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Healthy and tasty eggplants have been attracting people for a long time. Many dishes have been invented from a wonderful vegetable. They learned to preserve it, dry it and freeze it for the winter. But eggplant is a capricious culture. And the blanks are stored worse than other vegetables. Dried fruits are suitable for long-term storage. However, how to properly dry eggplants for the winter remains a mystery for some housewives.
Can eggplant be dried for the winter?
For winter, the fruits are harvested in all sorts of ways. When asked about the possibility of drying eggplants, the answer is yes. And all because the dried product takes up less space and is lightweight. It's easier to save it.
But most importantly, during drying vitamins and nutrients are preserved almost in full. With other vegetable preparations, some of the important elements are lost. When preserved, eggplants lose 40% of nutrients, when frozen, half as much.
Dried vegetables normalize the work of blood vessels and the heart, cleanse the gastrointestinal tract and bile ducts, promote the proper functioning of the kidneys and pelvic organs, and inhibit the development of vascular atherosclerosis.
Choosing vegetables to dry
Eggplants of any quality are dried. But it is better if the fruits are young, of the same size and degree of ripeness. They have less bitterness, the taste is softer, the pulp is juicier, and the skin is silky. These vegetables have small, unformed seeds.
How to dry eggplants?
Regardless of the chosen drying method, the prepared eggplants are thoroughly washed under running water, dried with a paper towel or napkin, the stem and both ends are cut off. If desired, vegetables are peeled.
Do not remove too large a layer. With it, some of the vitamins will go away.
In the oven
For oven drying, eggplants are cut in half, into cubes, rings, strips, or used whole.
- Put the chopped fruits on a baking sheet in one layer.
- Set the oven temperature to 40-60 °.
- Dry for 3–6 hours, slightly opening the door. The time varies depending on the method of slicing the fruit.
- If there are several baking trays in the cabinet, they are changed every 30 minutes to evenly dry the products from all sides.
The limiting temperature in the chamber is 60 °. Otherwise, some of the useful properties will be lost.
In an electric dryer
Before using the electric dryer, study the instructions for use, which indicates the weight of the permitted product, the required temperature and the approximate drying time of the vegetable.
- The washed fruits are cut into cubes, slices and strips. The thickness of the slices is 1-2 cm.
- Parts of the eggplant are distributed in trays.
- Set the set temperature, about 55-65 °.
- The device is connected to the network.
- Drying continues until the products are completely ready. The time depends on the power of the device, on the type and size of the slices.
It is convenient to use an electric dryer, if only because the drying time is set automatically. You don't have to look at your watch often. The machine will signal the end of the process. But you still have to change trays from time to time and turn over the slices.
In the microwave
You can dry eggplants in the microwave in the form of chips. It is unlikely that these sweets are prepared for the winter. The fragrant and crunchy slices are quickly consumed immediately after cooking.
- Thinly cut vegetables are placed in a bag.
- Add a few drops of vegetable oil.
- Add salt and spices.
- Stir and place in a microwave oven.
- Dry for 5 minutes at 750 W.
The main thing is not to miss the moment of voltage change, not to let the slices remain moist or dry them completely.
The method is not entirely successful, but its long existence speaks of its relevance. The eggplants cut across are laid out on a tray with baking paper. Cover with gauze and set to dry in a draft-free room. From time to time, the product is turned over and put into place. Dry for 5-7 days.
- Vegetables are cut into thin circles.
- Collected on a thread. A small space is left between the slices.
- The process is repeated until the two-meter thread is full.
- The assembly is hung in the attic or on the street. For drying, choose a shady place, but ventilation is necessary.
- Drying continues for 2-3 weeks until the mugs begin to crumble.
The eggplants are dried and whole. They string them on a string by the tails and hang them in the attic, basement, where there is no bright sunlight, but there is natural ventilation.
How to store dried eggplant properly
The cooled eggplants are divided into portions and placed in a glass container with a ground-in lid, in linen or cotton bags tied with a tourniquet, or cardboard boxes with lids.
The pouches are hung on cloves in dry pantries and stored in this state at a moderate temperature. Jars and boxes are placed on the shelves of kitchen cabinets. The shelf life of dried blanks is 6-8 months.
Why waste time preparing products for the winter when fresh eggplants are sold in any store at any time of the year - an inexperienced housewife will think. And it will be right in its own way. But the prices for vegetables in winter are not small, and the desire to please relatives with an exquisite aromatic dish enriched with vitamins and minerals is very great.