Last night for dinner I baked up some eggplant dipped in a bit of egg white and sprinkled with herbs and spices. I don’t think I’ve ever had eggplant before! Maybe cut up in stews or curries or something – but never just on its own. I’m very happy I tried it – it’s quite good!
Eggplant originates from India and was first used in China and Europe. It is sometimes referred to as aubergine, especially in European countries. It has been a common ingredient in stews and on its own in North America since the early 1800’s.
Eggplant comes in a variety of sizes and colors but the one most commonly found in most produce sections is a pretty dark purple color and contains a lot of health benefits. It contains high amounts of most of the B vitamins which do your skin and body a lot of good. It also contains magnesium, niacin, folic acid, potassium, and a great deal of fiber. Don’t peel your eggplant because one of its greatest qualities is found in the peel – nasunin, which is a powerful antioxidant, cell membrane regulator, and helps to protect the skin and body against free radicals.
Eggplant is currently being studied to help protect against diabetes and cholesterol levels as they reduce glucose levels and have anti LDL properties. It is also shown to reduce some cancer cells in the body, and as a blood pressure regulator.
Eggplant is very low in calories and has a high moisture content which helps to fill you up and decrease some sodium built up in your body. It is extremely easy to cook – you can chop it up and add it to stews and curries, or it can be sliced and grilled or baked. It’s a great alternative to meat as it has an almost meaty like texture and once marinated in herbs and spices – it’s almost hard to tell it’s a vegetable! It is commonly used in dishes such as eggplant parmesan, and while the eggplant part is still giving you health benefits – the cheese and breadcrumbs are not, so that’s a treat to be had in moderation. Eggplant is a great vegetable to experiment with – so find a way that you like and enjoy it often to gain all its great benefits.