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Sharp Health News

3 easy ways to eat eggplant (infographic)

June 9, 2017

If fruits and veggies were athletes, eggplants would be the sumo wrestlers. They're mighty, they're meaty — and they stand completely on their own. That's why vegan and vegetarian recipes thrive with eggplant as their main ingredient. From eggplant parmigiana to baba ghanoush, you rarely miss the meat. But stature aside, eggplant is bursting with health benefits.

We asked Patti Ennis, registered dietitian and clinical nutrition program manager at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, to share more about this heavyweight fruit.

3 easy ways to eat eggplant (infographic). Strong taste and texture give it recipe power, but eggplant’s nutrients and antioxidants give it health “cred.” In fact, eggplant has been called the “King of Vegetables,” but it’s actually from the same fruit family as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. Eggplants contain antioxidants that can help fight cancer, lower cholesterol, improve digestion, build bones and boost energy. “As a meaty fruit, eggplant is used in all types of food – including vegan and vegetarian meals,” Says Patti Ennis, registered dietician and clinical nutrition program manager at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. “Antioxidants such as phenolic acid and nutrients such as manganese and folate make eggplant a great option for a wholesome, healthy meal.” There are only 24 calories in one eggplant. However, because it’s an ultra-absorbent fruit, take care when cooking with oil. Three ways to cook eggplant. Grill it. Eggplant easily soaks up any marinade or seasoning and gets a rich, smoky flavor from the grill. Ingredients. 1 eggplant. Olive oil. Directions. Slice eggplant into 1-inch rounds. Brush the eggplant with olive oil. Grill it until it is tender (about 4 minutes on each side). Roast it. Boost your roasted vegetables by pairing eggplant with garlic, onion, carrots and zucchini. Ingredients. 1 eggplant. Olive oil. Salt. Pepper. Directions. Heat oven to 400F. Dice the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Season the eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the eggplant until tender (about 15 to 20 minutes). Mash it. Break out the pita chips for this easy dip idea. Ingredients. 1 eggplant. Garlic. Cumin. Low-fat Greek yogurt. Directions. Heat oven to 400F. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and bake until tender (about 30 minutes). Scoop out the eggplant’s flesh. Mash eggplant with garlic, cumin and low-fat Greek yogurt.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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