The Versatile and Healthy Eggplant
The versatile and healthy Eggplant comes from southern India, its cultivation dates back to 2000 BC, and the Spanish brought them to America during colonization.
They were first farmed only as an ornamental plant because they are very attractive. In European and Middle Eastern cuisine, eggplant is considered a delicacy.
Its outer part is a smooth, shiny shell of diverse colors, among which the violet stands out. Its edible part constitutes 85% of the total weight, and its water content is 92%.
The whole fruit is edible, both the peel and the small seeds arranged in its pulp.
It provides very few calories to the diet because its energy value is very low with high fiber content, especially in the shell and seeds. Therefore it is a very suitable fruit for weight loss diets and diabetics.
The eggplant is an ideal food for weight loss diets, especially in the abdominal area, as it contains a low amount of calories and fights excess fat in the abdomen. Because it is diuretic, it eliminates toxins. It produces a quick satiety effect and regulates the functioning of the digestive system.
It is essential to know that this food must always be consumed cooked and never raw. This is because it contains solanine, a substance that can be toxic.
It is advisable to remove the bitter taste from eggplant before cooking it. But doing so is very simple. Just cut them in half or slices, depending on how you are going to cook them. Spread the slices on a plate, add salt on top of each slice and leave them for 30 minutes. By the process of osmosis, they will exude the bitter liquid. Then, rinse the slices lightly, dry them with paper towels, and they are ready to cook.
Eggplant Nutritional Benefits
Eggplant contains antioxidants such as nasunin, an anthocyanin responsible for the purple color of the fruit’s skin. It protects against the oxidation of circulating fats, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, and slows down aging.
In an analysis of eggplants, potatoes, and tomatoes, which are solanaceous plants, researchers found that they had antiproliferative activities against liver and colon cancer cells.
In one study, eggplant extract was found to have an inhibitory effect on soft tissue-related human fibrosarcoma cell invasion.
Some other compounds in eggplant, including gallic acid, may also reduce or control sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus and blood pressure figures in hypertensives.
Delphinidin, a natural compound in eggplant extract, is the component responsible for inhibiting the activity of fibrosarcoma secretions that degrade healthy cells as part of the invasive process.
It keeps cholesterol at bay due to its chlorogenic acid content. This acid is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the excess of lipids in the arteries.
It protects the brain’s cell membranes, which favors the sending and receiving of orders and messages from the molecules to the cells and improves short-term memory. It increases blood flow to the brain, so it also prevents cognitive diseases.
Eggplant has vitamins A, C, and the B complex, as well as folic acid, strengthening the immune system and improving resistance to various diseases.
It also contains phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which prevent arthritis, osteoporosis, and heart disease. It is a food with high iron content, ideal for preventing anemia.
Recipes with the Versatile and Nutritious Eggplant
1/3 cup sesame seeds
4 tablespoons of plain yogurt
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
- Split the eggplants into two halves, lengthwise.
- Using a sharp knife, make cuts in the aubergine pulp without piercing the skin.
- Place the aubergines with the skin side up on a lightly greased tray.
- Bake them for 30 minutes in the oven at a temperature of 350°.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Remove the skin and seeds.
- Add the eggplant pulp to the blender.
- Add the olive oil, sesame seeds, garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, and salt to taste.
- Mix and grind everything until you get a smooth paste.
- Ready to spread on your favorite bread.
Eggplant and Ground Meat Role
2 pounds of ground beef
1 cup of tomato sauce
4 cloves of garlic
1 ounce of pine nuts
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1/2 cup of virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
- Finely chop the onions, garlic cloves, and fresh parsley.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add a spoonful of virgin olive oil.
- Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until it starts to become transparent.
- Add the chopped garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes.
- Add the minced beef and cook for another 5 minutes, occasionally stirring until it begins to brown.
- Add cumin, pepper, and salt to taste and stir a little to blend.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and cook until it thickens, occasionally stirring so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add a spoonful of freshly chopped parsley and the pine nuts. Mix well and remove from the heat.
- Wash the eggplants and cut them into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Submerge the slices of eggplant in the beaten egg and then fry in a pan with virgin olive oil over medium heat until golden on both sides.
- Remove and place the slices on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Grease a baking tray with a little oil and add the eggplant slices forming a base, so that later we add the minced meat and we can roll it up with them.
- Once the eggplant and minced meat roll is formed, brush it with a little beaten egg and place it in the oven at medium height.
- Bake for 20 minutes and it is ready to slice and serve this delicious eggplant and ground meat role.
Eggplant in Dressing
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the eggplants into cubes and cook them in boiling water with a pinch of salt for about 7 minutes.
- When they are tender, we drain them well so that they release all the water.
- Cook the hard-boiled eggs for about 10 minutes and, when they are cold, peel and chop them.
- Fry the chopped onion with a spoonful of virgin olive oil for about 3 minutes at medium heat until transparent.
- Mix the onion with the cooked eggplant and the egg.
- Make the dressing with 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil, vinegar, cumin, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the dressing to the onion, eggplant, and egg mixture.
- Ready to serve.