Squash is one of those vegetables that you are either blessed with way to much of or you seem to have a complete failure of the crop.  I have been growing squash for years now and it is always feast or famine.  We sure do not want to complain when we have a feast but what do you do with all that squash?  Oh sure, you could leave it in unlocked cars at the mall but chances are most city folks don't know what to do with squash either :)

 Squash is not a good vegetable to pressure can because it gets way to mushy and looks more like creamed corn than squash when you are done.  So what do you do with all that squash?  You dry it, freeze it, bake with it and pickle it.  Yep, you can do all that with your squash.

Like most topics I write about, we will cover dehydrating or drying summer squash today because, you guessed it, I dried squash today.  Actually I was looking at all the squash sitting on the kitchen counter and trying to decide if I should pickle it or flash freeze it for squash boats later.  Jonathan was firm on the idea of making a squash cake (using this squash cake recipe) and I tended to agree with him today.  Then I started thinking that I could cut and shred extra squash to dry for use later so off we were on another squash adventure.

Here's what you need to dry your squash:

  • squash - use younger squash, not any squash that was left a little long on the vine because they get seedy and rubbery.
  • a dehydrator or oven
  • a knife or shredder, depending if you are slicing or shedding or both

That's pretty much all you need so let's get started.  Squash is so easy to dry you need hardly any prep before drying. 

Step 1:  Wash the squash and pat dry

Step 2:  Slice 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick slices and place on your drying trays.  I like to slice them 1/8 inch for squash chips and 1/4 inch thick for use with soups and casseroles later.  If you choose to shred it will faster and can be used for squash cakes and salad crisps.

Step 3:  dehydrate at 125 degrees until brittle.  This can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours depending on humidity and elevation.

Step 4:  When dry either place in Mason jars for storage or if you have a food sealer you can seal them.

That's it!  That's all there is to drying your squash.  Now you can reap that harvest all year long.

TIP:  If you are going to dehydrate your shredded squash for use in squash cake later then shred two cups at a time and place two cups on each tray so you will know that each dehydrated tray is 2 cups reconstituted.

 

 

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