Need to use up all of those huge garden zucchini? Here’s how we make our dehydrated zucchini, zucchini flour, and how I store it for the winter.
Dehydrated Zucchini and Squash and Making Zucchini Flour
Although I’ve written briefly on dehydrating zucchini before, I decided to give it its own post since I’ve had so many questions on how I make it, how I store it, and what I do with it.
I started dehydrating zucchini and squash last year and I absolutely love it. I no longer freeze any zucchini so I’ve been saving so much valuable freezer space. Once fully dried and air-tight, the zucchini or squash is shelf-stable and holds up well. No more goopy, watery zucchini going into my baked goods or meals!
Another added bonus is that one medium-sized zucchini contains about 2.4 grams of protein. When you dry them and eat that in a condensed form, you are actually getting a great source of protein, vitamin c, and fiber! Fair warning though…yes, dehydrated zucchini contains a large amount of fiber. Keep this in mind in whatever zucchini recipe you are making with it and how much you consume in one sitting.
This is a great way to use those extra-large zucchinis and those overgrown squash and you don’t need to peel them either. (Unless you want to, it’s up to you!)
Let’s dive right in!
I start by washing the zucchini or squash. In this tutorial, I’m using squash but I use both equally. I do like yellow squash a little bit more because it has more of a mild flavor and seems a little drier so it doesn’t take as long.
I’m not going to peel these. Although I got them from a friend that had too many, I know these weren’t sprayed so I’m fine with using the peels as long as they are washed well to get all the dirt off.
Cut the ends off the squash or zucchini and then cut it in half. If you are using a small squash you don’t need to scoop the seeds out, but for these big ones you are going to want to do just that.
Next, I run the pieces of squash or zucchini through my shredder. I just bought this Cuisinart Shredder this year and I absolutely love it. I haven’t cut any of my fingers this year yet (I usually cut several with the grater) and it’s so easy to assemble, disassemble, and clean. This works great if you don’t have a food processor or don’t want to use electricity.
I don’t have any special trays on my dehydrator so I just fit pieces of parchment paper onto the trays to hold the shreds. Then I spread out the shredded zucchini or squash as evenly as I can over each tray.
Once the dehydrator is full, I turn it on 150 degrees and set it for at least 10 hours. I rotate the trays about halfway through. Once the timer is done, I may need to set it for longer based on what kind I’m drying and how much I loaded it up. You want to dry the shreds until the are completely dry and no dampness remains.
Can I bake the zucchini in the oven?
Yes, if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can bake the zucchini in the oven at 150 degrees until it’s fully dried. Just place it on a parchment-covered shallow pan or tray so it’s easier to remove once it’s dried.
How to Store Zucchini Flour and Dried Zucchini
After they are dehydrated, I pull the shreds out and place them in a mason jar. I then use a vacuum sealer attachment and a silica gel packet to seal the dried food in a jar. (I re-use jar lids for this so I don’t need to use up new ones.) You could also seal them in a food saver bag if you don’t want to use the jar. —Find more tips on this on my post on How to Deal with the Canning Jar Lid Shortage.
If I want to make zucchini or squash flour I simply take the dried shreds and run them through my Blendtec Blender until they are a powder. It definitely makes a mess so be prepared! I seal up the flour in a jar the same way I do for just the dried shreds and store them in my pantry until I’m ready to use it.
Using Zucchini Flour
Zucchini flour or squash flour tends to be best when mixed with another flour. If you use it on its own it tends to taste very salty and heavy. Mix at least half of another flour with the recipe that you are making (ie: use 1/2 cup zucchini flour with 1/2 cup regular flour).
You can also use this gluten-free zucchini flour to add into soups or smoothies or anywhere you want an extra veggie punch. 🙂
Can I make flour with other vegetables?
I don’t see why not! I love using both the squash and the zucchini because we usually have more than we know what to do with but things like pumpkins or winter squash would also make some great flours and pack a good punch of vitamins as well.
Using Dehydrated Zucchini Shreds
For the most part, I leave my dehydrated zucchini and squash in shredded form. I use this in all of my baked goods throughout the winter that call for zucchini. (Mix the flour in with the dry ingredients and the soaked shreds in with the wet ingredients in recipes.)
Before using I place the shreds in a bowl with enough water to cover them and let it soak for about 5 minutes before adding it into my recipe. Sometimes I use the soaking water in the recipe as well unless it doesn’t need excess liquid and in that case I drain it first before adding it to the recipe.
I also add the zucchini or squash shreds to soups, stir-fries, or anything else I think it might taste good in. We seriously love having this on hand at all times!
Here are some yummy things that we make with our dehydrated shredded zucchini and squash:
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins Recipe
- Easy Cinnamon Zucchini Cake Recipe
- Zucchini Cookie Recipe
- Recipe for Zucchini Brownies
- Healthy Zucchini Breakfast Cookies
- Homemade Zucchini Bread Recipe
I also make this delicious Zucchini Pineapple bread with it in the winter. I haven’t posted the recipe yet but it’s on my to-do list!
There are also other ways that you can preserve zucchini if you should choose to do so. Here are some of the other methods I have tried.
Have you ever tried making dehydrated zucchini or squash? What do you use it for? Which method for preserving zucchini do you like best?
This post on Dehydrated Zucchini and How to Make Zucchini Flour was originally posted on Little House Living in September 2021. It has been updated as of July 2022.