Available throughout the year but are especially best during August through October, Meal prepping with Eggplants are now becoming more and more viable for health enthusiasts. In addition to featuring a host of vitamins and minerals, eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, many which have antioxidant activity. For centuries, eggplants have been used for controlling and managing diabetes and this is thanks to the high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content of the eggplant.
Eggplant is also available in a several other colors including lavender, jade green, orange, and yellow-white, as well as in sizes and shapes that range from that of a small tomato to a large zucchini.
- lowers risk of heart disease
- Combats Cancer
- Reduce the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your body
- Improves Brain Function
- prevent blood clots and strengthen blood vessels
- Dynamic Digestion
- Assists Anemia
- Regulates Diabetes
- Prosperous Pregnancy
- Improves overall bone health
How to Select
- choose eggplant that is firm, even hard to the touch
- Choose the ones that are uniform in color
- No shrivelling or soft spots should be noticed.
- If it leaves an imprint when you lightly press your fingers against it, the eggplant is ripe.
- Also check the calyx (the green leaves at the stem end); it should be fresh and green, not dried out and brown.
- Choose smaller eggplants as they tend to be sweeter, less bitter, have thinner skin and less seeds.
How to Store
- It is best to use eggplant within one day of purchase, but it can be refrigerated up to four days.
- Eggplants bruise easily, so handle them with care.
- Wrap in a paper towel and refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper.
- Cooked eggplant can be refrigerated for 3 days.
- Freeze pureed eggplant up to 6 months (add a bit of lemon juice to prevent discoloration).
- How to Freeze:
- Wash the eggplant
- Peel and slice
- Slice 1/3-inch thick slices. Prepare quickly, (if you leave it sit cut for more than a half hour, it will start to discolor). Do enough eggplant for one blanching at a time.
- Blanch the eggplant.
- Cool the eggplant
- Bag it in ziplocs or vacuum sealing. If you want slices for frying later; pack the drained slices with plastic wrap between slices. That will help to keep them from sticking to each other.
- Pop them into the freezer, on the quick freeze shelf, if you have one
Tips Preparing Eggplants
- If you’re frying eggplant, be sure to salt it first: Cut the eggplant into cubes or slices, salt it liberally on both sides and arrange it in a colander with some kind of weight to press it. Leave it for at least an hour, then rinse and pat it dry.
- Skin is edible but may be removed.
- 2 medium-sized eggplant, top removed and sliced lengthwise
- salt and black pepper
- 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup micro greens
- Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-hight heat. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the whole grain mustard, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard and a dash of salt and black pepper until combined. Whisk in the olive oil until fully incorporated and then stir in the fresh parsley and thyme. Adjust seasoning to taste. Set aside.
- When your grill or grill pan is hot, add the eggplant and grill for about 5 minutes before flipping and grilling for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Drizzle the eggplant with the mustard vinaigrette and garnish with fresh micro greens. Enjoy immediately!
- 1½ pounds Italian eggplant (about 2 medium)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- For the Breading
- 1½ cups rice flour
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, divided (we used a Sicilian sea salt)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- Vegetable or canola oil for frying
- Prepared Marinara Sauce
- About an hour before frying, trim ends of each eggplant then slice the long way into four or five thick slices. Leave skins on. Turn and slice again into strips. I got about 30 fries per eggplant. Lay them out flat on your cutting board or counter and sprinkle both sides with the tablespoon of kosher salt. Then let sit for an hour. This will draw out any bitterness. After the hour, place in a bowl and cover with cold ice water.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, 1 teaspoon of the sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and basil.
- Place a large pot on the stove and fill half way with the oil. Heat to 345 degrees F using a candy thermometer. This seems like an odd temperature but you actually drop down to 325 degrees F as you fry which is what you want.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. This will be used to keep the fries hot as you cook each batch.
- Drain the ice water from the eggplant but do not pat dry. While still wet dredge them all in the rice flour mixture and then place on a tray.
- Cooking in batches, fry for about 4-5 minutes or until they just start to brown. They will not get dark amber like a French fry would but more of a light golden color. Using a spider or strainer, remove to a tray with paper towels and generously sprinkle with the remaining sea salt. Let the oil get back to 345 degrees before starting the next batch.
- As each batch is cooked, place on a pan and hold in the oven until all the fries have been cooked.
- Enjoy with marinara dipping sauce.
- 1 large eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds), sliced into ½-inch thick rounds (12 to 14 slices)
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup plain panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- cooking oil spray
- 2 cups homemade tomato sauce (or Rao’s brand)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly into as many slices as your eggplant
- 1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- Line 2 baking sheets with a double layer of paper towels and spread the eggplant slices among the sheets evenly. Liberally salt the eggplant slices, using about a teaspoon total of salt, and let them sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour. Using fresh paper towels, wipe the tops of the eggplant to remove excess salt and firmly press to release any remaining liquid. Dry on both sides and transfer to a plate. Wipe the baking sheets and line them with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray well with cooking oil.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. In another medium shallow bowl, combine the panko, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Dip one slice of eggplant into the egg, coating both sides, and then press ONE side into the bread crumbs. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with all remaining slices.
- Spray the tops of the eggplant slices well with cooking oil and bake until the eggplant is soft and the crust is crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and spoon a heaping tablespoon of sauce on each, followed by a slice of mozzarella. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes.