Yes really. Zucchini candy. Sounds strange I know, but hang with me on this. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I am about to show you that you can take an ordinary zucchini and turn it into something akin to gummy worms or gummy bears.
To me, zucchini has to be one of the simplest vegetables to grow and it usually produces such an abundant harvest that I find I don’t really know what to do with all of it. So when I heard about this recipe I knew immediately I had to give it a try. Having just acquired one giant zucchini from my in-laws and with two smaller, freshly harvested ones from my garden I was all set in the squash department. I also had a very nice stash of Kool-Aid thanks to a fabulous coupon deal at my local Super, so I was able to immediately tackle this rather intriguing looking recipe.
I gathered all the essentials: zucchini, sugar, Kool-Aid, knife, cutting board, vegetable peeler, and my favorite little kitchen helper. We both washed the veggies and then my little sous chef begged me to let him peel the zucchini, but well, as he is still so new to the world of culinary arts I thought it best if I handled this particular job myself.
With all the zucchini cut up it was time for the next photo opp, sweet as you please.
And a little silly to boot!
Once peeled, the seeds needed to be removed and the zucchini cut into strips or bite-size pieces. I found the giant zucchini to be much easier to de-seed than the little ones. In the future I plan to use only the largest ones for this recipe.
Since I couldn’t decide which size I like best I opted for both: cubes (the bears) and some strips (the worms).
The next step is to put the water, Kool-Aid and sugar in a large pot to boil.
Once the Kool-Aid mixture came to a boil, I added the zucchini.
Here’s what it looked like after tossing with the Kool-Aid mixture.
I let this simmer for about half an hour until all the zucchini became translucent.
Using a slotted spoon I scooped out the zucchini pieces and placed them on my dehydrator sheets and then placed the trays in my dehydrator at 125 degrees for 20 hours.
I dried my candy longer than the original recipe called for, but I didn’t want to worry about them sticking together. I also tossed them in a little powdered sugar for a little added anti-stick protection.
The verdict? Well, according to my little helper and official taster, the recipe is a keeper!
As for me, I love them too! I plan to allow lots of my zucchinis to grow to gargantuan porportions just so we can make more of these delightful little tidbits. Such a cool way to use up the inevitable excess of zucchini. I think I will also try experimenting a bit and use some cinnamon oil and red food coloring instead of Kool-Aid to make some “hot tamale” gummies. Stay tuned…
10 cups peeled diced zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cups water
2 pkgs. unsweetened Koolaid (any flavor)
2 1/2 cups sugar
Peel and dice zucchini, removing the seeds. Mix the liquid syrup together. Add zucchini. Bring to a boil and them simmer for 25 min; drain. Put on dehydrator trays. Dry 14 hours at 125 degrees. Turn pieces over and dry another 4 hours. This will feel dry and not sticky when done. Store in jars or other tightly sealed containers. If you dip in sugar when you turn them, they will be more like “gum drops” on the outside. You can also toss them in a bit of powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking together.