How to Preserve Eggplant

how to preserve eggplant

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If I had to give this growing season a name, it would be The Year of the Eggplant. We have had an amazing harvest- which means we have been eating a lot of meals using eggplant. It also means there is a lot left over to preserve.  Due to its dense nature, it is not recommended that you can eggplant at home. So how do you preserve eggplant?

Preserving Eggplant by Freezing:

peeled eggplantroasted eggplantfrozen eggplant

There are a few ways to go about freezing your eggplant but the basic steps are to peel, cook, and freeze. Frozen eggplant will defrost some what mushier, similar to zucchini. Under the correct conditions they will last at least a year with out a change in quality.

Option 1: Roasted Eggplant

To freeze roasted eggplant you want to peel your eggplant and cut them in half or in rounds and roast at 400* for about 30 minutes. Allow the slices to cool, then simply place them in your container or freezer bag. Freezing roasted eggplant is a good option if you enjoy dishes that are prepared by roasting the vegetable first- such as Baba Ganoush or my vegetarian eggplant balls.

blanched eggplantOption 2: Blanched Eggplant

To freeze blanched eggplant, peel and slice your vegetables and then place them in boiling water for 4 minutes. Transfer them to an ice bath until completely cool. Drain well before placing in your container. I have quite a few bags of sliced and blanched Ping Tung Eggplant in the freezer to make Eggplant Crisp later in the year.

Option 3: Sliced and Breaded

If you like to make Eggplant Parmesan, you can make the breaded and fried slices ahead of time and freeze them so that you can make this dish all year long. Simply bread and fry your eggplant slices, allow them to cool and place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then transfer them to a freezer safe container. When you are ready to eat, simply take out the amount of slices you need and continue on in the recipe.

Preserving Eggplant by Dehydration:

You can use your oven on it’s lowest setting or an electric dehydrator to dehydrate your eggplant. Make sure it is completely dry before storing to prevent spoiling. You can store the dehydrated eggplant in the freezer or in the pantry. There are a lot of options when it comes to dehydrating, such as:

dried eggplant

  • Dehydrate 1/2 in slices plain until crispy. Boil in water for 5 minutes to rehydrate and use in recipes such as Moussaka
  • Use a mandolin to slice 1/4 in. slices of eggplant. Sprinkle with your choice of spices (salt, pepper, garlic, onion, etc.) and dehydrate for eggplant chips
  • Marinate eggplant slices before dehydrating to make a jerky- such as Eggplant Bacon.
  • Cut eggplant in 1 inch cubes and dehydrate. Use them in soups and stews.

If you are looking for a good dehydrator, I LOVE my Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator. If you don’t need one quite so big they also come in 4 or 5-tray options!

Many dishes using eggplant also freeze well. We like to keep a bag of the vegetarian eggplant meatballs in the freezer for an easy lunch. So if you have a favorite recipe try freezing a portion and see how it reheats.

 

This post has been linked to Tuesdays with a Twist, Tuned-In Tuesday, Tuesday Greens, HomeAcre Hop, Simply Natural Saturdays, Homestead Barn Hop, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, The Homesteaders Hop, The Creative Home and Garden Hop,

© 2013 – 2014, Sarah R Toney. All rights reserved.

15 comments on “How to Preserve Eggplant

  1. I never even thought of hydration! Great idea!

  2. Anna says:

    I have never thought of dehydrated eggplants either. Eggplant chips with my salsa would taste amazingly good, I think ;). I need to try it.

  3. I’ve never even cooked eggplant, but these ideas have sparked my interest in this beautifully colored vegetable. I just might have to give eggplant a try. :)

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

  4. Sandra says:

    Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial at the HomeAcre Hop!
    Hope you join us again!
    Sandra

  5. […] How to Preserve Eggplant from The Free Range […]

  6. Bismah says:

    I love eggplant! I had no idea there were so many options for freezing. Actually I didn’t even know eggplant could even be frozen. Thank you for sharing!
    Stopping by from the “Creative Home and Garden” hop. Following you on G+, Twitter, and Facebook. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
    Have a great week :)
    Bismah @
    Simple Mama

  7. Thanks for these helpful tips on ways to preserve eggplant. I have not tried this before, so now I know what to do with the leftover eggplant from my father’s garden. Glad I found your blog on Thank Goodness Its Monday!

  8. Lisa says:

    I never dried drying it. Maybe next year I will go some and try.

  9. donna says:

    add lemon juice to boiling water to prevent discoloration

  10. Paula says:

    Is it completely necessary to peel the eggplant before blanching and freezing? I LOVE the skin! I have 15 eggplant that I have pulled out of my garden in the last 3 days and want to preserve some for winter. I wish canning was an option but it looks like I will be freezing it.

    • I am sure it is fine to leave the peel on. It might toughen up a little but I don’t think it would hurt anything. Freezing makes eggplant kind of mushy so how you freeze will depend on what you plan to do with it once thawed.

  11. Teco says:

    To preserve my eggplant I use a method I discovered in Cook’s Illustrated for preparing eggplant for firmness, like for parmesan or a casserole. Salt the eggplant and put it on paper towels in the microwave. 8-10 minutes, moving occasionally, will give you dry pieces that will not soak up tons of oil, and lends a meaty texture.
    On a hunch, I froze some, and it thawed out perfectly, ready for parmesan.
    Who knew, a legitimate reason to use the nuker.

  12. Hilary says:

    I have grilled my eggplants to a creamy consistency , cooled and tossed in the food processor and spread the goo on dehydrator sheets, like a fruit rollup mix. Once dry, I processed again into a rough flour and saved in glass jars. Use in place of flour or breadcrumbs for a more nutritious liquid absorber. I add it to soups and sauces too. It’s really useful and adds grilled flavor.

  13. Laura says:

    I planted Rosa Bianca on one of my Hugelkultur beds this year. Bumper crop!. Rosa Bianca is a lovely mild, non bitter, delicious medium size lavender eggplant. No need to salt it or peel it when it is fresh. I think I will try the drying and the freezing methods. Wonder if I should peel it?
    So glad I found this site. Thanks everyone for all the good tips.

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