Zucchini is a useful vegetable, one of the attractive properties of which is its low calorie content. A vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals, unfortunately, is stored for no more than 10 days, but this is only fresh.
In recent years, housewives are increasingly harvesting zucchini for the winter, marinating, canning, or processing them into jam or jam. However, in this case, zucchini completely loses its useful qualities.
In order to year-round eat healthy zucchini, you can use an alternative method of storage, drying, during which the value of the vegetable is not an iota reduced.
Composition and energy value
Fresh zucchini is almost 90% water. Having gone through the drying process, the vegetable is a “clot” of vitamins and trace elements necessary for the health of the body. The composition of dried zucchini includes:
Calories 24 kcal.
Plain-looking zucchini actually has unique properties. Squashes, both fresh and dried, recommended for use in atherosclerosis, obesity, edema, constipation.
Regular consumption of dried courgettes helps to protect the organs of the digestive system from damage, and is involved in the regeneration of the tissues of the digestive tract. The benefits of zucchini for older people and elderlyas the substances which are a part of a product improve motor and secretory gastric functions.
Squashes are shown to people suffering from liver disease and anemia. It is also useful to use this vegetable for those who have problems with the heart and blood vessels.
The diuretic effect that the dried zucchini has on the body helps to get rid of excessively accumulated salts and water in a short time. Special benefit zucchini bring with gout, urolithiasis and other diseases associated with impaired metabolic processes.
Zucchini can safely be included in the diet of pregnant and lactating women, as well as people trying to lose those extra pounds. The product is considered to be a natural antioxidant, so that their regular consumption in food significantly reduces the risk of developing cancer.
For drying any varieties are suitable. Both mid-season and over-ripe fruits can be dried.
If small fruits are dried, they should be cut into cubes or slices after cleaning. If the fruits are large, then after removing the skin and the core (seeds), it is better to cut them into rings. The thickness of the cut should not exceed 1.5-2 cm.
The ground product is placed in boiling water and blanched for 2-3 minutes, then cooled in cool water and thrown onto a sieve to eliminate excess liquid.
Dry zucchini can be natural and artificial method. When drying zucchini outdoors, it should be borne in mind that the process can take several days.
Having spread the prepared product at a small distance from each other on a sieve, it is placed under direct sunlight, turning it over from time to time to completely evaporate the liquid. Solar-air drying should not be carried out on a baking sheet. If it is not possible to dry on a sieve, you can thread the zucchini rings on a string (wood) and hang it in a warm room with good ventilation.
The advantage of this drying method is less time.to be spent on the process. Prepared and chopped zucchini laid out on a baking sheet and placed in the oven, preheated to no more than 50 degrees for 6-7 hours.
In the electric dryer
Now let's see how to dry squash in an electric dryer. The drying process in special equipment is almost identical to drying in the oven. Placing crushed zucchini on the grates, and setting the temperature of the electric dryer at 45-50 degrees, after 4-5 hours you can enjoy the finished product.
Electric dryers of various brands have their own characteristics, so before drying, read the detailed instructionsRegarding exactly the vegetable or fruit that you plan to dry. Zucchini dried in an electric drier have a dense, elastic consistency.
Dried product stored in a dark place (under the influence of light, they lose their useful properties) in glass or polyethylene containers. It is possible to store them also in fabric bags, pre-cooked in a strong brine (1 hour of salt: 1 part of water).
And now we look at the recipe for harvesting dried zucchini for the winter in Korean. For this we need:
- dried zucchini,
- vegetable oil,
- spices for carrots in Korean,
- garlic - 2-3.
Dried Zucchini soak in cool water for 10-15 minutesthen boil in water with salt (15 minutes). After zucchini will cook it is necessary to allow to drain the excess moisture, throwing it in a colander. Cool zucchini put in a salad bowl.
Stir-fry butter (2-3 tbsp. L.) Combined with zucchini, season with vinegar and spices and add 2-3 tbsp. l squash broth. Peeled and chopped garlic, add to a bowl of zucchini and leave to infuse for 3-4 hours, after which the dish is ready to eat.
Squash - one of the few fruits, drying which is relatively short-lived. The tender texture of the vegetable, carrying great benefits for the body, can be used throughout the year to prepare a variety of dishes. Having spent several hours preparing and drying zucchini in an electric dryer, oven, or just in nature, you can still pamper yourself and your loved ones with tasty and healthy food.
Drying by a natural method is the longest process that lasts from two to three weeks.
