How to make Zucchini Flour

You know the joke about how you better lock your car doors in the summertime otherwise someone might fill it up with their prolific zucchini?  Well, you’re going to LOVE this article today.  In fact, you just may find yourself leaving your doors unlocked as a result of it.

Zucchini, the versatile summer squash, has long been a favorite in kitchens around the world, but sometimes we wonder what to do with these great growers. We grille, bake, sauté them, make bread with them, etc.  It’s mild flavor and tender texture make it a culinary chameleon. But have you ever considered zucchini in the form of flour? It’s wondrous! Zucchini flour is a nutritious, gluten-free alternative that can enhance your cooking and baking repertoire. Here’s a guide on how to create zucchini flour and explore its myriad uses.  And I’ve even included a couple of basic recipes that I use to incorporate the zucchini flour. Because I’m a full- service gal like that. Ha!  And yes, you can make these recipes from shelf-stable ingredients.

How to Create Zucchini Flour

Ingredients:

  • Fresh zucchini (as many as you like)

Equipment:

Steps:

  1. Preparation:
    • Wash the zucchini thoroughly to remove any dirt or residue.
    • Slice the zucchini into thin rounds. The thinner the slices, the quicker they will dry.

 

  1. Drying:
    • Using a Dehydrator: Arrange the zucchini slices on the dehydrator trays in a single layer. Set the dehydrator to 135°F (57°C) and dry for 8-12

      Nesco Dehydrator is my dehydrator of choice

      hours, or until the zucchini is completely dry and brittle.

    • Using an Oven: Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, usually around 150-170°F (65-75°C). Place the zucchini slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dry in the oven for 6-10 hours, checking periodically to ensure they don’t burn. Flip the slices halfway through for even drying.

 

  1. Grinding:
    • Once the zucchini slices are completely dry, let them cool to room temperature.
    • Transfer the dried zucchini to a food processor or high-speed blender. Grind until you achieve a fine, flour-like consistency.

 

  1. Sifting:
    • Pass the ground zucchini through a fine mesh sieve or flour sifter to remove any larger pieces. Re-grind any pieces that don’t pass through the sieve.

 

  1. Storage:
    • Store your zucchini flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Properly stored, it can last for several months. If you seal it up with a Foodsaver each time you get into it, you’ll get a couple of years out of it.

Uses for Zucchini Flour

Zucchini flour 101

Zucchini flour is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. Its mild flavor makes it an excellent addition to both savory and sweet dishes. Here are some popular uses:

  1. Baking:
    • Bread and Muffins: Substitute zucchini flour for up to 50% of the all-purpose or whole wheat flour in your favorite bread and muffin recipes. This adds a nutritional boost and a moist texture.
    • Pancakes and Waffles: Use zucchini flour to make gluten-free pancakes and waffles. Combine it with other gluten-free flours like almond or coconut flour for best results.
    • Cookies and Brownies: Add zucchini flour to cookie and brownie batters to enhance moisture and nutrition without altering the flavor significantly. (again, I use it half and half with the regular flour)

 

  1. Thickening Agent:
    • Use zucchini flour as a thickening agent for soups, stews, and sauces. It’s WONDERFUL as a thickening agent! It provides a subtle flavor while adding body and nutrition to your dishes.

 

  1. Coating and Breading:
    • Use zucchini flour as a coating for fried or baked foods. It works well for breading chicken, fish, or vegetables, giving them a crispy texture.

 

  1. Smoothies and Shakes:
    • Add a tablespoon of zucchini flour to your smoothies or protein shakes for an extra boost of fiber and nutrients.

 

  1. Pasta and Pizza Dough:
    • Incorporate zucchini flour into homemade pasta or pizza dough for a unique twist. It adds a mild flavor and enhances the nutritional profile of your dishes.  This way you can have gluten-free pizza and pasta. And to be frank, I like making zucchini pasta, period.  It tastes divine.

Nutritional Benefits of Zucchini Flour

Zucchini flour is not only versatile but also packed with nutrients:

The fiber content of zucchini flour can vary slightly depending on the specific method of preparation and the exact type of zucchini used. However, on average, zucchini flour contains approximately 4-5 grams of fiber per cup.

To give you a more precise idea, here’s an approximate nutritional breakdown for 1 cup (about 125 grams) of zucchini flour:

  • Calories: 85-90
  • Protein: 3-4 grams
  • Fat: 0.5-1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 20-21 grams
  • Fiber: 4-5 grams

Zucchini flour is a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut. Its relatively low calorie and carbohydrate content, combined with its fiber, make it an excellent option for those looking to add more fiber to their diet while keeping their calorie intake in check.

  • Low in Calories: Ideal for those watching their calorie intake.
  • High in Fiber: Aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut.
  • Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium and magnesium.
  • Gluten-Free: Suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Creating zucchini flour at home is an excellent way to use up an abundant zucchini harvest and add a nutritious, gluten-free alternative to your pantry.  Its versatility in the kitchen makes it a valuable ingredient for both savory and sweet recipes. So next time you have a surplus of zucchini, consider turning them into flour and unlocking a new world of culinary possibilities.

Zucchini Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Zucchini Flour Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup zucchini flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour for a completely gluten-free option)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

2. Mix Dry Ingredients:

    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the zucchini flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.

 

3. Cream Butter and Sugars:

    • In a large bowl, beat the softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.

 

4. Add Egg and Vanilla:

    • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.

 

5. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients:

    • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix.

 

6. Add Chocolate Chips:

    • Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

 

7. Scoop and Bake:

    • Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
    • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are set.

 

8. Cool:

    • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Zucchini Flour Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup zucchini flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour for a completely gluten-free option)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.

 

2. Mix Dry Ingredients:

    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the zucchini flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

 

3. Combine Wet Ingredients:

    • In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and brown sugar until well combined.
    • Add the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth.
    • Stir in the mashed bananas.

 

4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients:

    • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix.

 

5. Add Nuts (Optional):

    • Fold in the chopped nuts, if using.

 

6. Pour and Bake:

    • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
    • Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

7. Cool:

    • Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

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