Veggie Vitals: Eggplant Eccentricities

eggplantTo be honest, I’m not quite sure what to do with an eggplant.  It has such a pretty color and shape and is used in dishes such as ratatouille and eggplant parmesan, but whenever I try to incorporate this vegetable into a dish it just doesn’t work.  The eggplant itself always ends up kind of squishy and well, just not very appealing.

It does have quite a few health benefits, though, so it’s well worth your while to figure out how to cook this purple beauty.

Heart health – animal studies show that eggplant may help lower overall cholesterol and improve blood flow.

Brain health – contains nasunin which may help promote healthy brain function by protecting brain fats through scavenging free radicals that target brain lipids.

Digestion and Weight Loss – 1 cup of eggplant contains about 8% of the daily recommended dietary fiber and that 1 cup, cubed and cooked, contains only 35 calories.

Bone health – Contains many of the minerals needed to maintain strong, healthy bones; manganese, potassium, magnesium, and copper.

Cancer prevention – The phytochemical known as BEC5 is believed to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells.  BEC5 cream is purported to have worked in thousands of cases with a success rate of nearly 100% when used for 12 weeks. (The FDA has not yet approved its use in the US.)

Seeing all of these health benefits has inspired me to once again give the eggplant a try.  Perhaps this recipe from Rachael Ray will do the trick:

Sesame-Honey Eggplant

Brush 1/4-inch-thick eggplant planks with vegetable oil and broil, turning once, until tender. Drizzle with a dressing made with equal parts soy sauce, honey, toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar seasoned with freshly grated ginger. Top with toasted sesame seeds.

How about you?  Have you been ab