Eggplant – in French – also known as aubergines – it is a part of the so called – the nightshade family of plants and vegetables.
They are essential part of many different national kitchens all over the world, especially in Mediterranean dishes.
Even that eggplants are usually considered as a vegetable, in fact – they are botanically – a fruit, because, same as tomatoes and zucchini – they grow from a flowering plant and contain seeds.
Of course, like all the “vegetables” from this family of plants – you can find many varieties that can change in size and color.
Usually, in your store you will find eggplants with a deep purple skin because they are most common. But, eggplants can be also red, green or even black.
And yes, not only it will bring a unique texture and delicious flavor in different recipes, eggplant, in fact, is very rich in nutrients and vitamins that will give you also health benefits.
Only one portion of eggplants will provide more than 5% of a person’s daily necessity of fiber, copper, manganese, B-6, and thiamine. They are also rich in other vitamins and minerals.
It is good to know that eggplants are also a very rich source of phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants.
As we all know – antioxidants are compounds that help to our body to easily eliminate free radicals which are very unstable molecules that can damage cells if they accumulate in mega amounts. That`s why we should consume foods that contain antioxidants, because they can help to prevent different diseases.
These are the antioxidants found in eggplants: anthocyanins, nasunin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Eggplants are among the foods which are full with nutrients. That`smeans that they contain a high amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber in few calories.
In only one cup (approximately 82 grams) of raw eggplant you will find the following nutrients:
–Carbs: 5 grams
–Fiber: 3 grams
–Protein: 1 gram
–Manganese: 10% of the RDI
–Folate: 5% of the RDI
–Potassium: 5% of the RDI
–Vitamin K: 4% of the RDI
–Vitamin C: 3% of the RDI
Eggplants are also rich with other nutrients – like magnesium and copper.
And now, we will offer you one delicious recipe for stuffed eggplants.
Stuffed Eggplants allaParmigiana
YIELDS: 4 Servings
PREP TIME: 0 Hours 20 Minutes
COOK TIME: 0 Hours 50 Minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
1 1/2 c. marinara, divided
2 medium eggplants, halved
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. chopped tomatoes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs
Freshly sliced basil, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread 1 cup of marinara over the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Using a spoon, hollow out eggplants, leaving about a 1/2-inch-thick border around skin to create a boat; transfer to baking dish. Roughly chop scooped-out eggplant flesh.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in chopped eggplant and season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until golden and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
3. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add tomatoes, egg, 1 cups of mozzarella, and remaining 1/2 cup marinara. Mix until just combined, then scoop into eggplant boats. Top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, and bread crumbs.
4. Bake until eggplants are tender and cheese is golden, about 50 minutes.
5. Garnish with basil before serving.