce, I needed something faster than hand slicing. I was worried my 20 year old Kitchen Aide and it’s slicing attachment might mangle the squash too much, but a trial run proved that the right amount of pressure yielded good sturdy slices, even if some of the smaller squash cut sideways. There were a couple handfuls of bits and pieces which I deemed quite an acceptable loss considering the amazing speed and fun of using my power tool.
The nearly 30 cup metal bowl filled was enough to fill the 9 dehydrator trays, with about 2 cups left over that I would package for the freezer.
I decided to blanch the slices before drying, since longer winter storage is desired. The younger, denser zucchinis held up to this best, although thickness also played a large part. After the ice water cooling and draining, I arranged them on the trays and sprinkled lightly with the kosher salt.
They were so wet, it was hard to envision them drying well. However, just 24 hours later, they looked pretty crispy. They had shrunken significantly. They had a subtle buttery zucchini flavor. The kosher salt was perfect. I look forward to munching on them for snacks and trying them in soups.
I must say I am very happy with my dehydrator. There are dried carrots already stashed away, as well as a fine variety of herbs from my garden, including chocolate mint. There are high hopes for dried apples and raisins. Weather permitting we will yet have some tomatoes and peppers, too.