I started growing eggplant about 5 years ago in my home garden simply because it was a hardy, fool-proof vegetable that come mid-July put out “fruit” until the weather turned cool in early November. The problem was, no one in our house liked it except for me. I was giving away bushel baskets as fast as it would grow. “That’s it,” I thought...”no more eggplant!” Then I found myself reading this book called Eating on the Wild Side and discovered that what I grew each season should have something to do with what the vegetable can do for my body, not just my tastebuds!
So, at the beginning of this Spring, right about April 1st, I planted 2 flats  plants of Ping Tung Eggplant. It happens to be one of the most prolific eggplants that I’ve ever grown. Once it puts on its fruit it is fully developed and ready to pick within the week if not sooner. I have discovered that most who don’t like eggplant just don’t know what to do with it. One of the easiest ways to prepare it is to roast it. I cut it up into chunks and drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle it with sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, place it on a cookie sheet and roast it for about 10-12 minutes @ 400 degrees. Easy. But just as important as how it tastes, is what it does for your body…
- Heart Health: The antioxidants discovered in eggplant have been linked to indicators that tell us they can decrease the risk of heart disease. Yay!
- Fiber: If you combine the flesh with the skin of eggplant, you practically double the amount of fiber intake, based on your daily unit requirement of about 10%.
- Bone Strengthening: Major players in bone strength are manganese, potassium, magnesium and copper. Guess where you can find them? Eggplant!
- Weight Loss: Of course, when fiber is present, so is fullness. The combination of Vitamin B that is present in the eggplant with the natural fiber can add to significant weight loss.
- Cancer Prevention/Antioxidants Performance: Eggplant are a fantastic resource of the phytochemical known as BEC5, which is believed to kill various cancer cells without harming the healthy cells in your body.
- Vitamin B1, B3 and B6: Eggplant is rich in all the B vitamins which play a vital part role in the proper function of the central nervous system, energy production, hormone balance and healthy liver function. In addition, eggplant are incredible for playing a balancing act with blood sugar and can effectively reduce cholesterol.
- Get Brainy: Eggplant contain an antioxidant group known as an anthocyanin, which plays a major role in brain function. The direct link is on nasunin which aids in neutralizing free radicals, making it an excellent anti-aging phytonutrient.