I really like Zucchini. My husband really doesn’t. As such, when the ubiquitous veggie is in abundance during the summer, I have to think of creative ways to use up the Zuchs I get in my local box. If the veggies is totally transformed or hidden, I can ‘get away’ with serving it at our family table. Otherwise, I have to fly solo on my summer squash gastronomical adventures.
Just when I was about to start searching online for new Zucchini ideas, I came across this fabulous recipe for Zucchini chips. As the author points out, you can mix up the ingredients for flavoring your chips however you like them, and the following is my incarnation of this great idea for using Zucchini.
If you don’t have a food dehydrator and have fifty bucks to invest in a culinary tool that will quickly pay for itself in its ability to preserve and create great food, go buy one today. You can also dry foods on very low temperature in your oven, but in the middle of the summer who wants their oven on, sometimes with the door open, for 12 hours at a time? Not me! So… food dehydrator it is.
The key to making good chips is to get them THIN. A mandolin works best to get the slices both thin and uniform, but if you have a very sharp knife and lots of patience you can do without a mandolin.
2 large zucchini
3 tsp olive oil
2tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice your zucchini into very thin slices and place them in a large bowl.
2. Mix the oil, vinegar, and all the seasonings but the pepper in a small dish and mix well.
3. Using a spatula to get all the marinade out of the bowl, distribute the mix over the zucchini. Using clean hands, toss the zucchini in the marinade until the slices are evenly coated. Take your time doing this as its important to flavor all of your zucchini.
4. Turn on your dehydrator and allow it to warm up for five minutes (or follow your particular brand’s operating instructions).
5. As the dryer is warming, place your slices on your food trays in a single layer, not overlapping, and sprinkle with fresh-ground black pepper.
6. Stack your trays on your dehydrator and allow to dry until completely crisp and crunchy. My chips took about 6 hours for the lower racks and 7 for the upper racks.
7. Allow the chips to cool a bit, very carefully remove them from the rack and store, when completely cooled, in an airtight glass container.
This is a great recipe to do with kids. While the adult will need to do the slicing, eager little hands can be helpful in tossing the zucchini and layering them on the dryer trays. These chips make a delicious, healthy alternative to potato chips and they are my 14 month old’s new favorite snack. Enjoy!
-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and organically for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife
photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller