Becoming a vegan after years of eating animal-based products can be a rewarding and frustrating experience. Not only do you have to live a life free of meat, eggs and dairy – but you also have to find substitutes for all these common foods. And believe us, there will be certain things that you will miss eating. But we can also assure you that for every snack missed, there is a vegan alternative waiting to be discovered.
One of the most delicious snacks on the planet is jerky – which is loved by people around the world for its rich and smoky taste. However, jerky is made from meat which means it is often discarded by vegans who feel like there can be no substitute. But what if we told you that you can make vegan-friendly jerky from the comfort of your own home?
Down below we have outlined our favorite recipe for making sweet and fruity watermelon jerky. Not only is watermelon jerky vegan, but it is easy to make and is the perfect snack for a night of watching movies on the couch. So why not take a look and try this recipe out for yourself?
- Watermelon (1 whole)
- Kosher Salt
- Smoked Salt
- Chili-Lime Seasoning
Step One: Find A Good Watermelon
The most important ingredient for this recipe is the watermelon, which you should be able to buy from most grocery stores. If you want to make sure you are purchasing the best watermelon for your money – then there are some things you need to consider.
A beautifully ripe watermelon will often come with a yellow underbelly, which means the watermelon has ripened in the field. The watermelon should also be heavy and make a thudding sound when you drop it on the kitchen surface. This indicates that the watermelon is ripe and full of delicious juice.
Step Two: Cut The Watermelon
Get a sharp kitchen knife and use it to cut the watermelon into large slices, like you would when eating it normally. Then use the knife to cut the fruit away from the skin, which you should discard.
Once you have cut the watermelon into segments, then you can begin cutting the segments into thin slices. At the end of this step, you may find yourself with a large number of watermelon slices – so make sure you have enough trays for each batch.
The thinner you cut the watermelon the better, as this will help during the dehydration process.
Step Three: Season The Watermelon
Take a baking tray and line it with baking parchment before laying out the watermelon slices on top of it. In a small bowl mix together the kosher salt, smoked salt and chilli lime until seasoning until you have a vibrant seasoning for the watermelon.
Sprinkle this seasoning over the watermelon and then mix it with your hands until every slice has a decent coating. This seasoning will help the watermelon to dry during the drying process and it will also give it a sweet and zesty flavor.
Step Four: Dehydrate The Watermelon
When making jerky of any kind, the most important stage is the dehydration process. This is when you allow the jerky to dry until it is free of moisture, giving the finished product that distinct jerky consistency. You can accomplish the drying process by purchasing a professional dehydrator or by using the oven in your kitchen.
If you are using a proper dehydrator to dry your jerky, then you should place your watermelon slices on dehydrator trays, lined with parchment or leather sheets. These trays can then be slotted into your dehydrator and dried using a temperature of 135 degrees. The drying process for the watermelon jerky can take 18-24 hours. No, we are not kidding!
Drying jerky is a very slow and uninteresting process, and in some cases, it can take a whole day before the jerky is properly dried. If you wish to speed up the process, you can set your dehydrator to 170 degrees, but this will still take 10-12 hours before the jerky is ready to eat.
If you are planning on using your kitchen oven to dry the jerky, then you can place the watermelon slices on a parchment-lined baking tray and put them in the oven. Set your oven to 135 degrees and allow the jerky to dry for 18-24 hours. Unfortunately, this is the fastest method when using a normal oven.
Sit Back And Enjoy!
When the jerky is fully dried, it should be thin and crispy in texture. Take it out of the oven or dehydrator and allow it to cool down before removing it from the tray. Once the watermelon jerky has cooled, place it in a cup or on a place, sit back and enjoy your delicious snack!