Dehydrating zucchini is a great way to preserve it to use in future recipes. Learn how to do it here!
Dehydrating zucchini is the perfect way to preserve it if you've grown more than you know what to do with! Zucchini is one of the easiest types of veggies to dehydrate and, once rehydrated, tastes just as delicious as if it was fresh!
There are some pros and cons to dehydrating your veggies.
When you dehydrate zucchini, or any other fruit or vegetable, you remove all of the water content from it. This helps prevent the growth of mold or bacteria and means that your dehydrated zucchini will not spoil! As a result, it is easy to store and very lightweight, making it perfect to pack on a camping or backpacking trip.
The downside of dehydrating is that some of the nutritional value of your produce is lost; although it's important to remember that virtually any cooking method will cause this too!
We highly recommend blanching your zucchini before dehydrating it. The reason for this is that it will help keep its beautiful, vibrant green color and help maintain its texture.
If you only plan to use your dehydrated zucchini for soups or stews, you may not be so bothered about the color or texture of the zucchini, so do feel free to skip this step.
To blanch your zucchini before dehydration, simply bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the whole zucchini in for a minute. In the meantime, prepare an ice bath. Once the minute is up, immediately place the zucchini into the ice bath for a minute. Remove and pat dry.
Now, onto the dehydration process.
If you have a dehydrator, this is super simple. If you don’t, you can use the oven method. Here, we will describe both methods - if you are blanching your zucchini, do this first then follow your preferred method.
Using a dehydrator:
1. If you have not blanched your zucchini, make sure you wash it thoroughly, scrubbing the outside well.
2. Cut the zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds or chunks.
3. Arrange the zucchini pieces on the dehydrator tray, ensuring there is space around each piece. You should make sure no pieces are touching and that they are all single-layer; any doubling up will cause them to dry inconsistently.
4. Set the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit and dry for about six hours until the zucchini is crisp dry.
5. Allow the dried zucchini pieces to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes.
6. Store the dried zucchini in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dark place.
Using the oven:
1. Follow steps 1-3 of the dehydrator method, but rather than arranging on the dehydrator tray, use a baking tray covered in parchment paper.
2. The tricky part with the oven is that you cannot usually achieve a temperature lower than 150 degrees Fahrenheit. So, set your oven as low as it can go and leave the oven door open a crack, just about an inch. Use an oven thermometer to get a gauge of temperature - it should be anywhere between 125-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry the zucchini for 4-6 hours until crisp-dry.
To rehydrate your zucchini, pour boiling water over it and allow it to soak for 15 minutes. Once plump, drain the water and use it as desired.