If you’re a fan of jerky but also a hardcore vegan, no need to fret – vegan jerky is one of the easiest foods to make. Sure, you can buy your own at the store, but it’s much more fun and frugal to make your own. Vegan jerky makes a great road trip snack because it’s easy to store, filling, and it’s packed with portable protein. Not to mention, vegan jerky is free of cholesterol and animal fats, so it’s also healthy for you.
Learn to make your own vegan jerky with these easy steps:
You can make vegan jerky very easily in a dehydrator or even in an oven that’s dependable with consistent heat. If your oven’s a little old or things sometimes cook unevenly or burn easily, you may not want to try making vegan jerky in it.
If you use a dehydrator, the work’s done for you. You’ll just need to dry your vegan jerky out like you would normally dry meat out to make jerky. If you’re using an oven, turn it to the lowest temperature possible to make your jerky and cook it until it’s thoroughly dehydrated.
You don’t need a pricey dehydrator to make jerky; most any model will do. Unless you’re going to be making lots of raw food, even the lower-priced varieties in superstores will make vegan jerky just fine.
2. Tempeh or Firm Tofu
To make vegan jerky, buy either tempeh or a block of firm tofu. Slice it very thin lengthwise to form thin strips. Feel free to make your strips as long or short as you like. You can make it as thin or thick as you like, but remember that the thicker it is, the longer it will take to dehydrate to form jerky.
You’ll also need to flavor your jerky. I suggest buying mesquite powder, some chili powder, black pepper, some salt (which will help it dry out faster), and whatever seasonings you like. BBQ sauce, mustard, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce (vegan) are all great ideas to flavor your jerky so pick whichever one works for you.
4. Prepare It
Soak the tempeh or firm tofu in a marinade of your flavor and let it sit overnight in the fridge in a container. The next day, pat your tempeh or firm tofu dry and then start the dehydrating process whether using a machine or the oven.
You’ll need to see how long it takes your jerky to completely dehydrate. It may take anywhere from six to eight hours in a dehydrator or perhaps even more. For ovens, it will take less time, but you’ll need to be sure it doesn’t reach a temperature above 250°F or it will end up cooking it. You can technically bake jerky instead of dehydrating it but it will be crispier instead of like traditional jerky.
6. Store It Well
To store your jerky, I suggest putting it in plastic baggies to keep for on-the-go storage. This way, it can make the perfect snack to eat whenever you please.
Have you ever made vegan jerky? Have any tips?
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