Crushed zucchini spread on the lattice or sieve in a single layer, while respecting some distance between the slices. The containers are exposed to the sun and are waiting for the product to completely dry. Periodically, the workpiece should be inverted to the process went more evenly.
It is not recommended to dry zucchini on trays or pallets, since the air circulation from the underside of the product will be disturbed, and the vegetable can simply rot.
If the grids and the sieve are not available, then slices of zucchini can be strung on a fishing line or a dense thread, and dried in a suspended form in a well-ventilated room.
In the oven
Zucchini slices are laid out on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Tightly lay the vegetables is not necessary, it is necessary that between the pieces there was a small place.
The oven is heated to a temperature of 45 - 50 degrees and placed there containers with vegetables. To ensure the outflow of humid air, keep the door slightly ajar. From time to time, zucchini needs to be turned, and the pan is moved so that the distant pieces are closer to the door, and the neighbors - further.
The total drying time is 8-10 hours.
In an electric dryer
This method is similar to the previous one, but instead of baking sheets they use lattices, and instead of an oven, they use a modern electric dryer for vegetables and fruits.
The device is heated to a temperature of 50 degrees, and the trays with products are installed in several tiers. To ensure a more uniform drying, every hour and a half, trays are rearranged in places. The average drying time is 7-10 hours.
Watch the video from the channel "kliviya777" - Dried zucchini. How to recover and cook
Are useful properties retained when dried?
Since ancient times, people have resorted to drying vegetables, fruits, herbs and berries, as this was a vital necessity. Currently, there are many ways to preserve food - freezing, canning, pasteurization and others. But drying of products still remains the most financially advantageous, simple and convenient method, in which the product retains all the original taste and vitamin properties. In the process of drying vegetables lose up to 4/5 of the amount of moisture, and since the zucchini consists of liquid by 90%, then from 10 kg of fresh fruits you get 1 kg of dried, respectively.
Advantages and features of this method:
- Preservation of all macro and micronutrients, vitamins. During preservation, many beneficial compounds are destroyed, but during drying only moisture is evaporated from vegetables and fruits.
- Efficiency. If you do not have a special electric dryer, you can always use the oven. And if you live in a private house, you will surely find a place to dry the fruits outdoors. At the same time no additional devices are required. And at the end of the process, the dried product will only be collected and properly stored.
- Natural products. When buying ready-made dried fruits, one can never be sure that they did not contain preservatives and chemical agents for treatment against pests. If you cook dried zucchini on your own at home, you can be confident in their quality and organicity.
- No oxidation. The oxidation process requires the presence of water, as it is a universal conveyor for all substances. But if there is no moisture, respectively, the oxidation process does not occur.
- Lack of development of pathogenic microorganisms.
- Absolutely any varieties of zucchini are suitable for drying.
The only drawback of drying products can be considered the loss of the appearance of the fetus. However, this in no way affects the taste, smell and nutritional value!
The benefits and harms of dried zucchini
Since the zucchini preserves almost all substances when dried, the benefits of dried and fresh fruits are almost the same. So, the fruits have following advantages:
- Rich vitamin composition. 100 g of fruit contains vitamins (descending): C, B3, E, B1, B2, B6, as well as beta-carotene, folic, nicotinic and malic acids, antioxidants.
- A storehouse of micro- and macroelements: potassium, phosphorus, magic, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and manganese are present in smaller quantities.
- Low calorie. From this vegetable is difficult to gain extra pounds, since 100 g contains only 23 Kcal (fresh).
- Not allergenic. Squashes can be consumed even by the smallest - children from 7 months. In exceptional cases, this vegetable can cause allergies in adults.
- Easily assimilable.
- Allowed to use for pregnant and lactating women.
Eating zucchini in fresh and dried form has on the body following effects:
- improves digestion
- normalizes the nervous system,
- boosts immunity
- normalizes the work of the heart, blood vessels,
- useful for obesity and overweight,
- suitable for people with diabetes
- reduces the risk of developing malignant tumors.
However, in certain diseases, the use of zucchini, even in dried form, can harm the body. Thus, the fruits can not be eaten in diseases of the kidneys, as the fruits contain a lot of potassium. If there are diseases of the stomach and intestines (ulcer, gastritis, etc.), you also need to minimize the amount of fruit in the diet - zucchini can cause irritation of the mucous membrane. In any case, before using fresh or dried zucchini, ask the doctor for advice.
