This fantastic article was written by Sarah Biren, a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. We encourage you to check out her website here!
We all love bread, but choosing a healthy brand can be tricky. Multigrain bread doesn’t guarantee that the bakers used whole grain. Whole wheat bread can become problematic for those who suffer from inflammation and gluten sensitivity. Even gluten-free options are dizzying, and manufacturers often slip nasty ingredients into the dough.
Therefore, there is no surprise in bread alternatives trending around the internet. One of the most famous ones is the sweet potato toast. After all, it’s delicious, healthy, and naturally gluten-free. But now it’s time for the sweet potatoes to stand aside as this tasty, low-calorie produce takes the spotlight.
The Health Benefits of Eggplant
The most commonly known variety is purple and resembles a large teardrop. Contrary to popular opinion, eggplant is a fruit rather than a vegetable. They have a significant source of many minerals and vitamins, like folate, potassium, manganese, vitamins C, K, and B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, pantothenic acid, as well as being an excellent source of fiber.
Studies prove that eggplant has healing capabilities, similarly to what ancient traditions have believed. The leaves and roots are juiced or boiled to create a tonic for stomach issues and throat pain. It can also help cure asthma, skin diseases, rheumatism, inflammation, intestinal hemorrhages, foot pain, coughs, anorexia, toothache, or used a general stimulant.
Scientists have found the anthocyanin phytonutrients contained in the skin of eggplants is a powerful antioxidant that kills free radicals which can prevent cancer, and protects the lipids in the brain cell membranes from damage.
Interestingly enough, the eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, and other spicy produce like chili peppers, habaneros, jalapenos, and paprika. Therefore, nutritionists warn against eating too many eggplants. Ancient Mediterranean people called this purple fruit the “mad apple,” since they believed if one eats it every day for a month, he will go insane.
However, nightshades have been found to have antiproliferative activities against colon and liver cancer cells. Another study showed eggplant extract to be an effective inhibitor for fibrosarcoma (human tissue) cell invasion.
In a nutshell, enjoy the eggplant, but don’t go too crazy with it.
If you are already an eggplant fan you should be familiar with roasting eggplant, but now is the time you begin using it as toast. Here is the recipe including various topping ideas.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash your eggplant well and cut it into 1-inch slices onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Mix the oil and spices in a small dish and brush the mixture onto the eggplant.
- Roast for about 20-25 minutes, or until the edges appear soft and slightly browned.
Then bring on the toppings!
Here are six of my favorite combinations with my eggplant toast:
- Pizza Toast: tomato sauce + goat cheese + mushrooms + oregano
- Breakfast Toast: hummus + spinach + fried egg
- Sweet Morning Toast: goat cheese + blueberries + pomegranate seeds
- Avocado Toast: tahini + sliced avocado + pecans
- Brunch Toast: goat cheese + sliced olives + sunflower seeds
- Mediterranean Toast: hummus + roasted red peppers + pumpkin seeds
Of course, you can try your own with any array of spreads, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and spices! Healthy bread is now simple.
Here are a few more delicious eggplant recipes to give a try!
- The Chalkboard. 6 Versions of Eggplant Toast We Can’t Get Over. http://thechalkboardmag.com/eggplant-toast-recipe-six-ways#sl=1 Accessed: November 16, 2016
- Dr. Mercola. What Are Eggplants Good For? http://foodfacts.mercola.com/eggplant.html Accessed: November 16, 2016
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