Monday, August 1, 2022

How to Dehydrate Zucchini (Dehydrator, Oven, Air Fryer)

Learn how to make dehydrated zucchini chips at home with a food dehydrator.  Dried zucchini can be preserved to use in recipes or use it to make a delicious low carb and healthy snack.  This has directions to learn how to dehydrate zucchini in oven, air fryer, or food dehydrator.

How to Dehydrate Zucchini

Every year, my husband wants to plant several zucchini plants, and we end up in a whispering match at the greenhouse.

I thought that I actually won this year when we took home four plants.

However, he was in charge of planting the garden this year.  We had several packs of old seeds, including zucchini seeds, so he decided to plant them just to get rid of them.

They all grew.  (Insert face palm here.)  

I have more zucchini than I know what to do with.  When I made my zucchini flour, I was snacking on the dried zucchini chips.  I knew they'd be good seasoned with chips, so I decided to share an entire post on how to how to dehydrate zucchini chips.

After all, I had plenty of vegetables to practice with this year.  It seemed like a good time to experiment with different cooking methods.

If you have more zucchini than you know what to do with, try using it in one of these ways:

You can also learn about how to preserve zucchini by canning, freezing, or freeze drying.

Is Dehydrated Zucchini Good?

Yes! Dehydrated zucchini is a great food. It is healthy due to its abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, it just tastes great which is why learning how to make zucchini chips is becoming so popular.

Further, learning how to dehydrate zucchini chips is a great way to use up excess zucchini and/or store it for long periods of time.

What Do You Use Dehydrated Zucchini For?

You can use dehydrated zucchini for a variety of purposes. They are easy to store and last longer on shelves than fresh zucchini, making it great for recipes. 

I like to add dehydrated zucchini chips to stir fry and other dishes to sneak in some veggies.

On their own, they are a great tasting alternative to potato chips, and healthier at that. I like to season them and eat them as a healthy low carb snack.

Dehydrated Zucchini Chips Seasonings

Dehydrated zucchini chips are a great alternative to traditional potato chips, and as such they are great with a multitude of seasonings. This is one of the best reasons to learn how to make zucchini chips, as they make for an excellent snack.

Following are some great options to season your dehydrated zucchini chips. 

How Do You Prepare Zucchini For Dehydrating

When learning how to make zucchini chips, preparing them is an important step. Preparation ensures that the rest of the process goes smoothly.

Thankfully, preparing your zucchini for dehydrating is a relatively simple process. After washing the zucchini thoroughly, all you have to do is cut it into the desired shapes and sizes you want to dehydrate. 

It is important to bear in mind that thinner and/or smaller slices dry much quicker than do thicker and bigger slices. The size of the zucchini will affect drying times which is important to consider beforehand. 

I love this all in one vegetable chopper. It makes cubes, slices, grated zucchini, and spirals. 

Do You Have To Blanch Zucchini Before Dehydrating 

Blanching is often a critical part of dehydrating other foods, but not when it comes to learning how to make zucchini chips. Typically, you will not have to blanch zucchini before it can be dehydrated. 

More specifically, with the methods listed here you will not have to worry about blanching your zucchini. 

How Do I Dry Zucchini?

Using a dehydrator is a straightforward process. Once your dehydrated zucchini chips are prepared, or skinned and sliced, lay it out on the tray. 

Try not to have any overlapping slices as to let the maximum amount of air circulation occur. Then, it is a matter of turning the machine on and waiting for the zucchinis to be dehydrated. 

I really like my Nesco food dehydrator.  It's affordable, easy to store, and does a great job.

How Long Do Dehydrated Zucchini Chips Take In A Dehydrator

How long the dehydration process will take largely depends on the machine itself, as well as the size and thickness of the slices you are dehydrating. 

Typically the process will take several hours, which is why I recommend starting the process in the morning so you can package the zucchini in the evening. 

Further, I recommend ensuring that you will be available while dehydrating should the machine have any problems, and just to ensure that you are able to monitor the progress of your zucchini. 

How To Dehydrate Zucchini Without A Dehydrator

If you do not have a dehydrator, or if you are just looking for some alternative methods, then look no further. Following are some great alternatives to using a dehydrator that will still yield delicious dried zucchini and help you learn how to dehydrate zucchini chips.

How To Dehydrate Zucchini In The Oven

Learning how to dehydrate zucchini in an oven uses up more electricity than a dehydrator, but is still an effective method nonetheless. 

To start, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and add a layer of your prepared zucchini. Bake them at 135 degrees, or the lowest setting of your oven, for about ten hours. 

Additionally, you can also bake them at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for around seven hours to get them all finished in one day. However, if you do opt for a higher temperature be sure to keep a careful eye on them so they do not burn. 

