Aubergine
 
Aubergine has a very good level of vital vitamins and nutrients and there are many health benefits to be gained from eating this wonderful vegetable!
The aubergine nutritional value and benefits is high as it provides vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as essential nutrients including beta-carotene, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and fibre.
 
Vegetables
 
Healthy Foods Index
 
Aubergine

This particular nightshade vegetable benefits the health as it can help to fight against harmful diseases including cancer and heart disease. Many believe that nightshade vegetables can increase inflammation of the joints and therefore should not be eaten by sufferers of osteoarthritis.

Aubergine Calories and Carbs
The nightshade vegetable, aubergine is low in calories and can form a healthy part of a controlled diet. The amount of calories and carbs in aubergine depends on the way that it is cooked, for example if the aubergine is fried, roasted, baked, stir-fried, or pureed. The following calorie guide can be used to calculate the amount of carbohydrates and calories in aubergines:

Carbohydrates and Calories per 100 grams:

Aubergine fried - 302 calories aubergines / 2.8g carbs

What are Aubergines?
Aubergine is a purple vegetable that belongs to the nightshade family. It is a unique looking, unusual vegetable that is fairly heavy and often quite large, but not huge!, in size and usually a beautiful deep purple, aubergine color (almost black) with green tops. There are other colored aubergines such as white ones which are egg shaped. They are larger than eggs and in the United States of America, they are known by the name eggplant. Aubergine is generally a long, straight, narrow vegetable and the skin is smooth.

There are various types and varieties of aubergine available which range in size, color and shape - all depending on which part of the world the vegetable is grown. The weight of this vegetable can vary, although most of them are fairly heavy. There is further, interesting facts and information about the different types of aubergine further down this page. This healthy vegetable is becoming increasingly popular and there are many new aubergine recipes being made available for our use.

The History of Aubergine
The Aubergine has been cultivated for years in areas of the world such as China and India. The precise history and origin of this vegetable is unclear, however, it is thought to have began in India, although some believe that it could be China where their first cultivation was recorded in 5 BC. The aubergine was grown in areas of europe, including Andalucia, Spain, more than 1000 years ago after it was introduced by the Moors.

The real benefits of this interesting and unique nightshade vegetable have not been fully appreciated throughout the United States and Britain until recent times. It is now becoming very popular, there are many more recipes for aubergines and the vegetable has been made readily available to buy. The aubergine is used widely in Mediterranean cooking, where it is prepared, cooked and presented in many different ways!
 
 

Varieties of Aubergine
There are many types of Aubergine ranging in appearance, colour and size. Different types include white aubergines, striped aubergines, Thai aubergines, pea aubergines and Asian aubergines.
Eggplant - This type of aubergine is similar to the shape of large eggs! It is white or ivory in color and referred to as Eggplants in America!

Striped Aubergine - This variety is unique in appearance. The aubergine skin, or coat, is a rich pink to purple color and has faint, white stripes running down it. The stripes are not evenly proportioned and they vary in length.

Asian Aubergine - This is a popular variety that tastes fairly sweet. This aubergine can be purely purple or purple and white. It is long, narrow and glossy.

Picking and Storing Aubergine
When selecting the healthiest aubergine, look for the freshest one. The skin should be firm, glossy, smooth and blemish free so ensure that there are not marks on the aubergine skin as the fresher the vegetable, the more essential nutrients it will ultimately contain. To keep aubergine fresher for longer, store in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to two weeks.

Preparing Aubergine for Cooking
Preparation of this vegetable for cooking is dependent of the aubergine recipe that you are using. This vegetable is often cooked in olive oil throughout the Mediterranean. It can be cooked in various ways, including baking, roasting, frying, stir frying and deep frying. Aubergine can also be pureed.

How to prepare Aubergine for frying:
This great tasting vegetable absorbs a lot of liquid during the cooking process, so in order to keep it healthy, particularly when frying in oil, slice the aubergine quite thickly, approximately 1cm wide.
Salting the slices will help to remove some of the aubergine's natural moisture. To prevent the aubergine from absorbing high amounts of oil, salt the slices generously.

Before frying the slices in oil, leave the salted aubergine slices to drain for approximately 60 minutes

Rinse the slices and carefully remove some of their moisture by squeezing the them gently

Pat the aubergine slices dry then fry them in oil only briefly

How to Cook Aubergines
Aubergine can be used in many different recipes including parmigiana, moussaka, vegetable lasagne, roasted vegetables, stir fry, and coated in batter. Stuffed aubergine is very popular, and very delicious! Other vegetables such as onion, tomato and garlic are used in this fabulous recipe which is otherwise known as Imam Bayaldi. When frying aubergine, only do so briefly as this will enable this vegetable to remain soft on the inside, with a delicious tasting crusty texture on the outside.

How to make Tempura Aubergine (battered aubergine slices):
Tempura aubergine is delicious and very easy to make. Simply make the batter by mixing 1 egg, 120ml water, 150g flour together. Dip the sliced aubergine (1cm thick) into the batter mix then deep fry until golden brown. This delicious recipe will take minutes to make and can be served alone or with a tasty dip.

How to Puree Aubergine
Prick the aubergine evenly, several times, as you would when preparing a baked potato
Place in the oven, on a medium heat and roast the aubergine for approximately half an hour, or until the flesh is tender
Remove the roasted aubergine from the oven and scoop out the flesh
Mix the aubergine flesh with onions, lemon juice and olive oil

 
 
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