Aubergines are part of the nightshade family of plants, as are tomatoes, peppers & potatoes. They are also called eggplants or brinjal in certain regions of the world. Like tomatoes, they are in fact a fruit but most of us associate & use them as a vegetable. They vary in size & colour but the most common one is a dark skin one, almost black. They have a rich & meaty texture & as such are often used as a meat alternative.
They are an excellent addition to our diet as they are rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, fibre, low in calories & contain vitamins (A, C, K, B3, B9), minerals (potassium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper)
Benefits of aubergines
Antioxidant, thus preventing many chronic diseases (heart diseases, cancer…) & reducing stress
- Gut health
- Managing blood sugar levels & thus diabetes’ control
- Support asthma
Bear in mind that some people are sensitive to nightshades because they contain solanine, an alkaloid which can increase inflammation so, for example, if you suffer from joint pain after eating it, you might want to avoid it – although you would need to consume quite big amounts to trigger inflammation.
They are very easy to use & can be roasted, steamed, baked, grilled or pan-fried in olive oil. I personally roast them in the oven whole which soften them up (pierce the skin in several places beforehand). I then scoop the flesh inside ( the skin can sometimes be a bit too bitter to my taste) and blitz it with garlic & olive oil which is a delicious side to any meat or fish or other vegetables. A variation of the same is with the addition of tahini sauce & chopped coriander leaves thus making a yummy baba ganoush, the famous Middle Eastern dip. It can also be added to soups or curries and is, of course, one of the main ingredients of the famous French ratatouille.
What about you? Do you often cook aubergines? What tips can you share? Do share so we can all benefit 🙂
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