Probably like you, I had an overabundance of zucchini this past summer, and I was on an endless quest to find different ways to cook the little (sometimes not so little) courgettes.
Zucchini muffins, zucchini bread, deep fried zucchini, roasted zucchini with parmesan, zucchini lasagna…
Yeah… you get the picture.
I actually read somewhere on a gardening blog that you should only plant ONE zucchini for every two people, lest you have too many to store. I planted two. I just couldn’t live without zucchini, and after I lost all my zucchini plants to squash mosaic virus a few years ago, I have planted at least two zucchini every year since then, one as a back-up for just in case.
Um-Hmm. Then this happened…
The plants grew lush and full, and I was soon harvesting that many (above) zucchini almost every other day! It reminded me of the great zucchini invasion of 2014…
Then I saw a recipe for oven dehydrated zucchini chips.
“Seriously?” I said to myself, “is this the holy grail of good tasting, good for you snack foods?”
Almost. On further reading, I saw that olive oil was involved. Don’t get me wrong… I adore olive oil! I just wanted to see if I could make a chip without oil and save a few calories.
If you know me, you know I absolutely adore experimenting in the kitchen, and my dear hubby is the best guinea pig ever! So I dove in.
First, I used my handy-dandy mandolin to slice up the pretty green squash. Easy enough. Except, I will say, as my experiment with zucchini chips progressed, I found that the fresher the zucchini, the harder it was to get perfectly even slices. The zucchini that had already spent a day in the refrigerator didn’t tend to crack or chip off as easily. Strange, but true. However, you don’t want to wait more than a day or so from harvest to slicing, or the zucchini can get limp, and that makes slicing with a mandolin harder, if not dangerous!
I started out slicing the zucchini on the thin setting because I figured this would make the crunchiest chips. Well, at least I thought it would.
The sliced squash was laid in a single layer on parchment and sprinkled with my dry homemade taco seasoning (I got the recipe HERE), then placed into my SunOven. I left the glass door of the Sun Oven slightly ajar so that the moisture could easily escape, and directed the oven just slightly off of direct sunlight. Why? I wanted to dehydrate the chips, not cook them!
They were done in about 2 hours, and they were good! Not the best chip I had had in my life, but they were good and didn’t taste at all like zucchini. The taco seasoning pretty much stuck to the chip, I assume because I sprinkled it on the chips as soon as I sliced them, so they were still pretty wet. Aha! See… no oil is needed!
But they were just too thin. They were crunchy, but only the first bite into the chip was crunchy. You see, first I got the crunch, but then I got a melt-in-your-mouth when you don’t really want melt-in-your-mouth kind of feeling. Harrumph! Besides, there was no way this chip would hold up to even the thinnest dip.
But the flavor was great!
One thing I noticed, also, was that the thinner chips dehydrated A LOT FASTER than the thicker chips. Yeah, I know, Duh… but what I mean to say is that it dried exponentially faster!
So, I sliced some more zucchini on the medium setting this time, and with this batch I sprinkled on some Lawry’s Roasted Garlic Salt (my new favorite seasoning).
Yes, yes! So Good! Perfectly crunchy, and thick enough to use a light dip. And again…no oil! I also tried a batch using just sea salt and then another batch with salt and black pepper. Meh. The truth is, the zucchini has such a mild flavor that you need stronger seasoning on the chips. So far, my favorite zucchini chip flavor is the Lawry’s Roasted Garlic Salt.
But, now I have a new quest… I need to find more flavors for my chips! I will spend some time this winter gathering recipes for chip flavors (please help), and then experiment again next summer when I have another over-abundance of zucchini.
I would like to find a recipe for a homemade dry powdered ranch dressing mix to try as a flavoring for these chips. I saw a recipe for this a few years ago, using powdered milk and other spices, but alas I did not save it and can’t find it anymore.
I wonder if it’s possible to make a nacho chip with homemade ingredients, or even sour cream and onion? Maybe barbeque? Perhaps you have a good homemade recipe for one of these flavors or maybe you have another suggestion?
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