Eggplant also known as aubergine is considered a nightshade fruit. This plant has been growing in Asia, Europe, and Africa for centuries. Eggplants do not get enough attention, compared to other veggies, if you ask me. They are a great “meat” alternative for vegetarian and vegan dishes and can we please talk about the nutrition! 1 large eggplant contains:
16 grams of fiber
5 grams of protein
35% of daily Potassium
Can you say low calorie, high fiber, and heart healthy? That is what eggplants are, for sure. Due to it’s low calorie and high fiber, this is a fruit to add to your diet if your are looking to lose weight and feel full. It is heart healthy not only because of the potassium but it contains anthocyanin, an antioxidant which has shown to decrease inflammatory markers that lead to heart disease and protects against stiffness of the arteries.
Another benefit (other than the health aspect) is that eggplants are affordable. Freshdirect website is selling 1 pound of eggplant for $2.49 ! Compared to avocados and mangos, eggplants are in-expensive and you get a lot of bang for your buck. There is so many different dishes you can make with eggplant. As a Haitian descent, I use eggplant in a dish known as "legume", Middle Eastern cuisine use it to make Moussaka, you can make veggie burgers, eggplant parm, or fritter, the list goes on! My favorite eggplant dish I am sharing with you here are "Eggplant Balls". I love them! They can make a great vegetarian appetizer or an addition to pasta night. Checkout the recipe below, give it a taste, and share with me if you make it!
1 large Eggplant - unpeeled & diced
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup parsley
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp of chopped onions (optional)
Seasoning: black pepper, salt, garlic salt, Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a large skillet warm skillet, add 3 tbsp of olive oil, garlic, and onions, satuee until golden, add diced unpeeled eggplant. Add 3 tbsp of water and season. Cook for 10-15 minutes until eggplant is nice and soft almost to a mushy consistency
Turn of fire, add egg plant to food processor for a quick blend
Add eggplant to bowl and add other ingredients and mix well.
Optional ( place bowl in fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool)
Form mixture into small balls and place on greased baking. Bake for 25 minutes.
Optional for more crisp, put the skillet back on medium heat add 1 tbsp of olive oil, once oil is warm, add baked balls to skillet for 5 minutes.
Serve with tomato sauce over pasta and enjoy!
Serves 4, Serving Size 4 balls
Calories 165 kcal; Fat 4.5 grams; Protein 9 grams; Carbohydrates 24 grams; Fiber 5.5 grams