As I mentioned in the video about the broccoli salad, we have been trying to incorporate a lot more raw food into our diet lately. When I post the whole story of how I got to where I am today on my eating journey, I will go into more detail. :-) Let's just leave it at we have been reading, researching, and learning A LOT about raw food this year. One place we love to look for information is YouTube. We have been watching TheRawFoodWorld TV show.... Well, we came across this recipe for eggplant chips that we just had to try!
Neither Chris nor I like eggplant in its traditional, fried-'til-it's-greasy or baked-and-mushy state. So this seemed like a real possibility for us as an alternative, and better yet, it's raw. I based my recipe on the one seen on TheRawFoodWorld, but I made some changes due to our likes/dislikes/what we had on hand. Feel free to do the same!
Eggplant Chips with Sunflower Basil Spread
2 eggplants, sliced and cut to the size chips you want (I halved my slices)
a generous dose of kosher salt
1-2 cloves garlic
Sunflower Basil Spread:
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 TBS (or 2) sesame seeds
1-2 TBS apricot seeds
1 cup(ish) basil (fresh is best, but I used frozen from our garden)
1 cup(ish) spinach (again, fresh is best but I used frozen loose leaves)
1/2 head of garlic (yes, it was 5-6 cloves!!!)
almost 1 tsp. salt
juice of 1 lime
1 cup hot water
First, slice eggplants and put in a colander with a generous dose of kosher salt to 'sweat' the eggplant. (Put it in the sink so all the liquid drains.) Next, move eggplant to a bowl, press the 1 or 2 cloves of garlic into the bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Let marinate for an hour or so. Make the spread: Put in blender. Blend until smooth. This takes awhile. Finally, arrange eggplant on the dehydrator trays and put desired amount of spread on each slice. The thicker the spread, the longer it will take to dehydrate. Dehydrate at 115* for 10-14 hours, or until they have reached desired crispiness.
Okay, so here are my findings on the eggplant chips. We did not like the first batch very much... the skin was very tough to chew and the eggplant got rubbery due to the marinating in olive oil. The spread was yummy, and the boys ate the chips, after we removed the skin. Chris said he still had not found a way he likes to eat eggplant. We decided these needed some further testing.
The next day, I made some more. I skinned the eggplant with a peeler before slicing it. Then I salted half of it for an hour before putting in the dehydrator, and the other half I just put into the dehydrator right away. I put spread on on most of the slices but left a few plain just to try them. I also sliced some zucchini and added the slices to each of the groups.
Chris still did not like them. The boys ate them-- Sam more willingly than Ben. I liked them. The eggplant did not get as crispy as I was hoping. I wanted a chip, but what I really got was a dried out slice of eggplant. The spread, however, was really good, and I want to make it again and put it on something else! (I just haven't figured out what, yet!)
So, all in all, the eggplant 'chip' experiment was a good... experiment. I will probably make them again at some point, but not often.