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Monday, August 29, 2011

Zucchini Chips - Awesomely Delicious!

Every year I cut back on the zucchini plants, thinking that "this year I will have only what I need!"  Ha!  It's like a cosmic little joke against me, the less plants I grow, the more zucchini I get.  I bake it, saute it, shred it and freeze it, and still there is more.  My family begins to look at it as some kind of plague when I serve yet another dish of it for dinner.  Well, I experimented with a new recipe that I found, and everyone loves it - Zucchini Chips!

These chips are tasty on their own, and they go good with dip.  They can also be broken up over salad, and I am thinking that they may be tasty crumbled on top of a baked potato dish or mac and cheese dish with/instead of bread crumbs.  The best part about the chips is that they are dehydrated with onion salt, using no oil, so I have no problem letting the kids have these instead of potato chips with a grilled burger.  They are happy and they get a full serving of veggies without feeling like they were forced, heaven forbid, to eat a veggie.

Just a small sampling of zucchini from my garden.

I prefer to skin the zucchini, but this is a personal preference, and then I use my mandolin to slice the zucchini about 1/8 inch thick.  This makes an excellent chip, but be careful not to make them too thick, because it no longer feels like a chip.  I next put the slices in the same type of bath as the eggplant:  4 cups water, 2 Tbls. salt, and 2 Tbls. lemon juice.

This bath is not necessary, but it gets rid of that slightly weird feel of the zucchini, and the onion powder dissolves on the zucchini when it is sprinkled on later in this process.  You can do without the bath if you prefer.

Bathing Zucchini

I let them soak about 10 minutes, and then take them out and set them in a strainer.  Once they stop dripping, I lay them out on the dehydrator and sprinkle each one with my own onion salt.  It is dehydrated onions and kosher salt that I put in a spice grinder.  If you are interested in making your own onion spices, please see my post "Dehydrated Onion - Making your own Spices."

Onion-salted Zucchini Slices

I set the dehydrator at 135.F and let these dry for about and hour or two, and then flip each piece over.  If you let them dry completely with out flipping the slices, they will stick to the trays and break apart when you try to remove them.  Some people suggest to oil the trays, but I prefer to just flip them once, because oil can shorten the shelf life of dehydrated foods.  If you prefer or know that these are going to go quickly, or do not have time for the flip, use a paper towel with a bit of oil, and lightly rub oil on the trays before placing the zucchini slices on them.  

The chips are done when they are crispy like potato chips.  Take them off the trays and let them cool for a few minutes in a bowl.  Once they are cool, package them up.  Because the kids like these as snacks, I put a handful in a zip-close sandwich bag and put the bags in the snack box in the cupboard.  This is one snack that the kids can have whenever, even before dinner!

Zucchini Chips

Serve these at a party with dip, and you will be surprised at how many people who refuse veggies will eat these up.  You can also try different seasonings.  I am going to try a garlic-tomato-basil salt next.  If you have a flavor combo, share it in the comments, I would love to try it!

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