Try a New Food: Eggplant
January 19, 2016
Home Care in San Jose CADespite their beautiful deep purple coloring, eggplants are a vegetable that many people tend to shy away from. Since elderly adults (and all people, really) are encouraged to “eat the rainbow,” learning how to prepare and eat the lovely purple eggplant is a great idea. Though bitter, eggplant can be featured in a variety of delicious dishes and it comes with some great health benefits, as well. Here are just a few ideas to help elderly adults and their caregivers get started with cooking and serving eggplant.Health Benefits of Eggplant:Like any colorful vegetable, the eggplant comes with its own set of essential nutrients. Eggplants are filled with fiber to help you feel full and to help promote healthy digestion. They are also rich in B vitamins, manganese, and potassium. Eggplants are very low in calories and have a low glycemic index, making them an ideal food for those with diabetes and for those looking to lose weight. Some research has shown that eggplants contain phytonutrients that them great for brain health, heart health, and for preventing cancer.How to Prepare Eggplant:When selecting an eggplant at the grocery store or farmer’s market, keep in mind that smaller eggplants will have a less bitter flavor than the larger ones. Eggplants can be baked, roasted, and or steamed similar to a squash and it will be tender when it is fully cooked. The skin is edible, but it can be removed depending on your taste.How to Eat Eggplant:Here are just a few suggestions for how to serve and eat eggplant:
- Eggplant Parmesan: Probably one of the most popular eggplant dishes, eggplant parmesan features lightly breaded and fried slices of eggplant baked with tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, and pasta.
- In Roasted Mixed Veggies: Eggplant can be roasted alongside other hearty veggies such as squash chunks, beets, and sweet potatoes to make a filling vegetable side dish. Toss the chunks with olive oil, salt, and pepper before spreading on a baking tray.
- As a Dip: Roasted eggplant flesh can be mashed and pureed along with tasty ingredients such as garlic, tahini, lemon juice and salt to make a creamy dip that goes perfectly with pita bread, toasted baguette, or crackers.
- In a Stir Fry: Saute sliced eggplant along with your other favorite stir fry vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and snap peas. Add rice and your choice of meat for a fiber-rich, one-pot meal.