Eggplants Are On The Cat-Walk This Fall. Buy One and Try This Recipe!
What’s purple, shiny, easy to prepare and on the superfoods’ list? It’s the eggplant.
I’ve always been fascinated with this soft, purple vegetable. Or is it a squash? A fruit?
Eggplant is a nightshade vegetable and is in the same family as tomatoes, sweet peppers and tomatoes. They are seasonal vegetables and are at their peak from August through October. They are high in both fiber and nutrition: Daily Values per one cup of raw eggplant are as follows:
- Fiber – 11%
- Manganese – 10%
- Potassium – 5.3%
- Folate – 4.5%
- Vitamin K – 3.5
- Vitamin B6 – 3.5%
- Vitamin C – 3%
- Calories – 19 (1%)
According to WHFoods.com, they are also abundant in phytonutrients and antioxidants. A potent antioxidant found in the skin of the eggplant– nasunin – has been found to protect cell membranes from free radical damage. Eggplants have also been found to have positive effects on cardiovascular health.
Selecting The Perfect Eggplant
Eggplants should be smooth, shiny and colorful. Avoid plants with discolorations, scars, and bruises which may indicate that the vegetable has been damaged or is decaying. The plant should be slightly firm to the touch and should spring back when gently pressed with a finger or thumb.
After purchasing, ideal storage is at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait to cut the eggplant until you are ready to prepare because it will discolor and spoil quickly once its skin has been broken.
Eggplants can be used in a variety of ways. It is a good base for dips and sandwich fillings, baked or roasted, or added to stir fry. It’s also inexpensive. I purchased the beautiful eggplant in the picture (above) for $1.99 at the local market.
I found an easy and tasty six-ingredient roasted eggplant recipe which was delicious:
1 medium – large eggplant
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium red onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cube the eggplant, bell pepper, and red onion. Place in a baking dish.
Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste
Place in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Remove and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese melts.
This is an excellent vegetable side dish that goes well with baked chicken or fish. Add a spinach or green, leafy salad and you have a meal that’s low in fat and calories and high in nutrition.
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