Aubergine (eggplant), commonly purple, is spongy fruit with a unique taste and texture. While it’s generally thought of as a vegetable, eggplant is a fruit.
It belongs to the family Solanaceae (or nightshade, like the tomatoes, bell peppers, and potatoes).
- Aubergine contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, phenolics and antioxidants.
- Some of its medicinal properties include balancing blood sugar levels and boosting gut health.
- The high fibre content in eggplants, which is a crucial element to maintaining a balanced diet, is a great way to improve your gastrointestinal health.
- The antioxidant chlorogenic acid may also help slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal.
*Chlorogenic acid is a phenolic compound found in aubergine and widely found in fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and coffee and tea.
When is the aubergine in season?
In the UK, aubergines are available all year round, but they’re at their best in season from July to September.
When not to eat aubergine?
Eggplants are members of the nightshade family.
Some vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes contain solanine which some people to increase intestinal permeability and may be harmful to those who have arthritis.
However, most reports are anecdotal, and while it might be true for some people, it is not proved.
Since it is rich in nutrients, I recommend simply testing it. You can eliminate nightshades from your diet for a couple of weeks and slowly reintroduce them into your diet. If you find that adding nightshades trigger pain, you can avoid them.
Bake the eggplant whole until soft and puree with fresh lemon juice, chopped garlic, and extra virgin olive oil (I also love to add tahini!).
- 2 large eggplants – roast in the oven until soft, then scoop out the flesh with a large spoon.
- 2 cloves of peeled garlic -chopped
- 1/2 medium lemon- squeezed into fresh juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup raw tahini
- Mix and spread on bread or use as a vegetable dip.
BALSAMIC AUBERGINE (Italian).
Cut thin slices of aubergine, roast in the oven with olive oil for about ten minutes.
Dip the slices of aubergine in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and water (1:1 ratio). Sort nicely in layers and cover each layer with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic slices, chilli pepper, sea salt and parsley. Store overnight in the fridge, and it’s ready to eat.