Harness the water-moving power of salt to make these CRISPS live up to their name.
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with vegetable oil spray.
Set fine-mesh strainer over large bowl. Transfer shredded vegetables to strainer and sprinkle with salt. Use rubber spatula to stir until combined. Let sit for 10 minutes to drain.
Place clean dish towel on counter. When salted vegetables are ready, transfer to center of dish towel. Gather ends of towel together; twist tightly; and squeeze hard over sink, draining as much liquid as possible. Discard any liquid from large bowl and add vegetables to bowl.
Add panko, cheddar, egg, and garlic powder to bowl with vegetables. Stir mixture with rubber spatula until combined.
Use 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop and drop vegetable mixture onto baking sheet in 12 mounds (about 1 heaping tablespoon each). Use your hand to gently press each mound to flatten into a thin circle.
Vegetables and fruits such as carrots and zucchini (surprise—a zucchini is technically a fruit!) are mostly made up of water. (A zucchini or carrot is about 95 percent water.) It can be a challenge to deal with all that water when cooking or baking—no one likes soggy zucchini bread!
One of salt’s many superpowers is that it can pull water out of food. Plants are made up of countless tiny cells. When you sprinkle salt on vegetables and fruits, some of the water inside the cells is pulled out toward the salt. This process is called osmosis (“oz-MOE-sis”). Squeezing the shredded zucchini and carrot in a towel gets some of the water out, but salting them and letting osmosis do its work lets you squeeze out double the water! So, for crisps that are crispy—not soggy—use salt to draw out that extra water before cooking.