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May 19, 2016

Two Degrees of Eggplant Bacon

I’m definitely one of those people who believe everything happens for a reason and what you “speak into existence” will happen. Sometimes it is for something big. Other times, small.

I mentioned to the other writers of this blog I was on the hunt for a food dehydrator. I had wanted one for quite some time. Mainly to make eggplant bacon. One of the best things to have ever existed.

One Saturday when I actually had time to myself, I decided to do a little thrifting. My favorite Goodwill Store is a bit out of the way but I decided to suck it up and make the drive. So happy I did.

As I browsed the electronic section hoping I would see a dehydrator (but not really thinking I would find one. It’s not one of those items people just donate. Right?) I started to get discouraged. Until I got to the very end of the last shelf on the last row.

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*Jumps up and down internally*

I couldn’t get it in my cart quickly enough. I couldn’t get home quickly enough, I couldn’t get eggplant quickly enough. Get the gist?

Once I washed and dried the dehydrator, it was on to make the bacon.

Here’s the recipe:

Eggplant Bacon

1 Large (or two medium-sized) Eggplant, cut into thin slices (best to use a mandolin)

3 Tbsp. Tamari Soy Sauce

3 Tbsp. Olive oil

2 tsp liquid smoke (The KEY ingredient)

½ tsp salt

½ tsp crushed red pepper

Optional: 1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Plug in the dehydrator. Some of them allow you to change the temperature settings. If you have one that does set it to 135 degrees.
  2. Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the slices and evenly coat them. The second time I made the bacon I gently squeezed the slices which allowed the eggplant to soak up the seasoning.
  3. Place the slices on the tray. Try not to overlap
  4. Allow the slices to cook for 1 day.

I have made the bacon twice since I’ve had the dehydrator and I have some tips:

  • If you prefer for your pieces to be a bit crisper, peel the skin off the eggplant. Otherwise it will be chewier; doesn’t work well if you want to use them for BLTs. Also, peeling the eggplant cut down the cooking time from 36hours the 1st time to barely 12 hours the second time around.
  • Once you’ve coated the slices, gently squeeze them. This allows the slices to soak up the seasoning.

And here’s the final product!

With the skin

With the skin

Without the skin. Also, I placed this batch in the oven because I wanted to eat them warmer and kind of left them in a little too long. Oops! But still tasty!

Without the skin. Also, I placed this batch in the oven because I wanted to eat them warmer and kind of left them in a little too long. Oops! But still tasty!

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You can make eggplant bacon in the oven too. If you prefer to cook it the raw vegan way, preheat your oven to 150 degrees and bake for 8-10 hours. Or you can crank up the temperature to 350 and bake them for about 20 minutes.

Who out there has a dehydrator? Send your recipes my way!

8 Comments

  1. Candied apple slices: slice apples, coat with Country Times lemonade instant powder, dry at135° until crisp.

    • Thanks!

  2. I’m still so blown away by this- eggplant bacon!! But I’ve been jonesing to dehydrate some of our delicious South Carolina strawberries…wonder if I could do those in the oven, too??

    • Strawberries is next on my list. I also want to make fruit roll ups!

  3. Zucchini chips. Dehydrate big slices topped with a pinch of salt and pepper or malt vinegar. I like parmesan cheese on mine. Consume when crisp.

    Also home made beef jerky. U will never eat the store stuff again

    • i want to try beef jerky. My son tried the store kind ( a daddy purchase) and he liked it. So I think I will have him help me make this homemade batch.

  4. The best dehydrator site I’ve found is backpackingchef.com! Great techniques for all types of food, packaging, rehydrating — and an amazing cookbook! (no connection, just a fan)

    • Oooh, thanks! I’ll check it out!