Eggplant

Eggplant ~ Super Vegetables

The Spanish nicknamed this veggie "the apple of love" as it does keep the heart healthy, so there may be something to that saying.

It's also called aubergine, and in Ital it is known as melanzana.

This amazing super vegetable contains anthocyanins and phenolic compounds, which protect your body from free radicals that cause aging.

As well, the fiber in this super vegetable lowers cholesterol by preventing its absorption in the intestines.

Another great thing about this veggie is that because it's so fibrous, it works like a sponge, soaking up any flavors that it's combined with.

Because of its texture, it makes a great substitute for meat in many recipes.

And it's naturally low in calories...as long as you don't fry it in oil.

Deep-fried, it can absorb up to four times more fat than french-fried potatoes.

That's a whopping 83 grams of fat in 70 seconds, or 700 extra calories.

That's like taking this healthy diet food and making it, calorie-wise, equivalent to eating an extra-large hamburger with bacon!

Stick to baking, roasting, grilling, broiling, and steaming for maximum health effects.

Health Benefits;

Eggplant increases satiety and absorbs fat: it is extremely high in a type of viscous fiber that has the ability to bind to fat and create a feeling of fullness, with just 20 calories per cup cubed.

This makes this particular super vegetable an amazing addition to any weight-loss regimen!

It's also high in the amino acid GABA: GABA (gama-aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid that has the ability to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and quiet a racing mind.

This makes this super veggie a perfect relaxation food.

The skin contains high-powered antioxidants: It contain an antioxidant called nasunin, found in the skin.

Nasunin protects against premature aging, cardiovascular disease, and the physical effects of emotional stress.

It's a great source of potassium: Potassium has always been necessary for maintaining a healthy blood pressure, but has now been shown to help prevent gum disease as well.

Potassium is a key component in fighting inflammation of the gums and arteries.

The extracts are traditionally used to lower cholesterol: Eggplant extract stimulates bile production and allows for increased metabolism and elimination of cholesterol from the system.

These extracts are considered an ethnomedicine because of their traditional uses in the treatment of high cholesterol.

And if you're wondering how to incorporate this vegetable into your diet, might we suggest;

Eggplant Parmesan

This super vegetable is known to be versatile, but have you ever thought of using it as a great alternative to traditional pasta based lasagna?

With only 20 calories per cup, eggplant is a low-cal alternative to beef or chicken.

Tip: Cut your veggie only when you're ready to use it, as they do perish quickly.

When cutting, avoid using a carbon steel knife, as carbon will turn the flesh black.

You'll want to use a stainless steel knife instead.

Ingredients:

2 eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4"-thick slices

1 c. (8 oz.) liquid egg substitute

1 1/2 c. plain dry bread crumbs

1 1/2 Tbs. dried Italian seasoning

1 jar (26 oz.) pasta sauce

2 c. (8 oz.) shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

1/3 c. (1 1/2 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese

A few sprigs of coriander (to garnish)

Preparation;

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Coat a 13" x 9" baking dish with nonstick spray.

Coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray.

Arrange the vegetabe in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until soft.

Meanwhile, pour your egg substitute into a shallow bowl.

In another shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and Italian seasoning.

Stir and blend.

One at a time, dip the vegetable slices into the egg substitute and then into the bread crumbs to coat both sides.

Return to the baking sheets.

Coat with non-stick spray.

Preheat the broiler.

Broil the eggplant 4" from the heat for 2 minutes, or until golden.

Turn the slices.

Coat with nonstick spray.

Broil for a couple minutes longer, or until golden.

Turn the oven back to 350°F.

Now, just as if you were preparing lasagna for the oven, spread one-third of the pasta sauce in the prepared baking dish.

Top with half of the veggie slices in a single layer.

Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan.

Spread with another one-third of the sauce.

Top with the remaining eggplant slices.

Spread with the remaining sauce.

Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Nutritional Facts:

per serving

Calories 277.6

Fat 9.7 g.

Saturated Fat 4.2 g.

Sodium 864.1 mg.

Carbohydrates 30.1 g.

Total Sugars 4.2 g.

Dietary Fiber 6.3 g.

Protein 18.7 g.

Note: Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers, and potatoes.

People who suffer from arthritis may find they react to an alkaloid in nightshades that causes swelling and inflammation.

Check your sensitivity to nightshades by removing them from the diet and then reintroducing them while watching for symptoms.

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