ABC SUPERFOODS: E is for Eggplant

Eggplant

Benefits

Eggplant is very good for those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, as it is rich in low soluble carbohydrates and fiber. This vegetable lowers cholesterol and stabilizes blood pressure, both of which lower the risk for heart disease. The potassium content also keeps the body well hydrated, preventing coronary heart disease. Phytonutrients present in this nightshade vegetable helps to preserve memory function. The vitamin C content make eggplant an effective anti-viral and anti-bacterial source, as well. In addition to all of this, eggplants improve skin and hair.

At the Market

-Choose firm and heavy eggplants.
-Eggplants should be vivid in color, whether purple, green or white.
-Avoid eggplants with discoloration, bruises or scars.
-The ends of the eggplant (stem and cap) should be bright green in color.
-Use your thumb to press the skin of the vegetable: if it springs back, it is ripe. If it leaves an indent, it is not ripe.

In the Kitchen

-Store eggplants, uncut and unwashed in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator.
-Do not cut eggplant before storing, as it will perish quickly after being punctured.
-Note: most eggplants can be eaten with or without the skin.
-Eggplant can be baked, steamed, and or roasted in the oven.
-Bake a whole eggplant in a 350 degree oven for 15-25 minutes (pierce it several times beforehand). When a knife can be easily inserted into the vegetables’ flesh, it is done.

Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan

1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 (8-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (1-pound) eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup water
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Vegetable cooking spray
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Fresh oregano sprigs (optional)

eggplantparm

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Place eggplant in a large bowl; add water to cover, and let stand 30 minutes. Drain well; blot dry with paper towels. Combine 1/4 cup water and egg whites in a shallow bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese; stir well. Dip eggplant in egg white mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.

Place half of eggplant on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and broil 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant. Set eggplant aside.

Spread half of tomato mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of eggplant over sauce; top with half of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with remaining sauce, eggplant, and cheese.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs, if desired.

Recipe taken from myrecipes.com

What is your favorite eggplant recipe?

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