Saturday, 16 September 2017

Dehydrating Courgette/Zucchini

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?

11 comments:

  1. My excess courgettes go either into Ratatouille or cut-up for the freezer. Both are good.

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  2. I tend to freeze courgette to pop into Curry's and casseroles etc

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  3. Yes, I have dehydrated summer squash, but I found I didn't use them all that much. But that's a commentary on my, not the squash!. Now I only put in a few plants and we enjoy them fresh for awhile and then that's that!

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  4. I grow enough so that I can feed some to the pigs. Later on in the winter it will be mangelwurzels.

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  5. A point on the vacuum sealer: It is more the plastic the vac bags are made of than the vacuum itself. We have a vac sealer and use it. But, we also discovered that the plastic the bags are made of is a very different material than conventional poly zip seal freezer bags. The zip seal bags will allow air transfer through the membrane; the vac bags will not. So? If you can't buy the vac machine right away, then buy the bag material and a heat sealer (much cheaper) and you'll be good to go. 'Perfect is the enemy of good.'

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  6. I don't have a dehydrator yet so this comment is theoretical but I am wondering if you could preseason your squash slices in a marinade such as soy sauce, honey, liquid smoke and garlic or onion powder to make a sort of savory/sweet chip?

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    1. Yes you can- zucchini (courgette) chips are a thing. We still prefer kale ships in my house though!

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  7. Later on in the winter it will be mangelwurzels.


    หีฟิต

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  8. I haven't had a glut this year, just a steady supply (or maybe my children are just eating more now they're bigger and I need to plant more!) but I've grated and dehydrated courgettes in the past for adding to stews etc.

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  9. Before dehydrating i soak them in vinegar then sprinkle salt on. Taste like crisps

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