Learning how to dehydrate zucchini in an oven is a great way to dry your zucchini because most people have ovens, and because this method is super simple.

How To Dehydrate Zucchini In An Air Fryer

Air fryers are a popular alternative method of making dried zucchini chips, especially for those learning how to dehydrate zucchini for the first time. 

For smaller batches of zucchini, you can do them in an air fryer. You cannot do as many at a time as with the oven method, but it does use less electricity making it a more cost effective alternative to the oven method.

To get started, place your zucchini chips onto the tray of the air fryer. They should be in a single layer and not crowded as to allow for maximum air flow. 

Set the temperature of the fryer to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and let cook for about fifteen hours. However, you should check them often after the ten to twelve hour mark. 

Learn more about how to dehydrate in an air fryer.

How To Rehydrate Dehydrated Zucchini

One of the more important parts of learning how to dehydrate zucchini is learning how to rehydrate it for use as well. Thankfully, this process is really easy.

Rehydrating your zucchini is super simple to do, as it all requires a bowl of warm water. Simply soak the zucchini chips in the warm water for five to ten minutes and let air dry and they will be reconstituted.

I don't always rehydrated my dehydrated zucchini chips though.  If I add them to soups or casseroles, I let them absorb the liquid in the recipe and add more water if needed.

How Long Does Dried Zucchini Last

Storing your dried zucchini chips is an incredibly important part of learning how to dehydrate zucchini as you do not want all of your dried zucchini chips to go to waste.

How long dried zucchini lasts depends entirely on how it was stored. There are several methods that you can use, and each will allow your zucchini to last anywhere from six to twelve months if done properly.

You can vacuum seal your zucchini in special bags, however, this requires a special machine. It does create a tighter and more durable seal though, so if you have the ability I recommend it. 

You can also use a mason jar with a plastic lid screwed on tightly.  I like the Ball leak proof storage lids.  I tried generic brands, but they broke if you looked at them the wrong way.  The Ball lids are more expensive, but I've reused them many times over the last five years.

I recommend storing your dried foods in a basement that is cool and dry. This will let the least amount of water into the food, keeping it fresher for longer. 

If you want your food to last for up to 25 year, however, you will need a freeze drier like the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.  

I have the medium, and I love it for freeze drying all kinds of foods.  

Dried Zucchini Chips Ingredients

You will need the following to learn how to make zucchini chips:

  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • Dehydrator, air fryer, or oven
  • Knife or mandolin slicer
  • Natural parchment paper for the air fryer or oven
  • Seasoning 
  • Olive oil for air fryer

How to Dehydrate Zucchini

Follow these steps to dehydrate zucchini at home:

How to Dehydrate Zucchini in Food Dehydrator

  • Prep your zucchini by washing it and trimming off the ends.  
  • Slice, shred, or cut the zucchini into chunks.  The smaller the zucchini, the quicker it will dehydrate.
  • Then place the zucchini on the dehydrator trays in a single layer.  Season if desired. Set the temperature to 125 degrees F to 135 degrees F.  
  • Dry the zucchini for 5 to 11 hours.  The time depends on the moisture in the zucchini, the humidity in the air, and how thick your zucchini is.

How to Dehydrate Zucchini in Air Fryer

  • Prep your zucchini by washing it and trimming off the ends.  
  • Slice, shred, or cut the zucchini into chunks.  The smaller the zucchini, the quicker it will dehydrate.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 225 degrees F.  Line the baking sheet with natural parchment paper.  Place the zucchini on the parchment paper in a single layer.  Spray with olive oil and season if desired.  
  • Bake for 2 hours or until the zucchini chips are crispy.

How to Dehydrate Zucchini in Oven

  • Prep your zucchini by washing it and trimming off the ends.  
  • Slice, shred, or cut the zucchini into chunks.  The smaller the zucchini, the quicker it will dehydrate.
  • Lay the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer.  Season if desired.
  • Set your oven on the lowest temperature, usually 150 degrees F.
  • Dry your zucchini in the oven for 2 to 5 hours or until done.

Learning how to dehydrate zucchini chips is never an exact science.  The time depends on humidity, how much water is in your zucchini, and how thick the zucchini is.  Plan on checking on them every hour or even every half hour for the air fryer.

Now you know how to make zucchini chips!

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  1. Hi Cari, The next time you have FAR too many zucchini's try shredding them, then lightly season the shreds with seasoned salt (Lawry's) My late friend Rusty dried his zucchini seasoned thusly and he told me it tasted like BBQ potato chips. This will be my first year trying it that way so I'll stop back in the fall and let you know how it worked

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