This post is part of a new series for Bekah’s Bites. We will be sharing nutrition tips about colorful fruits and vegetables. Think about rainbow colors when you choose your produce because those bright shades not only mean better flavor, it means they contain healthy nutrients.
Picking the best eggplant at the height of peak season – late summer – means that you can get the very best this…vegetable…uhm, fruit has to offer. Yes, like its bright, red cousin, the tomato, eggplants are fruits and not vegetables. But we will not be discussing eggplant ice cream in this post!
This dark black-purple fruit has been called by many names: aubergine, guinea squash, mad apple or garden egg and has many more based on the region in which it is found. Early varieties of this plant were small, round, and yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs. The eggplant’s history goes back to the 5th century in Asia and India, and was introduced in the Mediterranean in the early Middle Ages. It made its way into England in the 16th century then into North America soon after that thanks to Thomas Jefferson.
With 20 calories in one cup of eggplant, this slightly bitter fruit contains loads of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C, K, B6, and folate, magnesium and niacin. Other exceptional health boosts include:
- Improved blood circulation
- Increased brain function
- Protection against digestive cancers
- Managing diabetes and controlling blood sugar
- Lowering “bad” cholesterol
Eggplants may have a funny shape and wild, deep purple color but a lot of nutrition is packed into this unusual plant! This week’s Easy Friday Lunch will pair this fruit with its “fruity” cousin, the tomato, along with other healthy ingredients like olive oil, garlic and mozzarella. So get ready to shop for the freshest ingredients this week.
Peaking in late summer, Eggplants are best if prepared immediately after purchase but if this is not possible, store them in the crisper for up to five days. After five days, the eggplant will become bitter.