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Learn about Drying Cucumbers in a Dehydrator…..
Please Note: I just loaded my small 3-tray dehydrator with a fresh batch of cucumber slices in less than 10 minutes……the cucumber were sliced while they were still warm from the greenhouse! This method is so fast and so easy. Drying cucumbers for chips makes a wonderfully healthy and delicious snack food!
Dehydrated Cucumbers Chips are super easy to make…..
Cucumbers are a wonderful addition to your summer garden or greenhouse. We happen to live at an extreme altitude at over 7000′ in western Wyoming so growing cucumbers in the garden is very tricky. It can be done but a person needs to add season extenders on both ends of the growing season. I find it is easier to simply start my seeds indoors and then transplant my cucumber plants into large pots in the greenhouse. Here is what you can do with all those cucumbers…….Learn about Drying Cucumbers!
Here is a sneak peak of the end results…….
Please read on as it literally only took 10 minutes to prepare and load 3 fresh, greenhouse cucumbers into my dehydrator. Super fast, super easy way to process cucumbers into a super healthy snack!
What to Do with all those Cucumbers???
We live at 7000 feet so it is challenging to grow frost sensitive crops like cucumbers in our vegetable garden. This is where our small greenhouse comes in handy. Cucumbers are perfect for container gardening in a greenhouse, patio or balcony. Just remember that the vines do sprawl so you will need to provide some type of support. I like to use wire cages and bamboo stakes that encourage the cucumber vines to grow up instead of sprawling on the ground.
Just as a side note on growing greenhouse cucumbers: It is so important to have some type of ventilation in your greenhouse to discourage powdery mildew or any other diseases. Air circulation is very beneficial especially for cucumbers.
Now that you have your cucumber plants growing, they will so begin to flower and then, wow…..all the sudden you have cukes!! And, then more, and more and even more……..remember the 10 minutes that it takes to load your small dehydrator. This is a very worthwhile endeavor!!!
Seasoned Cucumber Crisps
First of all, gather 3 to 6 cucumbers from your garden, greenhouse, local farmer’s market or grocery. Simply wash with water to ensure the cucumbers are free from dirt. If you are using cucumbers from the grocers make sure to rinse with a vegetable wash like Earth Friendly Products Fruit and Vegetable Wash to remove any debris.
Next, slice your cucumbers about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick and arrange on your drying rack so that the slices are close together but not touching. Air circulation is vital as it allows the cucumber crisps to dry thoroughly especially around the edges. I like to spray a light coating of either avocado oil or olive oil on my dehydrator trays as this makes it so much easier to remove the dried cucumber chips when they are crispy.
Now, comes the seasonings part. You may season with whatever you wish or you may simply dry your cucumber slices without any additional seasonings.
Just sprinkle a small amount on each slice. Then, repeat with each tray. I have an American Harvest Dehydrator very similar to: Nesco American Harvest GardenMaster Electric Kitchen Food Dehydrator
Fill your trays with cucumber slices, season with your choice of spices and then follow the instructions for your specific dehydrator. I dried my slices overnight at 135 degrees or for approximately 6 hours.
Quick Note: it is a good idea to flip all the cucumber slices over once or twice as they are drying to make sure they all dry evenly.
Your chips should be crisp and crunchy when they are thoroughly dried.
Related Post: Quick Refrigerator Pickles
Take a test cucumber crisp out of the dehydrator, let it cool, and then taste to see if it is crispy enough.
Once all your cucumber slices have dried, you will need to store them in a dark, cool place. I like to put my crisps in glass jars with screw on lids. For short term storage, I pack my cucumber chips in glass jars with a recycled (from vitamin bottles) Silica Pillow Pacs. These Silica Pillow Packs help to keep the chips dry and fresh. Do not throw you vitamin silica pillow packets away. Make sure the are dry and then reuse in your dehydrated cucumber chips.
For longer storage, I vacuum seal my jars with this system:
Once your jars are filled and sealed, simply pop them on your pantry shelf and step back and smile!!! Well, done……