Dehydrated Zucchini and Squash and Making Zucchini Flour
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.
Would the dehydrated zucchini be able to be used to make zucchini relish?
I haven’t tried that yet but I’m not sure the texture would be right. Maybe with a longer soaking it would work.
Going to try this later. Thanks so much! You are amazing, Merissa. (I’d thought I might have to leave home… it was nearly me or the zucchini )
Thank you! This is very helpful.
Speaking of dehydrating… Melons! They come out tasting like cotton candy.
Wow great post! Never thought about making it into a flour. Thank you!!!
Can the zucchini flour be used as a thickener in soups or sauces, in place of regular flour? I’m on a strict Keto diet and am trying to convert regular recipes to Keto. Would like an alternative to expensive almond flour for a thickening agent. Thank you.
It won’t thicken quite the same as regular flour but it will thicken things up a bit. Just remember it will also add flavor while it’s doing this.
I’ve started drying my zucchini, ever since you mentioned it before. Now I will start drying the summer squash, too. I look forward to using it this winter. Thanks for all the good information.
I love your posts and would love to save this one about dehydrated zucchini and zucchini flour. However, it locks up my iPad and eventually errors out. Pinterest is unable to find an image to save. Of course you have plenty of images! I’m wondering if you actually have too many, and too many ads. I suspect that it’s taking too long to load into Pinterest and timing out. Any ideas on how I can save your post to Pinterest on an iPad?
I have the post preloaded to have a Pinterest image when you click the pin button on the bottom and it worked for me this morning. Maybe Pinterest was being glitchy?
I do not have a dehydrator , is there another way to do it ?? I enjoy reading your book and your ideas you share
You can use your oven if it goes down to the same temp. If it’s something you plan on doing often though I would recommend a dehydrator. Even an inexpensive one would work fine. 🙂
I’ve cut zucchini and yellow squash into rounds, seasoned with various powdered spices and salts and pepper, dried and eat like potato chips.
Agreed that this is a fantastic way to preserve summer squash. I also slice it and dehydrate it. It holds up so well when added to soups, stews and stir frys. Sooooo much better than freezing. Great post!
How can I dry zucchini in my oven? Or can you dry in the microwave. Don’t have. Dehydrator?
If you oven goes to a very low setting (170 degrees F or lower) you could try that, however zucchini takes quite a while to dry and it may not be worth the cost of electricty/gas.
Have you tried on the dash your car? the front window magnifies the sun and it gets pretty hot, I have heard it works but haven’t tries as I have a dehydrator so no Idea how long it takes. Figure it is worth a try. my first dehydrator was a cardboard box with a light bulb inserted and food then on a cookie sheet that fit the box, I think we had a foil cover over the box.
I haven’t tried it yet but I have heard of people doing it! It would probably take quite a while with zucchini unless it’s spread very thinly but I’m sure it could be done.
Do the jars need to be vacuum sealed or have silica packets in them when storing or is it okay to just simply store the dehydrated zucchini in a jar and store it in a cool dark place?
No, if you aren’t storing for super long, or if you don’t live in a humid place, they are fine just placed in a regular jar with a lid.
When you put dehydrated zucchini in mason jar, do you have to use vacuum seal
No you don’t have to, it just helps it retain it’s best flavor and color for longer.
Can zucchini flour be used with almond or coconut flours in keto recipes?
It’s a veggie so I don’t see why not. I haven’t personally used it with those flours though so I can’t tell you how it reacts.
I wonder if it could be used in place of regular flour for frying chicken and chicken fried steak?
There is an ongoing joke in my family about Zucchini. While my kids were growing up I had an over abundance of it in my garden and to try and get my kids to eat it I would shred, dehydrate , and make flour out of it, adding it to anything and baking with it. They would not touch it. But their friends loved the stuff I baked with it!
I wonder if you can’t use the soaking water to water houseplants. Would it harm them?
I don’t think it would harm them but I have not tried it.