Zucchini Chips: 3 steps to make them and why you should eat them.
What is a zucchini chip?
It's a slice of zucchini that has been dehydrated until it is crunchy.
You can salt them and flavor them, or you can choose to leave plain. You can also choose to dehydrate them oil-free, but I like to use coconut oil because it helps make the herbs/spices stick.
How to make them:
1. Slice your zucchinis. (I don't recommend going too thin or you will end up with paper-thin chips)
2. Optional: If you want to flavor them - First, melt some coconut oil (you want a light coating, the amount will vary with the size of your batch) and toss your zucchini slices in oil. Then, sprinkle on your choice of seasoning. I like using sea salt, pepper, garlic scape powder and nutritional yeast. I've also done sea salt, garlic powder and dill. The plain ones are simply delicious as well! You can choose any flavor combo you like. My next experiment will be salt n vinegar for sure.
3. Lay slices out on dehydrator trays and dehydrate* until crispy.
* Dehydrators come in all shapes and sizes. Some have heat setting and timers and some do not. You may have to play around until you find out how long these take to finish in your machine. I set mine to around 130'F and left these for about a day, periodically checking and snacking on them until they were done to crunchy perfection.
Don't own a dehydrator? Some ovens have settings that allow you to get such low temps you can get similar results. You won't get the same air circulation though, so you'll have to flip your chips and should definitely check on them more often! Also, you should get a dehydrator!
To maintain crunch and freshness these chips will store best in an airtight container.
I prefer to use glass jars whenever possible.
Why should you eat zucchini chips? So many reasons:
Seasonal food - Zucchinis are in season right now! They are cheap, abundant and available locally grown in most places across Canada. If you have a gardener friend I can almost guarantee that they have a nice big zucchini with your name on it! Eating local and seasonal food is good for your health and it's great for the health of your community. Every time you choose local over imported it makes a difference.
Preserve food - I repeat, zucchinis are in season right now! Cheap, abundant, available, but soon the local ones will be gone. If we save our local ones now (make chips!) we can enjoy local zucchinis in the winter. Zucchinis = perishable. Zucchini chips = shelf stable.
Delicious - Zucchini chips are the best. Any batch I've ever made barely makes it into a jar because we always snack on them while they are dehydrating. They are crunchy, crispy, and so satisfying. Because you can flavor any way you want you can 100% satisfy your various chip cravings... Kids and adults will want to eat these.
Nutritious - Yup. These can be made with a single ingredient, zucchini: rich in fiber, vitamins, (K1, carotenoids, vitamin C, some of the B's) minerals, antioxidants, and more. If you do choose to flavor your chips with good quality herbs and spices you can increase the antioxidant and phytonutrient content even more. The addition of coconut oil (good quality saturated fat) will make these chips taste amazing and will also make them a more energy sustaining/blood sugar balancing snack.
Easy - Can you slice a zucchini? I sure hope so. If you can do that, you can make these!
I hope I inspire some of you to give these a try, you won't regret it!