Benefits of Eggplants!

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Eggplants

It is recommended to eat the rainbow when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Although some colors like red and orange are a part of our everyday consumption, purple vegetables like beets and eggplant can be a little more difficult to incorporate because they are not as common. Purple fruits and vegetables are important because they contain a compound called anthocyanins which help these vegetables get their royal blue color. Anthocyanins have health benefits like protecting cells, decreasing inflammation, and lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer. Eggplants are a versatile vegetable with a mild flavor that can be incorporated into many different dishes. 

Season: Although available year-round, eggplant is at its peak from July to October.

How to pick an eggplant: Hold the eggplant in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze it with your fingertips. The skin should be slightly elastic and spring back when you release it. If indentations remain where your fingertips were, the eggplant isn't ripe yet. Look for soft spots or bruises on the skin of the eggplant.

Nutrients: Eggplants contain fiber which is good for weight management and health of the digestive system. In addition, eggplants contain potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.

Eggplant Pizza Bites    

Yields: 6 servings                     

 Ingredients

2 large eggplants, cut into 1/2" rounds

Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 c marinara

1 c shredded mozzarella

½ c mini turkey pepperoni

¼ c finely sliced basil

Directions

1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Grill eggplant until tender and slightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Top each round with marinara, mozzarella and mini pepperoni. Keep the eggplant on the grill to allow the cheese melt, about 30 seconds more. Remove eggplant from grill. Top with Parmesan and basil and serve.

Nutrition: 191 calories per serving; 11g fat; 13g carbohydrate; 6g fiber

References. www.medicalnewstoday.com; www.delish.com

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