This member of the nightshade family is best known as the purple variety though there is a handful of other colors out there including orange & green! The nightshade family also includes tomatoes, peppers, potatoes & tobacco and causes inflammation in the body. Those fighting inflammatory conditions such as arthritis are often advised to avoid consuming these foods.
Though tough, the skin of eggplants contains a flavonoid called ‘nasunin’ which is a potent antioxidant known to protect the cell membranes in the brain from damage. It also helps the body to excrete excess iron, which isn’t helpful for women who are still menstruating but is helpful for others as iron can build up. Removing iron that is not needed has numerous health benefits associated with the reduction in free radicals which cause inflammation, cell damage & disease including cancer.
The spongy interior of this glossy deep purple beauty is often thought to be bitter and unpleasant, but a light salting will neutralize this taste giving way to a delicious base for many meal. As anyone who has made eggplant parmesan will tell you, eggplants spongy texture will soak up quite a bit of oil, so watch how much you are adding when cooking!
Try this tasty recipe from S.P.U.D. for Baked Eggplant and Zucchini Sticks
- 1 Eggplant
- 2 Zucchini
- 2 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Rice Flour
- 1 Tbs Dill
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 3 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2/3 cup Chickpea Flour
- 5 tsp Oregano, dry
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut eggplant and zucchini into 3-4 inch long, one inch wide sticks, place into a colander and rinse with cold water, then cover with a tea towel and set aside.
Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with silicon or waxed paper and set aside.
Place three small bowls on the counter. Measure the rice flour and sea salt into the first bowl, the water into the second bowl, and the chickpea flour, garlic powder, oregano and sea salt into the third bowl.
Thoroughly mix the rice flour and the chick pea flour mixtures, in their separate bowls. To coat the veggie sticks, take one at a time, and bury it in the rice flour mixture, using a teaspoon to scoop up the rice flour and thoroughly cover each piece. Holding the coated vegetable gently with two fingers, quickly dip it into the water, shake off the few extra drops of water, then bury it under the chickpea flour mixture.
Use another teaspoon to scoop the chickpea coating around the veggie stick, to ensure even coating. Leave each veggie stick in the batter, soaking up the chickpea coating, while you start the next piece. Once each new piece is buried in the chickpea coating, take the previous piece out, and place onto the waxed paper on the baking sheet. Repeat this process until all the vegetable pieces are coated, and on the tray, ready for baking.
Place tray into preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove tray from oven, use a spatula to flip each piece, then return to oven for another 10 minutes, or until browned.