Eggplants, also known as aubergines, are full of flavour and brimming with health benefits. Known for their purple skin and unique texture, eggplant makes an awesome addition to meals like stir frys and curries and is the star of dishes like eggplant parmesan and eggplant tacos. Eggplants also have a similar texture to meat so they’re a great meat alternative for anyone following a plant-based diet or those who do meatless Mondays. Peruse our favourite eggplant recipes to start cooking with this tasty veg.
What Are The Health Benefits of Eggplant?
1. Improves Digestive Health
Eggplants are rich in fibre, which is essential for maintaining a balanced diet and a great way to improve gastrointestinal health. Eating eggplant on a regular basis will help everything move along smoothly so you feel better overall.
2. Balances Blood Sugar
Eggplant’s high fibre content can also help keep your glucose levels in check. Fibre lowers blood sugar by slowing the rate of digestion and the absorption of sugar. Slower absorption keeps glucose levels balanced and also prevents spikes and crashes.
3. Boosts Brain Health
Eggplant’s purple skin is covered with a powerful antioxidant called nasunin that protects brain cell membranes and assists in the transport of nutrients and the removal of waste. It’s also been found to prevent neuroinflammation and increase blood flow, which could help improve memory.
4. Improves Bone Health
The natural plant compounds that create eggplant’s purple colour have been linked to reduced osteoporosis, stronger bones and increased bone density. Additionally, eggplants contain iron and calcium, which are crucial to improving and preserving overall bone health.
5 Tips and Hacks for Cooking with Eggplant
1. Peel Off the Skin (Sometimes)
Before cooking with eggplant, make sure your eggplant’s skin is peeled. The skin tends to be thicker and tougher to chew, especially if it’s a larger eggplant, so peel it off and cube it if you’re roasting or sautéing your eggplant. If your eggplant is smaller and tender, you can leave the skin on for skillet frying or braising.
2. Don’t Use too Much Oil
When making eggplant parmesan, grilled eggplant or eggplant stir frys, be sure not to use too much oil. Eggplants are like sponges and they absorb oil almost too well, which can make them soggy. Instead of adding oil to your frying pan, brush the eggplant with oil so you have more control of how much you’re using.
3. Make Sure to Pre-Salt It
Eggplants have a spongy texture that perfectly absorbs fats and flavours, but only when it’s dehydrated with a few sprinkles of salt. Salting and pat-drying eggplants will help dry out extra moisture so they cook at the ideal texture, and it also helps season the eggplant from the inside out. Whether you’re working with slices or chunks, season the exposed area of the eggplant with salt and place them on a plate with paper towels to help soak up the excess moisture.
4. Give Your Eggplant Room To Breathe
You want your eggplant to be caramelized and crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. For this to happen, you need to give the cubes or slices enough room to brown while they cook. If they’re over crowded in the pan or baking sheet, they’ll steam instead of brown. Be sure to spread the eggplant pieces out in a single layer on your cooking vessel so they have space to get crisp on the outside while the inside cooks to perfection.
5. Don’t Drown It Out
Eggplant tastes delicious on its own, so make sure not to drown out the flavour with other ingredients. Whether you’re using tomato sauce and mozzarella for an eggplant parm or sichuan sauce for a stir fry, use the ingredients sparingly to enhance the flavour of the eggplant, not to mask it.
40 Eggplant Recipes for Weight Loss
1. Miso Eggplant with Black Garlic | Pups with Chopsticks
2. Tomato Eggplant Zucchini Bake | Well Plated
3. Skinny Baked Eggplant Parmesan Melts | Simple Nourished Living
4. Vegan Eggplant and Sweet Red Peppers | Cook After Me
5. Kashke Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Dip) | Unicorns in the Kitchen
6. Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan | The Two Bite Club
7. Spicy Eggplant Stir Fry | Healthy Nibbles
8. Easy Mini Eggplant Pizzas | Wholesome Yum
9. One-Pot Greek Eggplant and Rice | OMG Food
10. Grilled Eggplant Tacos | Garden in the Kitchen
11. Roasted Eggplant Pasta | A Simple Palate
12. Sichuan Eggplant Stir Fry | Omnivore’s Cookbook
13. One-Pot Eggplant Chicken Dinner | Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
14. Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Buddha Bowl | Robust Recipes
15. Pressed Eggplant Sandwiches | Live Eat Learn
16. Spicy Eggplant Balls with Minty Yogurt Wrap | The Awesome Green
17. Chickpea, Tofu and Eggplant Curry | The Endless Meal
18. Tamari Ginger Meatball and Eggplant Casserole | Eating Well
19. Epic Baba Ganoush | Cookie and Kate
20. Roasted Eggplant with Zaatar | Feasting at Home
21. Soy Glazed Eggplant | Budget Bytes
22. Greek Stuffed Eggplant | Eating Well
23. Eggplant Green Curry | Simply Recipes
24. Eggplant Quesadillas | Love and Lemons
25. Baked Eggplant Marinara Sandwich | Blissful Basil
26. No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna | Eating Well
27. Roasted Miso Eggplant Steak | Pepper
28. Honey Garlic Eggplant | I Am A Food Blog
29. Stir-Fried Eggplant with Basil and Chiles | Bon Appetit
30. Spicy Eggplant Mapo Tofu | Hip Foodie Mom
31. Grilled Eggplant with Pecan Pesto | Kara Lydon
32. Eggplant Caponata | Savory Tooth
33. Roasted Eggplant with Greek Yogurt and Walnuts | Lose Weight by Eating
34. Low Carb Eggplant Pizza | Eating Bird Food
35. Vegan Eggplant Sandwich | Yum Vegan Food
36. Vegan Eggplant Teriyaki | It’s a Veg World After All
37. Eggplant Arrabiata | Hurry the Food Up
38. Baked Eggplant Fajitas | Slender Kitchen
39. Garlic Eggplant Penne Pasta | Dish By Dish
40. Chinese Spicy Eggplant | Profusion Curry
Adding more eggplant to your life is always a good idea. Try out these eggplant recipes for meatless Mondays or any other day of the week!