The August Fruit of the Month is Eggplant!
Did you know eggplants grow on short vines, similar to tomato plants? But as you might have guessed, they do feel, look, and taste different! Eggplants have a soft, spongy flesh, with a pleasant bitter taste. When paired with other strong-flavored ingredients, eggplants can help balance the overall flavor of the entire dish. Keep reading to learn all about eggplants!
An Eggplant is a Good Source of:
- Nasunin—fights free radical damage in the body
- Manganese—great for healthy bones
- Vitamin B1—for helping create a healthy metabolism
- Vitamin B6—helps carry oxygen to the blood
Did You Know?
- Most people think eggplants are a vegetable, however, because the plant has seeds it’s technically a fruit!
- Eggplants are related to tomatoes and peppers—and are in the nightshade family.
- Hundreds of years ago, eggplants were often white or yellow and resembled goose eggs—which is where the name came from!
- Eggplants are in season during the late summer months or early fall.
- There are lots of important nutrients, like nasunin, found in the dark purple skin!
How to Harvest and Store Eggplant
Eggplants are mature when the flesh is firm, and has a slight bounce to it when you touch it. If, when touched, a dent is left behind, the eggplant is too mature and should not be eaten. Eggplants can remain at room temperature for several days after harvesting.
Tips to Get Children to Eat Eggplant
- Chop the eggplant into small pieces and incorporate into mixed dishes like a casserole
- Cut the eggplant into long rectangular shapes so they resemble fries
- Coat with breadcrumbs or batter before frying for a crispy exterior
Ways to Eat Eggplant
Let’s Get Cooking
Easy Eggplant Stirfry
- 2 eggplants, peeled and cubed
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 cup green bell paper, cut into strips
- 2 onions, sliced
- 3 Tbsp Italian salad dressing, low fat
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
- Place the eggplant, zucchini, green bell pepper, onions, and salad dressing into a skillet.
- Stir lightly to combine and cook over low heat until tender.
- Stir in cherry tomatoes and cook for an additional 3–5 minutes.
- Serve over cooked brown rice.
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bell peppers (any color)
- 1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (15 ounces)
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan and sauté onion, garlic, bell peppers, and eggplant until tender—about 15 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and basil, cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add pepper and parsley right before serving.
For more creative eggplant-based recipes visit MyPlate Kitchen! With so many possibilities, like Italian Style Summer Squash, Veggie Quesadillas, and Fall Veggie Casserole you’re sure to find something that is tasty for the whole family!
Can’t get enough fruits and veggies? Be sure to check out Harvest of the Month, a downloadable educational program designed to make learning about fruits and veggies easy, tasty, and fun!