- [Instructor] Mom may have said eat your vegetables, but how do you fit them into a healthy diet?
Through the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Produce Video series, you will learn how to buy, store, cook, and enjoy a variety of produce.
In this video, we'll take a look at eggplant.
A one half cup serving of cubed eggplant contains only 10 calories and it's a great source of folic acid, fiber, and potassium.
Potassium helps with fluid balance and nerve function.
Eggplant comes in a variety of colors from white to purple to green and with skin patterns that range from solid to speckled to striped.
The type most commonly seen at grocery stores and farmer's markets is a solid, almost black, shade of purple.
It has a pleasantly bitter taste and, depending on how it is prepared, can have a creamy or meaty texture.
When selecting, look for eggplant with smooth and shiny skin.
No matter what variety, the color should be vibrant and free of discolored patches, wrinkles, and scars.
The flesh should be firm and have a slight give when gently pressed.
If the skin bounces back, the eggplant is ripe and ready to use.
When young, the skin is tender and editable.
As it ages, the skin gets tough and needs to be peeled.
Store your eggplant uncut and unwashed in your refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag up to one week.
Eggplant can be served in a variety of ways, sliced thinly and included in stir fry's, chopped and cooked into stews and curries, tossed with olive oil and roasted with other vegetables like onions, peppers, zucchini, or tomatoes, or sauteed, roasted, or baked and served in Italian dishes.
When cooking eggplant, make sure it is thoroughly cooked and tender for the best flavor.
Now, let's take a look at a recipe you might prepare for your table.
Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant is a quick, easy recipe that your family will enjoy.
It calls for two small eggplants, one cup spaghetti sauce, one fourth cup plain yogurt, one garlic clove, and vegetable cooking spray or olive oil.
To prepare this recipe, you'll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Wash and then slice off the stem end of the eggplant.
This recipe calls for one half inch slices.
Prepare a baking pan by lightly coating with vegetable cooking oil spray.
Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared pan.
Next, spoon spaghetti sauce over each slice.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.
While the eggplant is baking, make the yogurt topping.
Finely mince the garlic then stir the yogurt and garlic together.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and drizzle with the yogurt sauce.
And there you have it, an easy and nutritious way to prepare eggplant that can be the foundation for a healthy meal.
One serving contains only 70 calories and here are a couple of tasty variations on this recipe, if you're interested.
You could finely chop some fresh herbs, such as basil or oregano, and sprinkle them on top of the eggplant before serving.
Or, you could top the sauce with a small amount of Parmesan cheese before baking.
Here's what to remember about eggplant, no matter what variety you buy, you should look for eggplant that has smooth and shiny skin.
Eggplant stays good in your refrigerator up to one week.
It can easily be added to stir fries, curries, stews, and many other types of dishes.
For more information on Pennsylvania produce, visit the PennState Extension website.