A friend of mind, Monika Woolsey, just sent a link about the health benefits of eggplant “Farmer’s Market Find: eggplant’s purple power may help hypertension, diabetes.”
I have always had a soft spot for eggplant, even if it is part of the Nightshade family (Solanaceae), which tends to get a bad name for food sensitivities. However, new research has shown many health benefits….
“Kwon YI, Apostolidis E, Shetty K. In vitro studies of eggplant (Solanum melongena) phenolics as inhibitors of key enzymes relevant for type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Bioresour Technol. 2008 May;99(8):2981-8. Epub 2007 Aug 13.”
“The National Diabetes Education Program of NIH, Mayo Clinic and American Diabetes Association recommend the eggplant-based diet as a choice for management of type 2 diabetes. The rationale for this suggestion is the high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content of eggplant.”
Another article list even more amazing benefits: “benefits as anti-spasm, anticancer. Nigerian society is also deify this plant because it can reduce the “disease” nervous. This ability has been scientifically proven to guinea pigs fed on raw eggplant juice.”…. eggplant contains strychnine, scopolamine, scopoletin, and which can inhibit the attack skoparon convulsions, nervous, or nerve spasms. So, this fruit can be used to prevent and treat epileptic seizures and other spastic diseases, such as who believed in traditional medicine.”
“In Korea, dried eggplant is used to cure lumbago, rheumatism, stiff waist, and other pain. Empirically, this vegetable has been able to cure measles, chicken pox, alcohol dependence, gastritis, and burns.” This article did not post the research behind all these claims but I did find this: An ingredient in common eggplant has been shown to cure cancer. The eggplant extract is a phytochemical called solasodine glycoside, or BEC5. Dr. Bill E. Cham discovered it, after hearing of a folk medicine cure from Australian farmers. plus several other article.
Here is one of my favorite recipes:
Barbecued Eggplant (Aubergine) Baguette or Lettuce Wrap
2 long, thin eggplants
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
4 medium petite baguettes
1oz rocket or spring mix lettuce
1 garlic clove crushed
5 tsp English mustard (powdered)
3 oz Ketchup (buy organic, High fructose corn syrup free!)
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp vinegar
splash of Tabasco
salt and pepper
1. Remove a thin slice from either side of the eggplant then slice length-wise ¼ inch thick.
2. Prepare the sauce: mix all the ingredients together till evenly combined and set aside.
3. Thinly slice the onions, heat oil in pan, add onions and chopped thyme and fry gently for 10-15 min until soft and golden, keep warm.
4. Brush the eggplant with oil and grill for 3-4 min. Turn over and grill for 2 min.
5. Brush eggplant with BBQ sauce and grill for 3 more min, turn brush with BBQ to grill for 3 more min.
6. Split the baguettes and fill each one two eggplants slices, onions, and lettuce. Serve (I don’t eat wheat so this is fab in a lettuce wrap or thrown on top of a bed of lettuce)