Long prized for its deep purple, glossy beauty as well as its unique taste and texture, eggplants are still a relatively obscure vegetable in the kitchen of Americans.

Eggplants actually belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes.

While the different varieties do range slightly in taste and texture, one can generally describe the eggplant as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture that can be versatilely used in everything from Italian to Asian recipes, and even as a replacement for meat.

Nutritional Benefits

  • The predominant phytonutrient, chlorogenic acid, found in eggplant has anti cancer, LDL, and viral activities.
  • Eggplant contains a unique phytonutrient called nasunin that is a potent antioxidant that protects the brain.
  • Eggplant is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and copper. It is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate and vitamin K.

Best Ways to Use

  • For homemade babaganoush, purée roasted eggplant, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Use it as a dip for vegetables or as a sandwich filling.
  • Mix cubed baked eggplant with grilled peppers, lentils, onions and garlic and top with balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Use thin slices of eggplant to as a replacement for lasagna noodles.
  • Add eggplant to your next stir-fry