You call it eggplant or aubergine or brinjal, this is one of the most common vegetables that we use in our diet in many forms. When cooked these tastes absolutely delicious. But let us see more about the taste and how to make it taste better in cooking.
Eggplants are native to Southeast Asia and India. But now you will find the eggplant in almost all cuisine. This is a versatile vegetable and goes with all most in all dishes.
The name eggplant comes from what the earlier variety looked like, i.e. white with a green-ish crown on top. Later many other varieties evolved. Often this is considered a vegetable, eggplants are actually fruits like tomatoes.
Now they are available in white, light green, green and white, light purple, light purple and white, dark purple that is close to blackish shade. Also, they are oblong to round to oval shape.
Nutritional Values of Eggplants
Eggplant is a nutrient-dense vegetable. This is not only low carb but also has low-calorie value. It also contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, it is fat-free and has a high level of nutrients such as vitamins B6 and C, potassium, dietary fiber, magnesium, and copper.
The skin which we peel away contains most of what makes eggplant beneficial to our health, making it best to keep it on. Try to keep the skin on wherever the recipe doesn't call for it. Also, choose fresh eggplants and a variety with thinner skin.
Health benefits of eggplant
Eggplants have a range of health benefits, which may include the ability to help build strong bones, reduce the symptoms of anemia, and increase cognition.
Eggplant is also good for weight loss, managing diabetes, improving cardiovascular health and the digestive system.
The antioxidants in this vegetable help fight free radicals that cause cell damage and play a role in preventing cancer.
It also contains phytochemicals that act as an anti-inflammatory agent. These are what help reduce pain associated with arthritis and related conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Being high in fiber, the extract is good for digestive system, slows down digestion/increases satiety, and helps relieve indigestion as well as heartburn. This also helps in weight loss.
Eggplant also helps in bone strengthening and prevents osteoporosis. The phenolic compounds present in eggplant increases bone mineral density, strengthens the bone and reduces the bone degradation.
These are also rich in iron and copper. Without these two minerals, the red blood cells in the body cannot function normally. Eating foods high in iron may help combat anemia. It also found to prevent birth defects in pregnancy.
Eggplants are great sources of phytonutrients, which helps to boost cognitive activity and mental health. Apart from defending against free radical damage, this also increases blood flow to the brain.
Read more detailed health benefits here.
How to pick the best eggplant?
When buying fresh eggplant from the market place then select those that are dark purple in color, firm shiny skin, free from brown patches or scars, heavier in weight.
Make sure you avoid those that have flabby, bruised skins since the seeds of such would quickly turn rancid resulting in a bitter taste. The varieties with more seeds may taste more bitter than the variety with lesser seeds. The large fleshy eggplants tastes mild to no bitter.
How to store the eggplant?
The storage time of the eggplant is seven to ten days. When eggplants are stored at room temperature then damages occur on the epidermal cells. You may notice loss of shine and firmness on the skin. It's better to keep them away from sunlight as well as other high storage temperature factors.
To store them long time at home, must keep them in a cool and dry place with storage temperature less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius.
Taste of Eggplant
Eggplant has a sponge like fleshy texture. It has lots of water in it. Because of which may be eggplants actually tastes bland. But the good part is It absorbs the flavor of the spices it gets cooked in. That way it is versatile to add to any dishes, any cuisine and this tastes equally great in all flavors.
Pick the right eggplant and they are less to no bitter. The varieties with more seeds may taste more bitter than the variety with lesser seeds. The large fleshy eggplants tastes mild to no bitter.
With evolution of eggplants in the modern age, the eggplants are lesser bitter in general as compared to the old age ones.
However if you don't know much about the varieties and bitterness, salting is a process that will help you get rid of the bitterness too.
What does eggplant taste like and How to cook eggplant?
There are several different ways to cook an eggplant. You can make the roasted, grilled, fried and baked eggplants for starters, as dips, in curries, and many more indeed.
If you are making roasted eggplants, this is one of the easiest and delicious ways to cook the eggplants. All you need is a hot oven, few drops of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to transform eggplant into a rich, soft, and creamy treat. However, you can also add your favorite seasoning for a particular flavor.
Mashed eggplants are even popular in many countries. Though they are made with different spices in different countries, they are equally delicious respectively. Some of the popular mashed eggplant recipes are baba ganaush (Middle Eastern), melitzanosalata (Greek eggplant dip), eggplant yogurt dip (Turkish eggplant dip), baingan bharta (Indian cuisine), Mutabal (Middle Eastern Eggplant dip).
You can add them to the curries like Chinese eggplants, simple eggplant curry or make your ratatouille. If you are on low carb diet, this can be a great food option. Try to make your pizza with an eggplant base or make stuffed eggplant and roast them. The list of delicious eggplant recipes is long indeed.
Because of the spongy meat-like texture, this is a great substitute for meat amongst the vegans. So, it's perfect food for keto, vegan, vegetarian too.
Also read Italian Cucumber Salad.
To summerize, the topic "what does eggplant taste like?"eggplant is a versatile vegetable indeed with an amazing taste when cooked perfectly.