Shari Duncan

Eggplant…. The Power of Purple.
Shari

by on May.29, 2010, under Fruits and Veggies, General Nutrition, Recipes

Eggplant is ideal for weight loss. Eat eggplant and get some of the nutrients that your body needs–all at a low calorie cost.

Eggplants are a excellent addition to a dieter’s menu with only 35 calories and 3 grams of sodium per cup and they are nearly fat free.  They are also low sodium, high in fiber and rich in minerals. The mineral that is most abundant in eggplant is manganese. This mineral is best known for its function in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. It is also important in proper brain function.  Prepare eggplant with or without skin on.  Leaving the skin on increases the dietary fiber content to ~2.5 grams per serving

Eggplant: a dieter's dream food - 35 calories and no fat per 1 cup serving

Eggplant: a dieter's dream food - 35 calories and no fat per 1 cup serving.

Plus eggplant contains phytonutrients, antioxidants which can help prevent damage from free radicals and protection from certain types of cancer. One of the photonutrients that helps to make up eggplant nutrition is nasunin, a powerful antioxidant found in the skin of the eggplant. Nasunin helps to protect the lipids which are found in the membranes of brain cells

When choosing an eggplant, look for one that has smooth skin and is heavy for size as this indicates high water content.  Look for a stem that is green and bright in color.  Eggplants do not have a long shelf life and should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and consumed within 3-4 days of purchase.

Did you know that technically eggplant is a fruit?  They belong to the same family as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.

Eggplant is very versatile and can be roasted, baked, braised, broiled, sautéed or grilled. Do not eat raw however due to a toxin that may cause stomach upset.

Excellent companions to eggplant cuisine include olive oil, onions, tomatoes, garlic, lemon, olives, nuts, and spices like pepper, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and ginger.

Probably one of the most well known eggplant recipes is eggplant parmesan.  However, this recipe is generally very high in fat, from the deep frying and added cheeses which are counterproductive for those trying to lose some weight.

Here is a healthier way to “fry” your eggplant. Cut down on the fat by oven frying instead of pan frying in oil. This is delicious eaten alone, as a side dish, or can as the foundation for a much healthier, lower fat version of eggplant parmesan.

Oven “FRIED” Eggplant.

Ingredients:

All the taste, without the Fat! Eat alone or layer in Eggplant Parmesan Casserole.

All the taste, without the Fat! Eat alone or layer in Eggplant Parmesan Casserole.

  • 1 large/ 2 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
  • ~1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute (or egg whites)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoon unbleached flour
  • Italian seasonings (garlic, basil, oregano, etc.)
  • Sea salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Trim a couple of inches off each end of the eggplant, and discard. Slice the eggplant crosswise into ¼- 1/2-inch thick slices. Set aside.
  2. Coat a large baking sheet with olive oil and nonstick olive oil cooking spray, and set aside.
  3. Place the egg substitute in a shallow bowl. Season generously with spices.  Place the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and flour in another shallow bowl, and stir to mix well. Dip the eggplant slices first in the egg substitute, and then in the crumb mixture, turning to coat both sides well. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared sheet, and spray the tops lightly with the cooking spray.
  4. Bake uncovered at 425°F for 10 minutes. Turn the slices, and bake for 10 additional minutes, or until golden brown and tender. Serve hot.

Approximately 4 servings.

Calories: 87  Fat: 1.7g   Carbs: 13g   Protein: 5.4g   Cholesterol: 3mg   Fiber: 2.5g   Sodium: 229mg

Excerpted from Best Kept Secrets of Healthy cooking by Sandra Woodruff.

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