Zucchini is one of those wonderful vegetables that is easy to grow, and grow plenty of. It has a fairly bland flavor, which makes it the perfect vegetable to sneak into recipes that range from bread and muffins to soups, stews, and scrambles. Nutritionally, zucchini is a good source of protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
If it’s harvest time where you are and you’ve got these little green wonders coming out of your ears, here’s what to do with all that zucchini:
- Make chips – just slice thinly, freeze dry, then toss with seasoned salt or sea salt.
- Preserved chunks for soups, stews, ragu, and ratatouille – place a single layer on the freeze drying trays and preserve in airtight containers until you’re ready to use. You don’t need to rehydrate before adding to moisture rich recipes such as these – they’ll absorb everything they need from the broth.
- Preserve shreds for pancakes, fritters, muffins, and quick breads. The magical thing about using freeze dried zucchini in quick bread, fritter and muffin recipes is that most require that you dry out the squash and remove as much moisture as possible before adding it to the batter. Freeze drying does that for you automatically, which makes the end result much more flavorful and moist.
- Preserve chunks for dog treats – most dogs love zucchini, and munching on fibrous vegetables can help clean their teeth. Cut your chunks to the appropriate size for your dog, remembering they’ll shrink just a little when the moisture leaves. Keep them in an airtight cookie jar and dispense liberally.
And it’s not just zucchini that can be freeze dried – onions, melons, peppers, tomatoes, just to name a few. Nothing tastes better than fresh garden produce…with a home freeze dryer, now you can keep that taste year-round!
What’s the recipe for the zucchini chips they rave about on the Movie Show?
For things like zucchini, squash, etc, that we turn into healthy “chips”, we quickly parboil them (for just a few minutes) first. Then we add a small amount of oil and seasonings, then freeze dry. We don’t use these for longterm storage because Doug Wright eats them too fast to store for years. 🙂
Try this and throw away potato chips forever!
Slice zucchini as thin as possible, I used a guillotine slicer. Put slices in a large bowl sprinkle salt over them and mix enough to get salt incorporated. Put plate over, then use a weight on plate , let sit over night. Next day drain all liquid, then put trays. Sprinkle cheese of your choice lightly over, then sprinkle any spices you like. Bake about 15 minutes, cool then freeze dry.
Can freeze dried squash be rehydrated and fried?
I’ve sautéed freeze-dried yellow squash in butter with onions and garlic.
I blanch all my veggies before freeze drying. When rehydrating, I usually let them sit for a little bit longer (to soak up more water) because I think it makes the texture a little better. I’ve used a lot of freeze-dried yellow squash for casseroles and I like that it holds its texture better. When making casseroles with fresh, it seems to get almost too mushy. For zucchini, I have grated it and freeze dried it, rehydrated it (not quite completely) and used it in zucchini bread and it works great.
Do you blanch them to remove the skin or what?
Do I need to use young zucchini (without big seeds) for freeze drying?
No, both will freeze dry just fine.
Do zucchini and peppers or other veggies need to be blanched before freeze drying?
I freeze dry peppers all the time. No need to blanch first. Most other vegetables will perform better blanching prior to freeze drying.
I usually cut zucchini into rounds, dip in egg and then fry. How would I do that with the freeze dryer? Can I dip the zucchini in egg and then freeze dry, or would it be better to just dry the zucchini and add egg later?
Have seen others dry the zucchini and add egg later, but it would be great to try both ways!
I’m thinking of making a 3/4 sliced yellow & green squash, topped with parmesan seasoned bread crumbs casserole and freeze drying the leftovers. Here’s the recipe I’ll use. How do you think this will freeze dry?
Make zucchini flour! It is low carb, keto friendly and can be a substitute for coconut flour. In a recipe with regular flour, you can replace 1/3 with zucchini flour.
tell me how you prepare the zucchini before you put them on trays. can you use older zucchini?
Can you use an spiralizer and make squash and zucchini noodles to freeze dry? Any particular way it should be dried? I was thinking of making little nests, or discs, like some real noodles are at the store. Thanks so much!
I’ve never done it, but it sounds like an amazing idea.:)
You’re making me want to try that too!