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Amazing Eggplant!!

Hi I just looked into the eggplant and was suprised by what I found. It has 20 calories per cup, 3 grams of fiber, and has high anti oxident qualities. Here is an excerpt from the internet: Health Benefits

In addition to featuring a host of vitamins and minerals, eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, many which have antioxidant activity. Phytonutrients contained in eggplant include phenolic compounds, such caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin.

Brain Food

Research on eggplant has focused on an anthocyanin phytonutrient found in eggplant skin called nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. In animal studies, nasunin has been found to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes. Cell membranes are almost entirely composed of lipids and are responsible for protecting the cell from free radicals, letting nutrients in and wastes out, and receiving instructions from messenger molecules that tell the cell which activities it should perform.

Rich in Phenolic Antioxidant Compounds

Researchers at the US Agricultural Service in Beltsville, Maryland, have found that eggplants are rich sources of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants. Plants form such compounds to protect themselves against oxidative stress from exposure to the elements, as well as from infection by bacteria and fungi.

The good news concerning eggplant is that the predominant phenolic compound found in all varieties tested is chlorogenic acid, which is one of the most potent free radical scavengers found in plant tissues. Benefits attributed to chlorogenic acid include antimutagenic (anti-cancer), antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities.

ARS researchers studied seven eggplant cultivars grown commercially in the U.S. and a diverse collection of exotic and wild eggplants from other counties. In addition to chlorogenic acid, they found 13 other phenolic acids present at significantly varying levels in the commercial cultivars, although chlorogenic acid was the predominant phenolic compound in all of them. Black Magic-a commercial eggplant cultivar representative of U.S. market types-was found to have nearly three times the amount of antioxidant phenolics as the other eggplant cultivars that were studied. In addition to their nutritive potential, the phenolic acids in eggplant are responsible for some eggplants’ bitter taste and the browing that results when their flesh is cut. An enzyme called polyphenol oxidase triggers a phenolic reaction that produces brown pigments. Scientists have begun work on developing eggplant cultivars with an optimal balance of phenolics to ensure both optimal nutritional value and pleasing taste.

Cardiovascular Health and Free Radical Protection

When laboratory animals with high cholesterol were given eggplant juice, their blood cholesterol, the cholesterol in their artery walls and the cholesterol in their aortas (the aorta is the artery that returns blood from the heart back into circulation into the body) was significantly reduced, while the walls of their blood vessels relaxed, improving blood flow. These positive effects were likely due not only to nasunin but also to several other terpene phytonutrients in eggplant.

Nasunin is not only a potent free-radical scavenger, but is also an iron chelator. Although iron is an essential nutrient and is necessary for oxygen transport, normal immune function and collagen synthesis, too much iron is not a good thing. Excess iron increases free radical production and is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Menstruating women, who lose iron every month in their menstrual flow, are unlikely to be at risk, but in postmenopausal women and men, iron, which is not easily excreted, can accumulate.

By chelating iron, nasunin lessens free radical formation with numerous beneficial results, including protecting blood cholesterol (which is also a type of lipid or fat) from peroxidation; preventing cellular damage that can promote cancer; and lessening free radical damage in joints, which is a primary factor in rheumatoid arthritis.

Comments

  • ZoeZoe

    I just can’t get it to taste right, even when I am following recipes where they tell you how to get the bad taste out, I never can… I really want to try the bacon eggplant recipe, but done similar things before with disgusting results.

  • I am an eggplant fiend. I cannot get enough of the stuff. I mandoline slice the long skinny ones, marinate them in an asian inspired sauce overnight, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. YUM. I had (pre-raw) freakishly high cholesterol and eggplants have helped me drop it 150 points. I heart eggplant.

  • Hi juleskess! That is so cool! I just dehydrated a whole giant one and ate the whole thing. I don’t usually like it- or hadn’t gotten into it till this batch. I used to love babaganough and egplant parmesan though. I love a little smoked salt on it but most of it I just ate plain!

  • zoe, is your eggplant bitter or something describe “disgusting”! ;)

  • ZoeZoe

    ummmm Ok, tasted and smelled like dirty dishcloths. Not bitter exactly just “off”. I marinated it in lemon juice salt and olive oil. I am thinking that maybe the ones we get here aren’t ripe enough.

  • ewwwww, something very wrong there!( teehee” dirty dishclothes”...) a good eggplant should smell like fresh grass when you cut into it, it should have a firm flesh ,not slimey and bright white in color( if there are many seeds and the seeds are dark, you have a very mature eggplant) ummmmm. i think thats about it. try salting it then rinsing off the salt after 15 minutes or so then marinate in vinegar (instead of lemon) and olive oil or tomatoes and olive oil…the lemon might be causing your trouble in some weird reaction with the eggplant….Can you tell im taking this very personally(LOL;)I want you to LOVE eggplant too! hahahaha i marinated it in carrot juice too with olive oil to give it a sweeter taste i was looking for the color as well and it was good that way too!

  • I love eggplants – I’m hoping to find a way to make a raw eggplant “parmesean”. I have some lovely eggplants in the garden and I can hardly wait for them to ripen so that I can try the bacon recipe too!

