good for the heart and figure, helps fight anemia

This versatile vegetable is characterized not only by its excellent taste and many vitamins, but also by its various uses in the kitchen.

Vaida Budriene, the communication manager of the “Iki” shopping chain, says that recently, buyers are choosing not only traditional, but also interesting vegetables, and eggplants are also in their baskets.

“Summer brings joy with the abundant harvest of various fruits and vegetables. Although tomatoes and cucumbers are still among the top three most popular vegetables, we notice that buyers are also interested in eggplant, zucchini and pies,” says V. Boudrienye.

Jolanta Sabaitienye, employee of the fruit and vegetable department of the Iki retail chain, says that eggplants are not a vegetable for cooking traditional stews. Eggplants are used to make a variety of wraps, salads or garnishes for Asian dishes.

“Although eggplant used to be called an exotic vegetable, now it is experiencing a real revival – Lithuanians are very interested in the benefits of this vegetable and are looking for different ways to include eggplant in their diet. Summer is the best time for this. In addition, eggplant is very useful for the human body,” says J. Sabaitiene.

The most important facts about eggplants

Although eggplants have been cultivated in China and India since the 5th century, they came to Europe only in the 13th and 14th centuries. At that time, eggplants grew only in warm climates and turned into unsympathetic, light-colored fruits. Today, they look much more attractive, and the color palette of eggplant is much wider. They are white, yellow or even green, but the most famous and popular in Lithuania are purple eggplants.

Eggplants are high in fiber, which helps support a healthy digestive system, and the fruit’s balanced balance of carbohydrates and fiber helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Since this fruit does not contain any fat or cholesterol, eggplant should be included in the menu when trying to lose weight.

Not only this, they increase the amount of good cholesterol in the body and reduce the amount of bad cholesterol, have a good effect on the cardiovascular system, and being rich in iron, they are an excellent helper in the fight against anemia.

When choosing eggplants, pay attention to their appearance. The skin of a healthy eggplant should be smooth, elastic, dark purple in color and without visible external damage, and the leaves should be bright green and not dry. Eggplant should be hard – soft fruits are ripe, so it will be more bitter. The flesh of a properly ripe fruit is white, and there are almost no seeds inside. Unripe eggplant can be stored at room temperature, and it will ripen in a few days.

Like many other naturally occurring plants, eggplant contains many beneficial nutrients. In addition to vitamins A, C, B1, B3, B6, B9 and K, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, fiber and antioxidant minerals, eggplants contain a special nutrient – the phytonutrient nasunin. This material significantly improves cognitive function and mental health. Eggplants are low in calories: only 24 per 100 grams. However, eggplants are rich in water, a staggering 92.4 percent.

Eggplant is very versatile, so it can be prepared in different ways. Eggplant slices are usually fried in a pan, often in the oven or on the grill, and sometimes a paste is made from this fruit.

Eggplants absorb oil due to their foamy structure, so choose only high-quality oil for frying and place cooked slices on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Eggplants can be cooked in the oven with tomatoes or peppers, and in summer, cooked eggplants are perfect in a salad with olives. Of course, don’t forget the famous “baba ganoush” – a paste made of eggplant, garlic, sesame paste “tahini”, lemon juice and spices.

Equally amazing eggplant dishes are the Greek fried moussaka and the Italian favorite eggplant parmigiana.

Eggplant with feta

You will need:

  • 2 eggplants
  • 0.5 a. sh. salt
  • 2 c. sh. olive oil
  • 150 g feta

For the sauce:

  • 4 years fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 years olive oil
  • 0.25 a. sh. salt

How to produce

We wash the eggplants, dry them and cut them in half lengthwise. Cover the soft part with salt and leave for 15 minutes, then wash and dry with a paper towel. Carefully cut the flesh of each half and finely chop it.

Pour a little olive oil on the resulting “boats”, add the pieces of pulp and send to the oven heated to 180 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes, then remove from the oven, sprinkle with small pieces of feta and bake for another 10 minutes.

While the eggplants are cooking, prepare the sauce. Pour olive oil into a bowl, add chopped garlic and parsley, add salt and mix everything well. We serve eggplants with ready sauce.

Distribution of Eastern eggplant

You will need:

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 year lemon juice
  • 4 years olive oil
  • 2 c. sh. sesame paste (tahini)
  • 0.5 a. sh. smoked paprika spice
  • 1st century freshly ground black pepper
  • 0.5 a. sh. salt
  • 2 c. sh. fresh parsley

How to produce

We wash and dry the eggplants, pierce them with a knife in several places, and place them side by side on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Put the eggplants in the oven, heat it to 200 degrees and cook for 1 hour. We turn the eggplants several times during cooking, peel them when they are cooked and wait until they cool down a little.

Take the pulp, put it in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Then we add chopped garlic, pour sesame paste, add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, add a few spoons of olive oil and lemon juice. Mix everything well, sprinkle with olive oil, garnish with parsley and serve.

Eggplants are prepared quickly

You will need:

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • 0.5 a. sh. salt
  • 2 c. sh. soy sauce
  • 2nd century sesame seeds
  • 3 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 c. sh. lemon juice
  • 50 ml of sesame oil for frying

How to produce

We wash the eggplants, dry them and cut them with chopsticks. Put the eggplant straws in a colander, sprinkle with salt, mix well and wait until it drips.

We heat sesame oil in a Chinese frying pan, add washed and dried eggplant sticks and fry them on all sides – briefly and at a high temperature. Then add chopped or pressed garlic and sesame seeds to the pan and mix a little.

Finally, add soy sauce, lemon juice, chopped onion and fry for another minute. Eggplant straws are served hot.

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