Sweet & Spicy Eggplant Jerky

I'm about as fond of eggplant as I am of kale, so when I saw various recipes for eggplant bacon, I knew I had to try something along those lines. But I also knew I had to change them.  What I was seeing was not to my liking. I like bacon as bacon.

But maybe I could make a similar jerky-type.

Sweet & spicy with a crunch that turns into a chew. This would be an acceptable substitute for me if I wasn't going to fry bacon anyway. A great snack, and easy too adjust. Best part?

I finally found a way I'll eat eggplant.

11-12 oz. eggplant (the skinny kind)
2 Tbsp. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. low sodium soy
2 Tbsp. honey or maple
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. molasses
1/2 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
A pinch of salt
  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a ziplock baggie and mush together.
  2. Cut the stem off of the eggplant, and halve it.
  3. Slice each half of the eggplant into bacon sized strips. I used a mandolin in between 1/8 and 1/6 inch. Toss the pieces that are just skin.
  4. Toss eggplant into marinade and flip around until everything is coated well.  Do this every 5 minutes for about 30 minutes. Keep out on counter.
  5. I have a Presto dehydrator, which is the round, stackable kind. I put one of my fruit roll inserts on the bottom tray to catch any sogginess.
  6. Once the eggplant is nice, slimy, flimsy, and darkened-up lay out on trays and dehydrate. Save liquid marinade in bowl and pop it into the fridge.
  7. When nearly done, baste with remaining liquid on one sides, and then finish off until dried.
Try flavored olive oils and other herbs and spices. I used clover honey, ghost pepper infused olive oil, and a pinch of hickory salt.

Keep refrigerated. They're shelf stable enough to pack in a lunch, but not in a pantry.

Makes about 30 pieces at around 5-15 calories a piece, depending on your products.