Fruits and Veggies Monday - Eggplants
Eggplants are found in the produce department of every American grocery. They come in different varieties of shapes, sizes and colors. From large to small, round, oblong, long... from purple to white or even green.
The small ones are called Indian eggplants.
Below are the large, dark variety. They are popular in Europe.
And these are the long eggplants, called Chinese.
Why they are called eggplants? Because the first plants introduced to America were white and egg shaped.
So what are eggplants? Fruits or veggies? By botanical definition, eggplant is a berry, so it is a fruit, but it is considered a vegetable.
Either fruit or veggie, eggplant is delicious and it provides lots of health benefits. It is full of fiber, copper, manganese, B-6, thiamine and other minerals and vitamins. It also contains antioxidants that help prevent inflammation in the body.
Several studies found that consuming eggplants lowers the cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks. This is because eggplants contain antocyanins, which relax the arteries (antocyanins are also found in blueberries and strawberries). These antocyanins also help prevent tumors and the spread of cancer cells. They also protect brain cells by preventing neuroinflammation and facilitating blood flow, so they help with memory loss.
Eggplants contain fiber, and besides helping to lower cholesterol levels, fiber is good for weight management.
So how we prepare eggplants?
🔹First of all, when you buy eggplants you must make sure the skin is firm, not bruised or discolored.
🔹Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
🔹Use stainless steel utensils, otherwise eggplants turn black when cut.
🔹Sprinkle salt on eggplant slices to draw out moisture and bitterness. Let it sit about one hour and then rinse off the salt, pat dry, grill, bake or roast. Stay away from deep frying, as eggplants will absorb a lot of oil.
Do you need some ideas on how to incorporate eggplants in your diet? I use them as a side dish, sautéed in a little olive oil. I also grill them and make veggie burgers. Oven baked are yummy too. Simply sliced or breaded. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and make Eggplant Parmesan.
Ohhh and Baba Ghanoush... you can google the recipe 😋 😜
I hope I gave you the motivation to pay more attention to eggplants, they are so good for your health!