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E is for Eggs and eggplants! Well no connection at all, nocombination at all, no similarity as well except for the name. Yet I chose E for eggs and eggplant because many of us don’t know that eggplant just like an egg has nutritional values that are required by our body. (ok, I know it is a food blog and not a science one, but I think a food blog should also have posts that tells us about the nutritional value of a particular fruit or vegetable). Oh sorry, I need to state that eggplant is the vegetable that we Indians call baigan or baygun (lovingly) Baygun because some of us think that brinjal or eggplant doesn’t have any nutritional properties. And so today we will see the nutritional properties of this purple coloured vegetable.

According to Wikipedia Eggplant belongs to the family of Solanum melongena species of nightshade grown for its edible fruit. It has several common names; in American, Canadian and Australian English it is called eggplant, in British English aubergine. It is known in South Asia, Southeast Asia and South Africa as brinjal. Other common names are melongene, garden egg, or guinea squash. The fruit is widely used in cooking, most notably as an important ingredient in dishes such as moussaka and ratatouille.

Interestingly eggplant is related to both the tomato and the potato, as it is a member of the genus Solanum. Originally domesticated from the wild species of Nightshade, the the thorn or bitter apple, S. incanum, probably with two independent domestications, one in the region of South Asia, and one in East Asia, informs Wikipedia.

Eggplant or aubergine in British English is relished for its deeply purple, glossy beauty as well as its unique taste and texture. Though the best time to consume eggplants is from August to October, these days they are available throughout the year.

Not for nothing eggplant is known as the king of vegetables! There are numerous health benefits of consuming eggplant. According to experts one cup of raw eggplant contains 20 calories, 0.8 grams of protein, and 4.82 grams of carbohydrate, 0.15 grams of fat and 2.5 grams of dietary fibre. A one-cup serving meets 10 percent of daily fibre needs, 5 percent potassium, 3 percent vitamin C, 5 percent vitamin B-6, 1 percent iron and 2 percent magnesium. And if we scourge the net, I am sure we will find more about health benefits of this royal vegetable. To make it easy for my readers here are some links for the recipes.

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/vegan-eggplant-recipes/

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_eggplant_recipes

Bye for now, happy cooking and eating everyone!

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