Smoky Eggplant Bacon

eggplant rollup

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING A RAW COLLARD GREEN AS A WRAP, CLICK HERE!

When I had my health food deli, this was the one recipe everyone begged for. We sold it on our sandwiches and in wraps but people wanted to buy BAGS of it to take home. Over the years, I have morphed it through many different versions. Today, I’m sharing the recipe and technique I love best.

I will also tell you that making perfect bacon-like strips for sandwiches and wraps is easy by using a simple handheld veggie mandoline, but I eventually started just slicing them in rounds like chips because that’s exactly how I eat them. In fact, be forewarned, I have been known to eat three eggplants worth of chips before I even took them out of the dehydrator.

This is exactly why I’m giving you a recipe that requires three eggplants as a base. They shrink up and they’re also addicting so if you make any less, you are only going to want more.

If you haven’t yet read my disclosure about dried out, dehydrated foods, please CLICK HERE. I certainly don’t market them as “health foods”, but dang, they sure are satisfying and sooo freakin’ delicious! Wrap it in a raw, juicy, chlorophyll-abundant collard leaf and you simply can’t go wrong!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar or Kombucha
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Grade B Maple Syrup
  • Blend your favorite spices to taste: smoked paprika, cayenne, chilli spices
  • 3 medium eggplant (about 3 pounds)

TECHNIQUE

eggplant mandolin

Remove the skin of the eggplants with a vegetable peeler. Cut off the ends of each one. These can be spiky so be careful.

I like to use a handheld mandoline for convenience. My personal preference is the middle setting because it isn’t too thin or too thick! Cutting them lengthwise will give bacon-like strips as where slicing the width of them makes convenient snack size “chips”.

eggplant marinade bags

 

Next, prepare your marinade by mixing all ingredients together in either a bowl with a secure fitting lid or a large gallon size zipper-resealable bag. *While I typically prefer a reusable glass bowl over plastic throw away bags, the bags are best in this recipe because it lets me get in there and massage the eggplant flesh with the marinade. It totally makes a difference as it offers so much more flavor and speeds up marinating time. If you choose to use a bowl, you’ll need to do this with your hands and then shake it often. The more vigorous you “agitate” it, the more flavor it will soak up. It will also lose a lot of those tiny seeds this way – which is a definite perk!

Allow to sit and soak at least a few hours.

eggplant on dehydrator trays

 

Set your dehydrator’s temp to 115 and get it going!

People say this can be done in an oven on low heat. I’ve never done this so I’m going to only give the dehydrating instructions. I’ve used the Excalibur 9 tray for well over ten years. It comes with mesh and Teflex liners. You’ll need both for this perfectly suited technique but doing your own thing works, too.

Start out with the teflex liner on top of the mesh liner. Lay out all of the eggplant pieces in one layer, some overlaps of edges are okay as they break apart easily but no big globs.

Dehydrate overnight and when you flip them in the morning, remove the teflex liner, transferring them only to the mesh liner this time. They should only require a few more hours of dehydrating. At this point it is all about personal preference of crunchiness. If you are going to crumble them over salads like bacon bits, you’ll want them extra crispy and brittle.

eggplant bacon

 

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