Announcements

Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by Healthline.com and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
Fill out my online form.

Where in the World is Carol?

Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and www.CarolFenster.com

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

Join Carol at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall level 2 in Denver on April 21,10:30 am during the GFAF Expo Conference. See you there!

Zucchini: Summer’s Versatile, Yet Under-Appreciated Veggie

About this time of year the same story goes around……..the one about being sure to lock your car doors so well-meaning friends, neighbors, and relatives can’t give you their excess zucchini (or tomatoes, or sweet corn or anything else from their over-producing gardens).  Zucchini are starting to appear in my CSA shares each week, but I welcome them each year.

Dehydrated zucchini slices make a low-cal gluten-free snack.

Dehydrated zucchini slices make a low-cal gluten-free vegetarian snack. Small chips on the left; larger ones on the right are from a large zucchini

Zucchini are a form of squash and are not viewed as a terribly exciting vegetable. (In fact, zucchini are really an immature fruit, but let’s not go there today.) That is because zucchini are bland-flavored and mostly water but they absorb spices and flavors and are a good background ingredient in many dishes so they are quite versatile. They are low in calories and fat and can be used in sweet breads, such as Zucchini Bread (see my book Gluten-Free Quick & Easy), or savory dishes such as casseroles (see Crab -Zucchini Casserole in my book, Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus) or simply prepared (see Roasted Zucchini with Thyme in my weekly online cookbook and menu planner at www.GfreeCuisine.com).

Here is a new way to enjoy zucchini that tastes good and is good for you, especially when it replaces potato chips or corn chips.

Oven-Dried Zucchini Chips

by Carol Fenster

Everyone, including the kids, will enjoy these chips for snacks and for dipping in hummus (as in the photo above). Or toss into salads to add crispiness. They can also be re-hydrated in casseroles or soups.

1 or more large zucchini or yellow squash

Salt, to taste

Parmesan, optional

[1] Heat oven to lowest setting (150°F on non-convention ovens) or lowest convection oven temperature (which is 180°F on my KitchenAid oven)

[2] Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice zucchini into 1/8-inch thick rounds.

[3] In a single layer, place on a roasting rack or grate set on a large rimmed baking sheet and lightly season with salt. The rack helps the zucchini slices dry from the top and bottom, rather than just the top. Depending on the moisture in the zucchini and how thick you slice them, they will take about 6 hours in a non-convection oven. However, in my convection oven the zucchini were done in 2 to 3 hours. I prefer to use a mandolin so they are uniformly sized. They should be crispy when done. Sprinkle with more salt, if desired, and Parmesan cheese, if using.

Tips for Successful Zucchini Chips

[1] Place zucchini slices that are similar-sized on the same baking sheet so they all dehydrate at the same speed. If necessary, use one sheet for smaller sizes and another sheet for larger sizes so you can remove the sheet with the smaller sizes sooner (so they don’t burn).

[2] Thin zucchini make very tiny chips; for chips that are similar in size to potato chips use large zucchini. If your zucchini are irregularly-shaped (as in the photo above) put smaller chips and larger chips on separate sheets for dehydrating.

[3] A rack helps the zucchini slices dry on top and bottom, but if you don’t have a rack use parchment paper or foil instead and turn them over after the edges start to curl.

[4] Dusting with salt before and after dehydrating makes a more flavorful chip; or avoid the second dusting of salt if you’re on a low-salt diet. If using both salt and Parmesan (which is also salty), taste the dehydrated chips first so you don’t make them too salty.

[5] Yellow zucchini make chips that look more like chips; green zucchini will have a little green around the edges due to their green skin.

Next Year, Let the Kids Grow Zucchini

Zucchini are a great plant for beginning gardeners, especially kids, because they grow and produce with very little care. One or two plants yields enough for the season. If you’re looking for dramatic growth and high yields with showy yellow flowers in the garden that make the kids proud of their gardening skills, this is the plant for you. Some people eat the lovely yellow blossoms, either tossed into salads or stuffed and fried for a popular delicacy. So, make a note for next year’s garden.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>