UCHD, Protecting Your Health.

 

Recipe of the Week: Eggplant

Try a new recipe! The Wellness Consortium of Union County has partnered with Union County Farmer's Market to bring you information and healthy recipes that feature locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Vegetable of the Week: Eggplanteggplant-harvest1

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable.  This attractive, deep rich purple vegetable capped with gray-green leaves is available year-round in local markets.   In Ohio, this crop can be purchased at farmers’ markets from July to early October. The bulbous part, the fruit, can vary in shape from round to finger-shaped. The fruit is the edible part. Eggplant is popular in Asian and Middle Eastern cookery, as well as in many Mediterranean dishes.

Nutritional Value

Eggplants are naturally low in calories and provide a moderate amount of fiber, folate, and potassium.

Nutrition Facts (1 cup cooked, cubed )

  • Calories 27.7
  • Protein .82 gram
  • Carbohydrates 6.57 grams
  • Dietary Fiber 2.48 grams
  • Phosphorus 21.78 mg
  • Potassium 245.52 mg
  • Folate 14.26 mg

Selection 

Choose eggplant with a bright, purple color. If you select a newer variety, you may find eggplants that are pink, striped or even white. For best quality, look for eggplants that are firm, heavy for size, and free of scars. The skin will be glossy, and the flesh will be firm. Smaller, slender selections usually have smaller seeds and are more tender. Avoid eggplant with brown or blue streaks, or that are shriveled and flabby. Some people like to use larger eggplant in dishes calling for sliced or peeled eggplant.

Storage

The ideal storage temperature is between 46-55 degrees F. Storing below 46 degrees will damage them. Store, unwashed, in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator. Don’t force or jam eggplants into the crisper drawer, as excess pressure on the delicate skin will cause bruises and decay. Premium quality fresh eggplant will last for about a week in the refrigerator. They can be stored for a short time at room temperature.

Preparation 

Eggplant can be cooked by baking it in its skin, boiling in water, frying, sautéing, steaming or stewing. The vegetable can be served stuffed, and used as a meat extender. The varieties of ways in which it can be prepared make it a favorite choice of people who limit meat in their diet. It is said that eggplant absorbs fat faster than other vegetables, so limit the amount of fat you add to recipes.

Bake eggplant whole in a 400-degree F oven. Pierce the skin, as you would a potato, before putting it in the oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes, and then use mashed or pureed to combine with other ingredients or use as an ingredient in spreads or dips.

Bake eggplant halves by slicing the vegetable in half lengthwise. Brush the cut side with oil, season and bake, or scoop some of the pulp and stuff with meat or vegetable stuffing. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes at 425 degrees F. Or try broiling or grilling halves that have been sliced lengthwise, lightly oiled and seasoned.

Info by: University of Maine Cooperative Extension, University of Illinois Extension

2014 Recipe

2014 Recipe Card - Galloping Good Eggplant - Eggplant

If you would like to print a copy of this recipe, click here.

 

2013 Recipe

Eggplant and tomato sandwiches

If you would like to print a copy of this recipe, click here.

2012 Recipe

Eggplant-Cheddar Bake

If you would like to print a copy of this recipe, click here.