Selection and preparation of zucchini for drying
It is best to choose for drying young small (10-20 cm) fruit with intact skin and a green tail. Compared with large fruits, they have a more tender flesh and a greater amount of nutrients. What kind of vegetables should be avoided:
- Partially cleaned. So unscrupulous sellers are trying to hide the traces of rot and damage.
- With a shiny, unnatural, bright skinned. This skin indicates the use of nitrates in growing.
- With a dry stalk. This feature also indicates the presence of nitrates in the fruit.
- With a cracked, flaky skin. These symptoms speak of plant disease.
As mentioned above, zucchini of any varieties, types and colors will be suitable for drying. Both early and late-ripening species can be used. If you want to dry large fruits, you will need to remove the seeds.
Process zucchini preparation to different ways of drying is almost the same. It consists of such steps:
- Rinse the vegetables thoroughly, cut the stem and tail.
- If you use very young zucchini, they can be left with the peel. With large fruits it is better to cut off the rough, thick skin.
- From large vegetables need a spoon to remove the seed.
- Next, the fruit should be cut: straws, cubes, rings or half rings. Optimally cut into slices 1-1.5 cm thick.
- The pre-cut vegetable can be immediately dried or boiled for 1-2 minutes and then cooled sharply in cold water. Instead of boiling, some housewives advise to salt the zucchini (for juice separation), then wash off the juice and start drying. In case of short cooking, it will be possible to extract nitrates from vegetables (if they are there), but the amount of useful vitamins will also decrease.
With the natural method of drying, the process can last from several days to three weeks. For drying, you need to select sieves, grates, any flat trays with holes at the bottom. Fruits should be spread out at a short distance from each other and placed under the sun. To achieve uniform drying, they need to be turned 1–2 times a day.
It is also extremely important to prevent the billet from contacting flies, midges and other insects. For this drying can be covered with a grid. However, it should not interfere with the sun's rays. Another option for natural drying is indoor drying. To do this, chopped vegetables are strung on a fishing line, thread or wire and hung in a well-ventilated room without drafts. However, there will have to take care that the workpiece is not attacked by insects and other animals.
With this method, zucchini will be dried in 6–8 hours. For drying, you can use a baking sheet and baking paper. Put the sliced fruit on paper with preservation of the space between them, heat the oven to 50–55 ° C and send a baking tray there. The door can be left barely open for ventilation.
It is necessary to systematically turn the chopped vegetables and change them to change their location at the back of the oven and at the entrance. If after this time you got a baking sheet and found that the dried zucchini is not ready yet, you can send them to the oven again for 1-2 hours.
How to check readiness
The duration of the process will depend not only on the method of drying and on the characteristics of the device (oven or dehydrator), but also on the fruits themselves. So, the duration varies depending on:
- the amount of sugar in the fruit,
- initial water content
- the way of cutting and the size of the pieces,
- ventilation quality,
- air temperature on the street or set temperature,
- air humidity
- features and characteristics of the device (if you use an artificial method).
How to store dried zucchini
It is best to use glass jars with a sealed metal or plastic lid for storing finished products — in such containers, the mole, larvae, and other pests are not terrible. Sometimes you can find recommendations for storing drying in cotton bags, previously soaked in salt solution. Also, the drying itself can be mixed with a small amount of salt. However, even in this case, a mole may be produced in products. In any case, the container should be left at room temperature in a dark place.
Another way to store dried zucchini is the freezer. This method is especially relevant if you are a little nedosushili fruit.
Do not store drying in iron, plastic containers, plastic bags - due to the lack of sealing, zucchini will absorb moisture from the air and become soft, and may also be affected by pests. If you have correctly prepared, dried and stored drying, it will stand until the next season and even longer.
What can be prepared from dried zucchini
There are many recipes that apply dried zucchini for the winter. Они будут востребованным ингредиентом в овощных рагу, первых блюдах, овощных соусах и запеканках. Из сушеных плодов можно готовить кашу, используя этот овощ как основной ингредиент, обжаривать и делать с ними яичницу, теплые салаты. For gourmets and tasteful taste lovers it will be interesting to make a cake of dried fruits with the addition of greens, garlic and mayonnaise. Zucchini goes well with mushrooms, onions and garlic, spices, herbs.
Dried fruit can be added to the dish immediately removed from the jar. To return the vegetable to its former elastic form, you can put zucchini in warm water at the rate of 2: 1. But if you add dry zucchini in a hot dish, they will find in it their former forms on their own.
If you still have not decided to prepare zucchini for the winter for drying by dropping all doubts! Ease of preparation, the benefits and versatility of the use of the dried product are the main advantages for which the hostess loved dried zucchini.