preserving-eggplant

Proven Methods for Preserving Eggplant

Eggplant (Solanum melongena) doesn't have a very long shelf life, and tastes the best when used right after picking. If you can't use your eggplants right away, a few methods can help in preserving eggplant.

How to Preserve Eggplant

The first thing to know about eggplant is that it doesn’t can well, but you can preserve using freezing, dehydration and microwave methods.

Blanch and Freeze

Choose young eggplants with shiny, firm skin for the best preserving results. Before freezing the eggplants, remove the seeds, cut the eggplant into thick slices, and water blanch them in a pot of boiling water, mixed with ½ cup (120 ml) of lemon juice for about four minutes. After blanching the eggplants, drain and cool them. After they’re cool, seal them in air-tight containers or plastic, freezer bags.

Roast and Freeze

Another method of preserving your eggplants is to roast them before freezing. Follow these steps for roasting and freezing:

  • Peel young, ripe eggplants
  • Slice into rounds or chunks
  • Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Cool the slices
  • Place into freezer bags

Fry and Freeze

It’s also possible to fry eggplant ahead of time, and then freeze it for later use. For example, mix bread crumbs and parmesan for the eggplant breading. Slice the eggplant into rounds, dip them in the breading, and fry them until their crispy. Cool and place the eggplant on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once their frozen, store them in sealed bags in your freezer.

Dehydrate

You can dehydrate eggplants in your oven, set at a low temperature, or in an electric dehydrator. Just be sure that they’re completely dry and crispy before storing. If there’s any moisture present, the eggplants can spoil. Here are a few methods for dehydrating eggplants:

  • Cut the eggplant into one-half-inch slices, and dehydrate until crisp.
  • Slice eggplant into one-quarter-inch slices, and sprinkle them with your favorite spices.
  • Marinate sliced eggplant for flavorful eggplant chips.
  • Cube the eggplant before dehydrating for use in soups.

Microwave

A quick method for preserving eggplants is to place them on a paper towel, and sprinkle them with salt. Put them in the microwave for about 10 minutes, or until they’re dry. Store them in freezer bags in your freezer. When you’re ready to use them, just add them to your favorite casserole or Parmesan recipe.

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