Is it an egg? Or is it a plant? 😀
Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. While different varieties of Eggplant can vary slightly in taste and texture, they can generally be described as having a bit of a bitter taste and spongy texture. It’s that unique texture that makes Eggplant a versatile vegetable that can be used in so many different types of recipes.
Eggplant also comes in a variety of colors ranging from lavender, to jade green, orange and yellow…and in a variety of shapes and sizes. Eggplant is a great source of Potassium, Dietary fiber, Copper, B1 Thiamin, Manganese, and Beta Carotene. In addition to the vitamins and minerals that it contains, Eggplant’s health-promoting properties are also provided by an anthocyanin called nasunin; this phytonutrient provides protection from oxidative damage to cellular structures and also provides Eggplant with its deep rich color and flavor.
You can find Eggplant pretty much all year round. Usually, its peak season runs from August through October. From what I’ve researched, these are the months when its concentration of nutrients and flavor are the highest.
And of course, I can’t leave without providing you all with one of my simple recipes for this beautiful vegetable! For a quick snack, you can make Eggplant Mini-Pizzas:
1 Large Eggplant
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup of pasta sauce
4 oz of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
Preheat oven to 350°
Cut Eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds
Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, & garlic powder
Place eggplant slices on a baking sheet, and place in oven for about 7 min. or until tender.
Top Eggplant with pasta sauce & Mozzarella cheese
Continue to bake slices until cheese is melted. Serving size: 2