Veggies A-Z: E for Eggplant!

Veggies A- Z; E is for Eggplant OK, ok, it’s not technically a veggie; it’s a fruit. The eggplant, aubergine, melongene, brinjal or guinea squash is a plant of the family Solanaceae and is grown for its usually egg-shaped fleshy fruit and is eaten as a cooked vegetable. Some even consider it a berry (1). From a health perspective, it, like most other plants, is a very good source of dietary fiber. High in vitamin B1, and copper, it’s also a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Eggplant also contains phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid (2). And, so long as you’re not addressing auto immune issues, in which case all nightshade plants are best avoided (3), including eggplant in your arsenal of all the abundant veggies you eat on a daily basis is a delicious no-brainer! Now to the fun part- choosing the type of eggplant as well as how to prepare it! Choose from Chinese, Japanese, Bianca (an Italian Heirloom variety), Graffiti (their thin peel makes them great for eating whole), Tango (a white expression or Santana (tear-dropped shaped and dark purple (4)) and then dig deep into your favorite cookbooks or websites for cooking ideas! I’ve always loved eggplants. Back in the day, before I knew better (as in, before I’d figured out how eating gluten was making me so sick!), I used to love the occasional eggplant parmesan. Obviously not doing that anymore, but that doesn’t mean I’m limited to eating a plain, boring preparation. It’s not a question of being stumped about how to cook it; rather, it’s more about which delicious recipe I am going to pick! Some of my favorites include my sun dried tomato salad, an Asian stir fry with loads of Thai Basil and coconut oil, my own version of Baba Ganouj, made sans garbanzos to keep it on the lighter side (and anti-nutrient free!) and Ratatouille. Perfect for a Bastille Day celebration… or any other day, for that matter, Ratatouille is one of those dishes that may look so eloquent and refined, it’s hard to believe it’s actually quite simple to prepare. Click here for my recipe and have at it! 1 Nutritious Eggplant Is a Misunderstood Veggie … Er … Fruit.” The Florida Times Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2016. 2″ Eggplant.” World’s Healthiest Foods. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2016. 3 “CONSUMPTION OF NIGHTSHADE PLANTS, HUMAN HEALTH AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE .” The Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet, n.d. Web 4 “6 Eggplant Varieties to Try” Epicurious. N.p., n.d., Web. 14 July, 2016