For the more sophisticated, a vegan jerky recipe is more than just a soy or tofu alternative to meat. While soy jerky is enjoyed by many people, there are an enormous amount of delicious vegan recipes, including watermelon, mushroom and even oatmeal.
Mushroom jerky and how to make it
Mushrooms are a perfect alternative for vegan beef jerky, because of its chewy texture. It also goes well with all of the ingredients used in classic beef jerky, like garlic, black pepper, salt, peppers and vinegar.
For this meatless jerky, the mushrooms you use may range from portabella and shitake, to black morel and oyster mushrooms. Since soy sauce is so commonly used in mushroom jerky, we’ll also recommend using a non-GMO alternative, or a fermented, Japanese-style soy sauce for a low-sodium and low-carb diet.
- Mushroom strips cut 1/2” thick, at a length to fit the size of the mushroom
- Black pepper
- Dried pepper powder, such as chilies, cayenne or jalapeno (use conservatively)
- Worcestershire and soy sauce (or tamari)
- Maple syrup
- Apple cider vinegar
Wash and dry the tops of your mushrooms before marinating for 8-plus hours. This recipe can be modified to use ginger, salt and many other ingredients, as well as simplified for milder taste.
Dry in your dehydrator machine at 140 degrees. Test for chewiness after about 3 hours, depending on the mushroom, the amount of salt you use and how dry your mushrooms are before being dehydrated.
Vegan jerky from juicy, delicious watermelon
This vegan jerky recipe is intuitively delightful and easy to make. Using the naturally sweet and often candy-like flavor or dried watermelon, any subtle additions of flavor are sure to make this healthy snack quite addicting! This recipe uses:
- Watermelon strips, cut to 1/3-1/4” thick
- Black pepper and salt (optional)
- Citrusy fruit juice (optional)
This easy appetizer recipe starts by slicing fresh watermelon into strips, leaving our rinds and ends. For heirloom-variety, organically-grown produce, you can leave the seeds in. Sprinkle with a light amount of salt (for drying and seasoning purposes), pepper and juice, if you’d like to add some flavor.
Set your fruit dehydrator to 130 degrees for 8 hours. You may wish to alter this simple jerky recipe’s time to 18-24 hours for a dryer result that can potentially be used for long-term storage.
Good vegan recipes include veggie jerky
This kind of jerky deserves a vegan recipe book of its own. Since different produce, like eggplant, are more absorbent, and others, like carrots and cauliflower aren’t, it’s difficult to give an authoritative guide to vegetable jerky. Let’s try a taste of both extremes.
For vegan cauliflower jerky, use the following ingredients:
- ½ cup of tahini
- 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
- ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- Salt and black pepper
- Vegetable broth
- Dried pepper powder for heat and flavor
Cut your head of cauliflower, as best you can, into small, even portions. Combine the rest of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, adding vegetable broth as necessary for a thick but liquid mixture. Since the cauliflower won’t absorb much, completely coat each piece as much as possible.
Set your dehydration machine to 130 degrees, and dry for about 12 hours. Let your cauliflower jerky cool for at least 30 minutes to test it for your preferred texture.
For scrumptious eggplant jerky, use the following ingredients:
- Onion and garlic powder
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sesame oil, or a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and tahini
- Agave or grade b maple syrup
Slice two eggplants into strips ¼” thick. Combine the remaining ingredients into a container large enough to coat each eggplant strip entirely, and marinade for 4-plus hours. Since eggplant is very absorbent, the proportions of ingredients you use now will greatly impact the flavor of your vegan jerky.
Dry in your dehydrator for jerky at 130 degrees for about 3 hours. Your eggplant jerky won’t be completely dry until it’s cooled off from the dehydrator, but test every few minutes after the first 3 hours to test for chewiness.
Using a food dehydrator machine will allow you to prepare your raw ingredients at home, and enjoy many more vegan recipes!