Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eggplants Love Summer!

The one crop that will grow in a drought, even during El Nino, is the eggplant. This vegetable is easy to plant and can be grown in pots. Their leaves spread out like solar panels to capture the heat of the day and take the energy into these lovely purple fruit. When ripened, eggplants are a glossy, purple, and have a waxy texture. Do not pick if there are patches of green. Eggplants are edible but like tomatoes, the leaves , stems and roots are actually considered toxic.

 My family enjoys my "Eggplant Lasagne" without any noodles or pasta. You first make  a vegetable sauce made from crushed tomatoes, garlic, onions, celery and carrots. Just slice the eggplant and put in layers of mozzarella cheese, drizzle olive oil in between each layer and the insert vegetable sauce, top with bread crumbs and it makes a great side dish or main dish for summer.

Eggplant is an excellent source of  fiber. Full of vitamins and minerals, eggplant is high in the B1, B6 and potassium nutrients. Beneficial minerals we don't get from other foods in our main diet, are trace elements of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, and folic acid.

Organically grown eggplants are also a source of a special natural anti-biotic that can root out radicals in our system.  This vegetable has enzymes that protect us from accumulating plaque in our arteries, and bad LDL -cholesterol.

Eating eggplant as part of a meal either as a side dish or main dish benefits diabetics by naturally regulating insulin levels.  Individuals who have high blood pressure should include 1 serving of eggplants every week to help keep their arteries healthy . Eggplant is also beneficial for those who are anemic and for cancer patients to inhibit the spread of the disease to the liver.