Eggplant also called “Igba” by the Yoruba’s, “Afufa” by the Igbo’s, Solanum melongena by the botanists is a spongy textured vegetable with a bitter taste but with a great taste and aroma if consumed with a pot of stew. It is generally called garden egg.
It is widely consumed by the elderly and young due to its bitter taste, which makes it a great blood food. Most people consume it with peanut butter, others consume it as it is “bitter”. But for people like me (lover of sweet things), garden egg is a big NO NO. No matter the length of the sermon preached on it, I never bulged. But today, its one of my best sauce for yam and rice. As bitter as the vegetable is, you hardly feel it in the sauce if cooked properly.
Eggplant contains Solanine, which could be a poisoning agent if consumed in high quantity. Solanine, commonly present in high quality in overripe eggplant, is responsible for the bitter taste of the vegetable, but upon boiling, the toxin is extracted from the plant with the aid of salt. Eggplant also contains a lot of beneficial compounds which make it exceptionally great and highly nutritious;
- garden egg contains high dietary fiber, which aids in weight loss and help in lowering the cholesterol level, protecting the heart in the process
- it contains high level of potassium, responsible for heart and blood pressure regulation.
- it contains enough Vitamin C for effective prevention of cold-related diseases
- it contains enough B Vitamins, which are responsible for beneficial effect on the nervous system.
- it helps to improve the condition after stroke due to the presence of manganese and zinc
- high content of iron in the vegetable helps combat decreased hemoglobin, so it is recommended for pregnant women and patients with anemia.
There other functions of eggplant, but one that I have seen work, is its ability to aid digestion. It works like magic.
Eggplant comes in varieties, two of which are common here in Nigeria main- green and creamlike. Though the green one is said to be more nutritious, I prefer the creamlike one in my sauce.
So, Eggplants; Yah or nah!.
Just find what works out for you, be it; as bitter as it is, or with peanut butter, or fried, boiled or even baked.