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Zucchini Chips

Makes: 6 servings

Total carbohydrates: 3 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes 

Nobody ever says this about zucchini, but bigger is actually better here, since these are like Shrinky Dinks in the oven. You can season them however you like once they’re baked: a sprinkle of curry powder, a shake of cheese powder, a dash of smoked paprika. But we love them plain, too. There’s something about the shrinking process that concentrates all of their sweetness. Maybe you didn’t even know that zucchini had any sweetness to begin with! Now you will.

Ingredients

2 large or 3 medium-sized zucchini

1 teaspoon kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon table salt)

Olive oil spray (or olive oil and a brush)

Optional seasonings (see above)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 235 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Trim the ends off the zukes, then slice them very evenly and thinly—around 1/8th of an inch. This is so much easier using a mandoline slicer (this one is my favorite, and it isn’t too expensive) that I almost can’t recommend attempting it with a knife. But with some patience, you could totally do this.

  3. Put the zucchini slices in a bowl and toss with the salt (easiest using your hands).

  4. Line three baking sheets with paper towels, then lay out the zuke slices in a single even layer on each pan, then cover them with another layer of paper towels. Stack the baking sheets to press the zucchini a bit—you’re trying to blot out the extra moisture—and rearrange the baking sheets so that the top one gets pressed too (or put an empty baking sheet on top of that one). Leave them to sit for 5 or 10 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to listen to a couple of songs and do some stretching (or to sit on the couch staring off into space).

  5. Pull the paper towels and zucchini slices off of the pans, line the pans with parchment paper, and spray the parchment paper with olive oil (or very lightly brush it with olive oil). Arrange the zukes back on the pans, spray or brush them very lightly with olive oil, and pop the pans in the oven.

  6. Bake the chips for 1 hour, and then evaluate them. Most of the chips should look evenly golden and feel dry and crisp. Remove these to cool on a rack, and return any chips that aren’t totally dry (including any with damp edges) to the oven for 5 or 10 minutes. Taste a chip and re-salt them if necessary and/or add any other seasonings you’re using. Cool, then store airtight – but you won’t, because you’ll eat them all.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her book "How to Be A Person" was published in 2020. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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