In case you want to know how to dehydrate zucchini, I have step-by-step instructions to show you how today. My garden is overflowing with fresh zucchini this year, so I’m preserving as much as I can.
Grocery prices continue to rise, and I believe they will be even more costly by the end of the year.
It’s all about having different types of food storage, right? Please let me know what you are dehydrating or canning right now, I love hearing what everyone is preserving as the growing season gets going strong.
You know, last year all the canning supplies and equipment doubled or tripled in price. In fact, you couldn’t buy canning lids if you wanted them. It’s all about supply and demand right? Of course, the dehydrators doubled in cost, I’m just hoping my dehydrator keeps on running. I don’t want to buy one yet until this one stops altogether.
Last year, I predicted we would see a lot of All American and Presto pressure canners being sold at garage sales or see them at thrift stores. I hope if you see canning lids (good ones, as in Ball or Kerr), you snag several boxes when you see them available.
Let’s hope we don’t see the shortage we saw last year. Some people were probably panic buying while others could not finish preserving their harvest for lack of canning lids.
How To Dehydrate Zucchini
Kitchen Items You May Need:
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife or a Mandoline Slicer
- Safety Kitchen Gloves
- Excalibur Dehydrator or Nesco Dehydrator
- Kitchen Chopper
How To Dehydrate Zucchini
Wash the zucchini and cut off the ends as straight as possible so the slices can be cut evenly.
I used an OXO Mandoline slicer to slice the raw zucchini evenly. I started out trying to slice the longer ones and soon learned I needed to cut them in half. I also used the #9 safety glove to make sure I did not slice my fingers.
I learned to use these when I taught dehydrating classes at kitchen stores. If you have a steady hand and a good knife you can slice them yourself.
Mark used an OXO Mandoline slicer to slice the raw zucchini evenly into 1/4-inch slices. We started out trying to slice the longer ones.
Then we cut the zucchini in half, and boy, was it easier to slice them. It was less bulky.
You may be wondering why I have TWO different shapes of dehydrated zucchini. I love the sliced ones for dips and snacks. But I like the chopped ones for soups.
You will usually see just sliced ones, but I wanted two different ways to use all these zucchini I have harvested from my garden. I also shred or grate zucchini for my freezer.
This is the Kitchen Chopper I used. I had to cut the zucchini to fit the cutting box shown below. Just push the chopper down and they are chopped.
We’re getting them spread out on the dehydrating racks.
These are ready for the dehydrator. My Excalibur dehydrator states to set it at it 125 degrees. Please check your brand to see the temperature they recommend for dehydrating zucchini.
These took about ten hours today. The time to dehydrate any food will depend on the humidity of the room where you are dehydrating it and the amount of moisture in the product itself.
This is how I “condition” them. I know they are dehydrated but I want to make sure every single section is totally dry. Yes, they are brittle, but not crumbly. They are perfect. I let them sit out for at least a week to complete the conditioning stage.
Then I fill pint (16-ounce) mason jars or quart (32- ounce) mason jars and seal them with a FoodSaver.
My FoodSaver® Jar Sealer
This FoodSaver® Jar Sealer is built into my unit. This one is for other units, at least the hose anyway. FoodSaver® Jar Sealer The unit must have an accessory hose opening.
- 4-6 Zucchini washed, cut off ends, and slice 1/4-inch thick or 1/8-inch thick for chips. I sliced these 1/4-inch thick today. I also did some cube shapes.
Wash the zucchini, cut off the ends, and slice 1/4-inch thick or 1/8-inch thick for chips. I sliced these 1/4-inch thick today. Use the younger, more tender zucchini when possible. Once they are larger, they have seeds that you will have to remove before dehydrating.
Set your dehydrator at 125 degrees unless your unit states otherwise. Dehydrate until they are brittle. Depending on the humidity where you are dehydrating they may take longer to dry or may take less time.
What are the health benefits of zucchini?
- High in antioxidants
- They help with digestion
- May lower sugar levels
- High fiber content
- Low calorie
- May reduce the risk of developing cataracts
Is zucchini a vegetable or a fruit?
I quote Wikipedia, “In botany, the zucchini’s fruit is a pepo, a berry (the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower) with a hardened epicarp. In cookery, it is a vegetable, usually cooked and eaten as a savory dish or accompaniment.” End of quote.
How do I store dehydrated zucchini?
I store them in pint and quart size mason jars. I use a funnel to fill them and remove the air with my FoodSaver.
Do I have to use oxygen absorbers in the jars?
This is a personal preference, I do not. I use my FoodSaver and will use them up within a year.
Can I sprinkle them with some garlic powder before dehydrating them?
You can, but you may want to dehydrate them outside because the onion or garlic powder smell may permeate your entire house. It will smell delicious at the beginning of the day, but you may regret it a few hours later, just saying.
What is the shelf-life of dehydrated zucchini?
You may remember Mark and I took classes to attain our Master Canner Preserver Certificates. We have been canning together for over 50 years, but things change over time so we took the classes from our local state extension service to learn the newest techniques.
If you have an extension service in your city, I highly recommend taking the class, if they offer it. They teach you the most updated tips using the USDA guidelines.
When taking this class, we both learned that when dehydrating food, water canning food, or pressure canning food at home they recommended a one-year shelf-life. Keep in mind, I have eaten canned peaches that had to be probably 3 or 4 years old. You have to do what you feel is safe for your family.
For me, I only dehydrate food I will use within one year. Then I start the cycle next year by having a garden to grow the following year’s worth of food.
How can I use it after it’s dehydrated?
- Add to soups.
- Perfect for casseroles.
- Sliced dehydrated zucchini is perfect to use with a dip like potato chips, but healthier.
- Blend it up to make a powder to sprinkle in omelets and use in pasta dishes.
- They are great for snacks any time of the day.
- Add some to a fresh salad, it adds a little crunch.
There is something awesome about dehydrating your own food. When you dehydrate zucchini, or any veggie for that matter, it gives you so many possibilities by adding a few extra veggies to any meal.
This is why it’s critical we learn to grow at least some of our own food. Here’s to preserving more food. We can do it, one zucchini at a time. May God Bless this world, Linda