NancyJo
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excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

I have had a great season so far with my summer squash, I want to make chip like snacks with them. Do they dry crisp enough, and what to you put on yours for seasonings?

Thanks
NancyJo

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

I had to do a little playing around with them, but got them crisp the second time around. I cut them to thick the first time, but then too thin the second time.

I have a nice mandolin slicer. 1/4" too thick, 1/8" too thin. Right in the middle (3/16?) just right.

Single layer at 115 F for 12-ish hours.

I've had them come out crisp, then I stored them in a ziplock bag and they got limp on me. I redid them for 4 more hours, and they stayed crisp.

I oven canned the chips one year and they kept for as long as it took us to eat them all...not a year...ONLY because we ate them.

I make a BBQ seasoning with finely ground sea salt, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder (and if I don't plan on oven canning them, I put a pinch of sugar to it. I don't have measurements, just add by sight to what I like. I run it for 10-15 seconds in the coffee grinder to make sure it's finely ground.

Before I dehydrate, I salt my slices and let them drain in the sink for a few hours, then rinse them. Keep that in mind when you add your salt to the sprinkling mix. I lay them out single layer on the trays and then I sprinkle the mixture on them, then process them.
Lindsay
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NancyJo
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Thanks Lindsay, I'm going to give it a try today.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

(And onion powder, too! Forgot it!)
Lindsay
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

I know this is kind of off topic, but I made some zesty zucchini relish last weekend. From the Ball blue book, and it was AWESOME in chicken salad. Very very yummy! It was very easy, too! (I omitted the horseradish cause I think that's yucky)
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NancyJo
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

well my chips turned out very lovely, I don't think I will need to oven can them as I don't think they will last more than a day here !! I will be making more this week as I get 5 to 6 squash a day.

Oh I think I will try that recipe for the relish also, I think that will make a nice addition to my gift baskets at Christmas time.

Thanks so much for all the tips your giving me, I think I get into such a rut in what I do and I so happy I'm expanding on my preserving methods and ingredients.

Have a great day!!

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

I get asked about Christmas presents every year! Hahaha

"What's in the basket this year?"

I always make gifts out of food from the garden! Folks really like jars or preserved foods! Especially if they are unique and pretty!

Pleasure is all mine! I'm very passionate about preserves and not wasting the food in my garden! I love to give away excess, too!
Lindsay
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applestar
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

You are both making me WANT to grow summer squash!
I'm thinking of trying Cuccuza next year as well as Tromboncino if my one squash so far will mature and give me seeds.
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NancyJo
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

I had to look up those varieties on google. One would only need a few of the Tromboncino for a full dehydrator load. Now I will have to do some research to see if I can grow them this far north. As that would be something new for me to try.

Love this site!!

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kayjay
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

My zucchini failed this summer and I'm bummed about it because dried zucchini is my favorite go-to dipper alternative. I don't season them when I dry them because they're always being dipped into salsa, hummus, etc. I've tried seasoning them and never came up with a taste and texture good enough to consider a plain potato chip alternative. I've kept them in plastic containers for maybe 5 days, but most of the time, I finish them long before that.

(I know, you're probably thinking, "how does someone fail at zucchini?" It's our first year in this home and I didn't realize there'd be shade where I planted it. It's still alive, but on life support.)
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applestar
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Once I planted zucchini on the SW side of the house thinking it might be OK because the area got sun from 11AM-5PM. Zucchini had other ideas, one of them overwhelmed the 2nd one and crawled straight out of the house shadow over the path 3 feet, started to bloom and produced two fruits, ...then the SVBs killed it.
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

...haha I was looking for what to do with the excessive Butta zucchini and came across this thread :()

- How thick should I slice them for the dehydrator? ( nevermind, found Lindsay's post -- I wish I had a mandolin )

- How do you "oven can" the chips?

- where did I put my Ball book ...(I READ it like a book so it has tendency to wander and get set down in unexpected places around the house)
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applestar
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Do you blot dry the rinsed slices before putting in the dehydrator?
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Yes!

Try the relish!! Making some probably this weekend.
Lindsay
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

I only ovencan dry goods. I place the chips in the jars, wipe the jar rim with a damp towel, then put the lid on. I put them in a cold oven, then turn it on to 200 degrees F, and then leave them for an hour. Turn oven off, and open the door until they are cool.
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Thanks, Lindsay! :()
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Great post, Lindsaylew! I'm getting bumper squash and have wondered what else I could do with them. On your description of oven canning-sounds simple. Now, after you turn off the oven, do you hear all the jars popping as they cool (like you do with water-bath canning)? Thanks for the seasoning recipe as well.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

You know.......I don't know if I've heard them ding or not! They do come out with a depressed deal though.

You do want to make sure that whatever you seal up is completely dry, not flexible. Crisp dry. Otherwise, they will mold.
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Thanks for the tip. Sounds like the chips need to go straight from the dehydrator into the jars and into the oven. Leave a potato chip on a plate for 15 minutes around here and it gets soggy! I can imagine your part of the country is very humid as well.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

It is! I take them out, and put them in a baggie for a few hours. If they have movement, they go back into the dehydrator.
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Got it. Thanks! I'm anxious to try it and I've been meaning to rev up the dehydrator as I have a mess of sweet marjoram that's ready to go into it.

StuartGrows
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

the moisture in the air is what causes the crispyness to be lost when storing your summer squash chips.

I've recently done a ton of research on preserving. I've heard that you shouldn't re-use a jar once you have canned with it and opened it. I hate wasting stuff so I was determined to find out what I could do with the jars once I opened them and also to continue keeping my food fresh.I found out that Vacuum Sealing is a great way to do both of those things.

Removing the air from the container that you are storing your summer squash chips in will keep them perfectly crisp.

I think I will write a blog about sealers. Would anyone want to read all the stuff I found out about them?

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Glass Canning Jars are meant to be reused.
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applestar
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

Yep. Rings, too. It's the flat lids with only thin rubber seal that shouldn't be re-used because they may not form a reliable seal. There are re-usable silicone based lids now -- I want to try that at some point, but haven't had the chance yet.
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

I use my Foodsaver to seal a lot of my jars of dry ingredients. I also save those dessicant packs found in countless things (and friends and family save them for me as well), and I put those in jars that can't be vac sealed. And some things, like spices, I put one of those oxygen adsorbant packs - something that I got a bunch of, and keep vac sealed, until I need one.
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Re: excalibur dehydrator , summer squash

I'll look for the silicone jars. That sounds great.

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