Below are some ideas that I have tried and I was pleasantly surprised how good they turned out. The full recipes are, as always, in the Recipe‘s section of Your Instinct.
The second recipe takes a bit longer to cook, but it’s well worth the wait.
Aubergines/eggplants‘ are slightly bitter in flavour, therefore it is sometimes advisable to prepare them beforehand by sprinkling with some salt and leaving them for 30 minutes. This fiber-rich vegetable provides a number of vitamins and minerals along with disease-fighting antioxidants, making it a healthy addition to any diet.
In addition, eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, including phenolic compounds, such as caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin. Aubergines are regarded as ‘brain food’. Nasunin, which is fond in their skin, is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect (brain) cell membranes from damage.
The predominant phenolic compound found in all aubergine varieties 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. Plants form such compounds to protect themselves against oxidative stress from exposure to the elements, as well as from infection by bacteria and fungi.
Eggplants are also good for cardiovascular health and free radical protection. 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. By chelating iron, nasunin lessens free radical formation with numerous beneficial results, including protecting blood cholesterol from peroxidation, preventing cellular damage that can promote cancer and lessening free radical damage in joints, which is a primary factor in rheumatoid arthritis.
Do you cook with aubergines? Please feel free to share your experiences.