Join us for FREE guided nature walk series: March – October 2018.
Where: at the Breazeale Interpretive Center in Bay View, WA Time: 10am on the 3rd Sunday of the month (details below).
What are these walks all about?
Robin will lead a series of informal walks through the upland forests & meadows of the Padilla Bay Reserve and Breazeale Interpretive Center. Together we will expand our understanding of the flora and fauna that inhabit and contribute to the delicate balance here where the land meets the Salish sea.
Sunday, March 18th
Sunday, April 14th
Sunday, May 20th
Sunday, June 17th
Sunday, August 19th
Sunday, September 16th
Sunday, October 21st
No need to RSVP. All ages welcome. Just meet us at 10am at the trailhead arch near the parking lot of the Breazeale Center for a fairly easy hike on the upland trail. Bring your curiosity! (Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome too.)
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This has been the year of the zucchini in our garden, which means we’re learning how to use and how to preserve zucchini in creative ways. In past years, we’ve shared our simple method for freezing zucchini and enjoying it in a grain-free, low carb latke. Because we’re harvesting a few pounds of these and other cucurbits everyday this summer, we’ll run out of freezer space if all we do is freeze’m. So, it’s time to fire up the dehydrator for zucchini noodles!
This two-sided vegetable peeler will make angel hair & wide noodle zucchini in a snap.
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Zucchini noodles are a fantastic low carbohydrate alternative for anyone who loves pasta dishes but wants to keep their carb or grain intake low. Plus, they’re really simple to make. And, dried they’ll store well into winter without drawing power from your deep freeze.
Harvest your zucchini each morning, selecting young fruits that weigh in under a pound. Larger ones get seedy & more difficult to work with. Young ones are ideal! After washing your zukes, trim off & discard the stem & flower end of the fruit.
Next, use the wide blade to shave a lengthwise, flat size into your zucchini. Lay the flat side down on your cutting board so the squash doesn’t roll as you cut your noodles.
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Decide if you prefer stringy or wider noodles. We make some of both. The angel hair size is great for spaghetti, and the wide shape is ideal as an egg noodle replacement. Then, use the wide or narrow cutting blade, pulling lengthwise down the fruit multiple times to shave off your noodles. The last thin bit may require slicing with a knife or chop it into dinner!
Place your sliced noodles in a colander & sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Toss very gently.
Place your colander of salted zucchini noodles into a bowl & allow the noodles to sweat for at least a half an hour or longer. Toss more if needed, but take care not to break your noodles.
The salt on the zucchini will help draw out bitter juices from the fruit and will speed drying. The bowl below your strainer will catch the juice to discard.
After your noodles have sweat out moisture in a strainer, discard the juices and carefully lay wide noodles in a single layer on your dehydrator racks.
For fine strands, create thin piles on your dehydrator racks so the finished noodles will dry into easy-to-store shapes that fit your storage container. (Yes! They will shrink as they dry.)
If your dehydrator has a temperature setting, adjust it to 115F. Thin, salted noodles should take from 3-8 hours to dry at this setting. Local temperatures, humidity & the thickness of your noodles will cause variations in timing. They are finished when brittle, not rubbery.
Place your finished noodles into vacuum seal containers to store. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can store your dried noodles in a non-vacuum jar, but be sure to add a desiccant packet (like you get in a vitamin jar) or your noodles may go bad as moisture gets to them.
Dehydrated zucchini noodles will rehydrate very fast. Do not treat them like a traditional dried pasta by adding them to boiling water. Doing this will turn them to mush. Instead, either add them to your dish at the last minute, allowing moisture in your sauce to quickly rehydrate them. Or, add them to a pot of water that has been heated and turned off. Give them a brief stir in the warmed water to separate them, but don’t stir a lot or, again, they’ll turn to mush. Drain them in a colander after a couple of minutes and plate up. Also, since these have been salted, they’ll add a bit of salt to your dish.
Want some of our favorite recipes using these noodles? Tell us what you crave in the comments below!
(You can support this blog by buying through our links. Purchases made through the affiliate links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors but don’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for buying and helping support us!)