Blueberries are my top 10 food. I love them in my pancakes, muffins, cakes, parfaits, and even eat them by itself so I thought, why not add them to an eggplant jerky recipe. It turned out delicious!
For those who choose not to eat meat, eggplants, like mushrooms, are a great substitute to make jerky. From a nutritional standpoint, they are high in fiber and low in calories for the win.
Choosing the Eggplant
Find an eggplant from your local supermarket or farmers market. Look for smooth, shiny skin and have a uniform color all around the eggplant.
Press your finger into it and if it leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ripe. They say the smaller the eggplant, the less bitter and more sweeter they are.
Slice the eggplant. Shoot for uniform slices, this will be better for the dehydration process.
I soak the eggplant slices for about 40 minutes in salt water to draw out bitterness.
After 40 minutes, I drain the water by using a colander.
After draining out the saltwater, I give the eggplant slices a quick little rinse.
I lay the eggplant slices on paper towel to allow them to dry. While it dries, I work on the marinade.
Making the Marinade
Going to need a blender for this one. I love the vitamix because it does a really good job with ingredient immersion.
Add all ingredients and blend well.
Pour the plum colored marinade into the bag with sliced eggplant. Like mushrooms, eggplants are able to absorb liquid well, so make sure all eggplant slice is covered.
Place in refrigerator. Occasionally, I will flip the bag to marinade the slices evenly. Marinade anywhere from 4 to 12 hours.
Drying the Eggplant Jerky
After the eggplant slices are done marinating, it's time to prep them for dehydrator. First I drain the eggplant slices, using a colander.
Then, I place the eggplant slices on paper towel and gently pat off any excess liquid. Love the blueberry bits clinging on the eggplant.
The eggplant slices are now ready to be placed onto dehydrator trays. I used my Nesco dehydrator for this recipe. Make sure the slices are evenly spaced so as not to overcrowd.
I set the temp for 145F and let it dehydrate anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.
Testing for when the Eggplant Jerky
You can check it at 4 hours and decide if you like the texture as is or more on the crispier side.
I like it a little on the crispier side so I tend to dehydrate longer.
If you like apple crisps, which I do, this is very similar. It's mildly sweet with a hint of cinnamon and a hint of heat. Delicious!
Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool dry environment.
- 8 oz Eggplant (Evenly Sliced)
- ½ Cup Blueberries
- ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ginger powder
- ½ teaspoon Allspice Powder
- ½ Chile Fresno
- ½ Red Bell Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Pink Salt
- 1.5 Cup Water
- Slice eggplant into even slices
- Place eggplant slices in water with salt to draw out bitterness for 40 minutes
- Strain eggplant slices in colander and place on papertowel to dry
- Add all ingredients in blender and blend well
- Pour marinade into ziplock bag with eggplant slices and marinade for 4-12 hours in fridge
- After marinading, drain in colander
- Place eggplant strips on papertowel and gently pat to get excess liquid off
- Place eggplant slices on dehydrator trays
- Set dehydrator at 145F and allow to dry anywhere from 4 - 6 hours
- Check after 4 hours and continue to dry to your preference of texture
- Slice Eggplant in even slices so it dehydrates evenly
- Place eggplant slices in salt water to draw out bitterness
- Use a blender to get the most flavor out of the leeks
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