There aren't many certainties in gardening, but I can pretty much guarantee you one - you're going to have too many courgettes!
I know I certainly have, well mine are summer patty pan squashes, but you get the idea. I hate seeing them go to waste, I have about eight plants producing heavily and the chickens can only eat so many.
There's lots of chutneys and pickles that call for squashes but I haven't got the inclination at the moment and my pantry is still quite full of last years chutneys, so I looked at other ways I could preserve them.
It was time to crack out the dehydrator.
Really simple to prepare, I slice them up thicker than I would for fruit as they have such a high water content, around 6mm (1/4") works nicely but I'm never too fussy and they all turn out fine.
|I know this has apples in but you get the idea!|
I then fill up all nine trays in my dehydrator (the only downside to having such a big dehydrator!), set the temperature to around 52 degrees and leave it on for about 16 hours.
As these will be rehydrated before use I make sure they are dry enough by getting a piece out, letting it cool, then snapping it in two. If you have to tear it then it needs to be dried out longer.
I then pack these either into air tight jars or freezer bags. A better way to keep them would be to use a vacuum packer, something we are considering buying the the near future as it would be good for our meat processing as well.
These can then be used until next years plants are producing.
I'll use them in soups, stews and casseroles as a way to bulk up a meal and I'm sure I'll find other ways of using them as well, I'll need to be quite inventive as I have about 8 big bags of them so far and the plants are still going strong!
Do you dehydrate summer squash?
What do you do with it?