In this article: Dehydrating zucchini doesn’t have to be boring! Learn to make tasty pineapple flavored dried zucchini candy!
One year my kids gave me a zucchini for my birthday. And this wasn’t an ordinary zucchini but the monster of all monster zucchinis. They secretly worked together to keep me away from a particular plant in the garden to see just how big it would grow before my birthday arrived.
And it was HUGE. It was almost as big as my then-one-year old daughter! And what do you do with a huge monster zucchini? You make candy! Or more specifically dried pineapple zucchini candy!
Related Reading: The Best Zucchini (Squash) Companion Plants in the Garden
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If you are like most gardeners, those first zucchini are exciting and cooked with love. But then the plants start cranking out a million zukes a day and that little not-quite-big-enough zucchini grows into a monster in a matter of hours. And all of a sudden you are so overrun with zucchini you just don’t know what to do with it all!
That’s where pineapple zucchini comes in. Dehydrating zucchini is a great way to preserve your produce because it is shelf stable and because of the reduction in size your preserved foods will take up less room. This recipe is great because you can clear off your counter and get rid of all the zucchini, including the huge ones!
If you are in the market for a dehydrator, check out my Best Dehydrator Buying Guide to help make your choice.
How to Make Dehydrated Zucchini (That Tastes Like Pineapple!)
This isn’t so much a recipe, but a process. The amounts aren’t really important, but here is what you need:
- Pineapple juice
- zucchini- peeled, de-seeded and cut into cubes (big is okay, they reduce a lot while cooking and dehydrating)
- powdered sugar
- corn/tapioca starch
- a dehydrator- I love my Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator
Place the pineapple juice in a large pot. You want enough to fill the pot and cover the zucchini that you will be boiling.
Add the zucchini and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until the zucchini is soft and translucent. It should look like pineapple.
Scoop out the zucchini using a slotted spoon and allow them to drain a bit in a colander.
Place the zucchini pieces in your dehydrator at about 130 degrees. It will take about 18 hours to dehydrate the zucchini completely.
Once the zucchini is dry, place a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar and corn/tapioca starch in a bag with the dried zucchini and toss to cover.
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I used the remaining pineapple juice again to simmer another batch of zucchini. Twice was all I could get before the juice was pretty much syrup. And I stuffed the pot almost overflowing with zucchini both times.
You can also add a little water to get more out of the juice.
Then eat! It’s really good, the kids were stealing pieces all day. I would like to say that we preserved enough for eating later in the season, but it just doesn’t last that long! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
More Dehydrating and Preserving Articles:
5 Ways to Preserve Cherry Tomatoes
Sounds neat! I will have to mark this recipe so I can try it. Thanks for sharing.
Very nice! I’ve heard many recipes for zucchini, but this one is fun! Sound like it would be good in a trail mix too…thanks for sharing!
thanks for the tip ill have tp try them on my grandkids sounds good
do u think if i used steamed berry and fruit juice it would work…some of it is fairly tart so i would use blue agave to sweeten a bit…and i would use them in place of choc chips in cookies
I think you could play around with many different flavors of juice/fruit and see what comes of it! The zucchini should soak up the flavor of whatever it is simmered in.
I can’t wait to try this… :)
What a brilliant idea. I have to say that I didn’t grow zucchini this year but tried another variety which we like better. Still, the neighbor showed up with a bag full!
I hear you about the sugar, but, with respect, isn’t the powdered sugar just as bad?
I use any type of summer squash for this from our overgrown scallops and bush marrows to plain old zucchini. The original recipe had 1.5 cups of sugar and a packet of kool-aid- that’s the sugar I was trying to avoid…2 T of powdered sugar, while still sugar is a very small amount and isn’t really needed, just a light dusting to keep the pieces from sticking. It is actually pretty good without the powdered sugar too.
I found a recipe for canning pineapple zucchini and we tried it and LOVED it. Thank you for the amazing idea of dehydrating the same recipe. Can’t wait to try it.
This is brilliant! Thank you so much. Pinning this now.
Could you possibly preserve them for longer by freezing?
My mind started thinking of all the options .. we love pineapple. . . has anyone tried this using as pineapple in desserts such as pastries/fried pies/tarts/cakes/pies ? Thanks for sharing how to use zucchini in yet another fun way.
I made some yesterday and it’s delicious. You would never guess it is zucchini. What a wonderful way to get veggies into kids. Even all the folks who say they hate zucchini would eat this.
I couldn’t really cut into cubes because once you scoop out the seeds you have kind of boat shape. So mine are like flat rectangles. Also I just have an old Nesco dehydrater so I really wasn’t sure at what point it was done. They were sticky and flexible. Should they be refrigerated?
Thanks so much for sharing!!
Very creative use of zucchini. Love it. Will be making this.
I tried this! With my large overgrown coosa squash. I tasted while cooking and didn’t have a lot of hope that it would work, BUT, once dried; it does taste like pineapple. I’m thinking of letting all my squash grow too big just to make this. Obviously I’m not all that crazy for cooked squash. Thank you
I tried this and……..ate half of them warm out of the dehydrator! This is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I’m going to try it with mango nectar next and see what happens.
Hi Sarah, The idea is quite creative and your low sugar approach is good. A word of caution tho about using corn or tapioca starch, I have heard that these foods/starchy foods including potato, arrowroot, corn and tapioca, etc. in general should be adequately cooked for proper breakdown of the starches in preparation for digestion otherwise the gut may have difficulty which set up the stage for development of autoimmunity especially if there is any sort of gut dysbiosis or leaky gut already in the making. Also, you are aware of the near total GMO’ing of the corn products in the US and I have not seen organic corn starch because I have cut out eating corn as I tested “reactive” to it on food sensitivity test. I used to “taste test” many raw batters/dough back in the day before my autoimmunity kicked in with a vengence, and that may have contributed to the problem. May you and your children be well.
If I do end up with some left over, how do you store these long term? Also I have a dehydrator that only has one setting. What should the consistency be? Soft and chewy? Crispy?
Did you taste the resulting syrup? Could it be used to make a caramel sauce of sorts? I always try to avoid waste as much as possible and the zucchini in there would add good nutrition I expect!
Help. I did something wrong. I thought I followed the directions but I must’ve missed some thing? Mine look like the picture but they don’t taste good. Did I get the wrong kind of pineapple juice? When you pop mine in your mouth it taste like dried pineapple for the first three or four seconds then it has this off weird taste there after. Was I supposed to add sugar to the pineapple juice? I would love for this to work so much healthier than plain dried pineapple that’s loaded up with sugar.
Hi! What kind of pinepple juice do you take? Leftovers from canned pineapples or normal juice to drink? What a fun idea, never heard of it before. Yours , Kate
This was so good that I’m making it again today. Great way to use zucchini! Thank you!
This looks like a good idea to try.
this looks tasty.