Any egg plant fans out there?? If I'm being honest, I grew up disliking it. Maybe because when my mom cooked it, it was always slimy. Or, possibly because my young taste buds didn't appreciate the taste. However, now in my adult years, I like it quite a bit. It's a perfect example of why you should give something another chance. Too often, we try things as kids and we convince ourselves that we hate vegetables or the texture of a certain food. Do yourself a favor. Try again. There's so much goodness to be enjoyed!
Now that we've got my little pep talk out of the way, let's put the spot light on this gorgeous purple Fruit. Yeah, I said fruit. who knew, right? I always thought is was a vegetable.
Eggplants are delicious and not often incorporated into the American diet. It is popular in Indian and Mediterranean cuisine and since I'm a fan, I usually order it when I'm out to eat. There are many varieties and it comes in all shapes and sizes.
If you have never put it in your cart, let me encourage you to give it a try. Here are 3 things you may not have known about eggplant.
1. Eggplant is an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins (C and B6), and minerals, specifically potassium, magnesium, and copper.
2. The fiber component is HUGE in this case as it may promote blood sugar control since it slows the rate of nutrient digestion and subsequent absorption, which prevents spikes and “crashes” in blood sugar.
3. The fiber and antioxidants are especially beneficial for their anti-inflammatory properties, which is increasingly important as we age. Got aches? Try adding egg plant.
4. You can bake, roast, grill, or sauté eggplant . I love roasting it with garlic and olive oil and making it delicious hummus style spread – they are very versatile and relatively easy to incorporate into a variety of recipes. For one of my favorite recipes:
Tomato Eggplant Pie (serves 4)
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
Gluten free Breadcrumbs or Panko
1 tablespoon Kerry gold butter, melted
1 tablespoon pesto (homemade or store bought)
½ cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Peel and cube eggplant, boil until soft and tender, then drain water and mash.
Add diced onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, melted butter and pesto to the mash; mix well.
Grease a pie pan. Slice one tomato and layer on bottom of pan. Add the eggplant mixture.
Slice the remaining tomato and layer on top of eggplant mixture.
Add shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
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