Sabtu, 22 September 2012

Dehydrating Eggplants

This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to acquire a few eggplants and did not want them to go to waste so I decided my best course of action would be to dehydrate them. Eggplants are a healthy vegetable alternative which is very high in vitamins C as well as potassium. They are generally in season from around the beginning of July to late October so it is best to grab them up when they are available. I could have canned or froze them but I chose to dehydrate them for a longer shelf life.

When dehydrating your eggplant you will need to blanch it first in order to stop the enzymes which continually break down the vegetable. The downside of bleaching is that it will often cause the eggplant to lose a bit of its nutritional value but it also ensures that your eggplant will remain fresh and preserved or a good period of time.

The things you will need to accomplish this dehydrating project are:

A mandolin or a sharp knife
Large pot

When selecting your eggplant choose the ripest vegetables that you can find to dehydrate. A ripe eggplant will have a shiny but firm skin with a series of bright green caps. When looking, select eggplants which lack any sort of cuts or bruises.

Begin by washing the eggplant thoroughly and next slice it into ¼ to ½-inch slices. After slicing it is time to blanch them. Fill a large pot of water 2/3 full of water and bring it to a full boil. Place the eggplants into the water and process for 4 minutes. Immediately place the eggplants in either a container of cold water or one filled with ice. This will shock the vegetable and stop all cooking action. Now dry the eggplant off with a paper towel.

You can now place the slices of eggplant on your dehydrator tray. Place the pieces on your drying tray in a single layer. Do not allow the pieces to touch each other but ensure that they are separated by a fraction of an inch. Set the dehydrator to between 100 and 135 degrees and dehydrate for 12 hours. According to the machine used this time may vary slightly.

When the eggplants are hard and brittle they are finished. If you can shatter the eggplant with a small hammer they are sufficiently done. Store your dehydrated eggplant in a clean, airtight container. These will last a good ten years if stored in a dry, dark location. The blanching water can be used up to five times prior to having to replace it.

Copyright @2012 Joseph Parish

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