Eggplants, also known as aubergines, are available within Australia during the summer and autumn months. Eggplants have a soft, spongey flesh which is reknown for its ability to take onboard many different flavours with ease. Let’s take a closer look at the nutrition composition of this delicious vegetable.
According to The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, one serve of vegetables either weighs approximately 75g or is the equivalent of half a cup of cooked vegetables. The average eggplant you receive in your FarmGate Online order weighs approximately 350g. You might notice that when you cook your eggplant it looses quite a lot of moisture and it shrinks in size. Therefore, on average 1/2 cup of cooked eggplant is approximately 1/2 an eggplant (175g). Put simply, the eggplant you receive in your FarmGate Online order is the equivalent of two serves of vegetables.
So what does eating 175g of cooked eggplant provide me with nutritionally?
According to the Nutrient Reference Values of Australia, 175g of cooked eggplant provides us with approximately:
- 5% of our protein, magnesium, manganese, thiamin (Vitamin B1) and riboflavin (Vitamin B2) requirements
- 10% of our potassium, niacin (Vitamin B3) and pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) needs
- 15% of our niacin and copper recommendations
- 45% of our Vitamin C requirements
- 20% of our fibre and biotin (Vitamin B7) needs
- 80% of our Vitamin E recommendations
- 280% of our pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) requirements.
Phew! Is there anything this vegetable doesn’t offer us?
Please note, this nutrient analysis is based on eggplant which has been baked without the addition of oil.
Although one serve of eggplant exceeds our pyridoxine requirements this is not of any concern as the pyridoxine content in eggplants well below the upper limit of intake established. The “upper limits” of nutrients have been established as excess consumption of certain nutrients can cause adverse health effects.
Additional nutritional information:
You may remember that I discussed the health benefits of consuming antioxidants from my previous post on beetroot. To refresh your memory, it is the different antioxidants within fruit and vegetables which give them their different colours. It is the antioxidant, anthocyanin which gives fresh produce either it’s red, blue or purple colour.There has been additional research conducted specifically looking at the anthocyanin content in the skin of eggplants.
A study published in 2016 discussed the role anthocyanins can play in prevention of chronic illnesses such as cancer, atherosclerosis and degenerative diseases. There is currently ongoing research to see if we can alter the genetic composition of eggplants skin to increase the anthocyanin content. This is one potential way to see additional health benefits within the population
In addition to this, a study published in 2015 discussed why eggplants turn brown once cut. This is due to their high antioxidant composition. Therefore, once exposed to the atmosphere, eggplants undergo browning and oxidisation rapidly which results in a decline in the nutrient profile of this vegetable. Therefore, it is best to cook with eggplants as soon as possible.
Has all this talk about eggplants made you hungry? Let’s take a look at how to use them in the kitchen.
When I think about eggplants, my mind goes straight to European cuisine. I’ve popped a few of my favourite recipes in here but I’ve also tried to include a few different recipes you might not have tried before too.
- Ottolenghi’s recipes always let the produce speak for itself. This eggplant with buttermilk sauce recipe is simplicity at its best.
- Jamie Oliver’s eggplant parmigiana is sure to have the whole family asking for more vegetables.
- This morrocan lentil stuffed eggplant recipe is wholesome, nutritious and vegan too. For those of you not vegan, you can easily substitute regular Parmesan cheese in here.
- When I think of eggplants, I think of traditional and comforting moussaka. Why not give this recipe a go?
- I couldn’t go past this babaganoush recipe either…
- This freekeh, pomegranate and eggplant salad is sure to jazz up any dinner party. Leftovers would make a wonderful nourishing lunch the next day too!
Recipe for the week:
I took inspiration for this weeks recipe from Jessica Sepel’s recipe. I followed her instructions for the miso dressing and eggplant preparation. I then added whatever vegetables I had at home. This is the beauty of great produce. You can find a recipe as a base for inspiration for your meal and then you can tweak it to make it your own. It’s taken me a little while to feel confident in doing so, but with practice it gets easier. Trust me!
Nutrition Composition Per Serve:
|Kilojoules||Protein (g)||Fat (g)||Saturated Fat (g)||Carbohydrates (g)||Fibre (g)||Sodium (mg)||Calcium (mg)|
Note: this nutrition composition is based on Jessica Sepel’s recipe provided. Your nutrient composition will vary based on which vegetables you choose to use and how you cook your quinoa. You will notice that Jessica says this recipe serves 2 people. However this portion is exceptionally generous. I have therefore adapted this composition to reflect 3 servings.
If you need to watch your sodium intake, you can substitute reduced salt soy sauce instead of tamari.
What does this nutrition composition mean for me?
The following information is according to the Food Standards Code Australia and New Zealand.
- A good source of protein (>10/serve)
- An excellent source of fibre (>7g/serve)
- A source of calcium (>10% of RDI of calcium, which is 1000mg/day)
As always, feel free to comment below with recipe inspiration or head over to the FarmGate Online Facebook Group and show me what you’ve created.