  • Hi Lapetite Mort! I made something like that with thicker slices of eggplant. I put a little olive oil on them and dried them till mushy. Then I spread sundried tomato with garlic and basil on and sprinkled a little macadamia nut with garlic on the top. The macadamia is just like parmesan if you make it dry. I think I put a little lemon juice in too. It was great! I haven’t tried the rawvioli with eggplant yet but the secret is to soak the eggplant slices over night and then dehydrate them.

  • Thank you Writeeternity! I cannot wait to try that!!

  • juleskess, what asian inspired sauce do you use?

  • Thanks lapetitemort! Let me know! I was thinking it would be neat to use the peeler to make strips and then make them into a pretzel shape and dehydrate. The trick would be to not use any oil because that can make them get a little soft.

  • I just made the raw bacon and it’s too soft, wanted it to be crispy, maybe I’ll try it with no oil :)

  • hey rawmama – my standby is a mix of about a 1/4 cup Nama Shoyu, 1 tsp miso, 1tbs sesame oil, 1tbs sesame seeds, 1 tsp agave, the juice of about half a thumb of ginger (I just use a garlic press and scoop whatever comes out plus the juice), a clove of crushed garlic, and a dash of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper. I use it as a marinade or as a salad dressing, or to drizzle on raw wraps. Anything really. It is very good with thinly sliced eggplant though, yummers.

  • I have finally begun to harvest my eggplant. I am making the raw bacon now. I tasted it even though it’s not done, and I love the flavor! Next will be the eggplant parmesan that Writeeternity suggested. I was also thinking of trying a raw fried eggplant but taking the mix that I make for garlic flax crackers and dipping the slices in there and then dehydrating. It will definitely be an experiment, haha

  • Hi Lapetite did you post the garlic cracker recipe? That sounds awesome!

  • wow, all of this sounds so good! Making juleskess mix this weekend (thank you for posting that for me), then want to try the others that lapetitemort mentions…so many eggplants, too little time LOL! :)

  • I’ve seen a recipe for the eggplant bacon when I was on my juice fast, but I can’t remember where I saw it. I’d love to get that recipe, as well as the one for eggplant parmesean. Anyone? Anyone?

  • Oh, and juleskess, the marinade does sound great! I don’t use Nama, I use sun dried tomato soak water instead. I’d like to try that as well as the eggplant dish you shared writeeternity. I may try grinding flax seeds and dipping the eggplant in it after putting a little olive oil on them. That would be like breaded eggplant. I will probably mix some basil with the flax breading. So many raw food dishes, so little time LOL rawmama.

  • HA! You’ve got that right :) I can’t stay up enough hours to make everything ;) Here’s the link to raw bacon from goneraw.com and also another site called sunny raw kithcen. I don’t like using liquid smoke as much in my recipe, but maybe you will? I’m finding that I like to cut my eggplant into circles as well as long strips. I use a potato peeler so it’s really thin. The circles get more crunchy and flavorful than the strips. I ate an entire eggplant today that I had made into raw bacon, it’s a great snack! :)

    http://www.goneraw.com/recipes/418-Raw-Bacon-

    http://thesunnyrawkitchen.blogspot.com/2007_07_…

  • Thanks rawmama! I thought i saw the bacon recipe here, but each time I did a search for for bacon, eggplant, or eggplant bacon, no bacon recipe. After reading your post, I did a search under bacon, again, and this time it came up. I don’t really understand, but so be it.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t use liquid smoke or maple syrup. Any ideas? Which of the two recipes do you like the most?

    I looked at some of the other recipes at thesunnyrawkitchen and they look pretty good, especially the one for kale. I might give that one a try.

    Thanks again.

  • Hi RCB! I’ve made the raw bacon with pepper flavored olive oil. It gave it a nice color and it wasn’t too hot or anything. If you like the flavor of maple you can soak fenugreek seeds in water for a little while and then soak the bacon in that. You could add a little agave (or date water) to make it sweeter. I’ve gotten fenugreek at whole foods in the spice section and in the sprouting section. After you soak it you can also sprout it. I also thought about using beet juice and dipping the eggplant strips in it sideways- but only part of the way to make the red definition line you usually see in bacon.

    Thanks for the link rawmama. The sunny kitchen is a great link for recipes!

  • Thanks for the fenugreek suggestion write. I manage a natural foods co-op and cafe and walked out to the store and bought some. I will give it a try. i have two eggplants and want to make raw bacon with one and juleskess’s recipe with the other. Rawmama, did you end up trying the bacon without oil? i am trying to cut back on fat, and if it works that would be great. i suspect you do need at least a small amount of oil though.

  • Hi all!

    The bacon recipe is pretty flexible I think. You could probably use almost no oil and sub water and it would probably be fine. I like it oily my self. I think the oil part is so it can be “greasy” like “real” bacon. :)

    I would definately experiment like add some maple syrup for sweeter bacon and such. Make different sorts of marinade for it and see how it goes. The Ume Plum Vinegar is for the salty taste and color I think. Last time, I used Yacon syrup instead of agave because I didn’t have any and it turned out great too. I think any raw sweetener will sub OK for the honey or agave (like the maple syrup).

    I would be interested in hearing how everyone experiments with different marinates turn out.

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