Hey, What’s Cookin’?
Eggplant seems to be a “love it or hate it” kind of vegetable. It never seems to make anyone’s menu plan for healthy eating. I think it’s partly because people are used to seeing it in Eggplant Parmagiana, where it is sliced and fried in several inches of oil. Or they enjoy it as an appetizer in the form of the Middle-Eastern dish Baba Ganoush, where it is cooked, mashed, and mixed with sesame seed paste and spices.
But eggplant doesn’t have to be fried or soaked in oil or mixed with seed butter to be delicious. All by itself, it’s a very good source of potassium, iron, folate, vitamin K and vitamin C. And the peel or skin of deep purple eggplants is a source of phytochemials called anthocyanins,which are free-radical scavengers.
One cup of chopped eggplant provides:
- 35 calories
- 0 grams fat
- 8 grams of carbs
- 2.5 grams of fiber
- 0.83 gram of protein.
Choose your eggplant carefully. It must be very firm and a shiny, dark purple, with no wrinkling of the skin and no brown discoloration.The key to getting the most nutritional value out of an eggplant is by roasting or grilling it, with just the lightest slick of oil to keep it from drying out. Eggplants also benefit greatly from proper seasonings, because they pick up and hold the flavors around them.
If you’ve never tried eggplant before, you owe it to yourself to try them grilled. You will never know just how delicious it can be unless you try it in a variety of ways!
Adapted from a recipe from Genius Kitchen
- 1 large, fresh eggplant
- 1/4 cup olive, sunflower, or avocado oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- extra salt and pepper, to taste
- Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)
- Peel the eggplant (leave the peel on if you’re a confirmed fan or you’ve never tried the peel!) and then cut crosswise into 3/4-inch rounds.
- Combine oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a very small bowl; stir well.
- Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, lightly brush eggplant slices with oil mixture.
- Place eggplant on grill; grill over medium heat for 10 minutes or until tender, turning halfway through grilling.
- Serve eggplant slices; diners may add extra salt or pepper or hot sauce to their taste.
Notes: If you can’t grill the eggplants, place the seasoned slices on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast at 400 degree for 25 minutes, turning the slices over halfway through cooking.