Eggplants come in many shapes and sizes, but people are most familiar with the traditional eggplant that you can consistently find in the super market all year long.
The wonderful health benefits of eggplants are primarily derived from its vitamin, mineral, and nutrient content. Eggplants are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including collagen found in the cornea of the eye. Vitamin C also promotes healthy bones, skin and blood vessels, including the delicate capillaries in the retina. Studies suggest long-term consumption of vitamin C can reduce the risk of forming a cataract and vision loss from macular degeneration.
A great way to include eggplant in your diet is to make your own eggplant dip. Keep it in the fridge for Saturday afternoon nibbles or an after school snack for the kids.
This week’s recipe is from Your Sight Matters.
Roasted Eggplant Dip with Feta Cheese and Kalamata Olives
- 2 large eggplants
- 8 cloves garlic
- Fresh thyme, chopped
- Red chili flakes
- Kosher salt
- ¼ tablespoon cumin
- 1/8 tablespoon coriander
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, juice/zest
- 8 oz. feta cheese, drained
- 6 oz. pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- Fresh basil, for garnish
- Cut eggplants in half, lightly score with knife and insert garlic cloves inside eggplant.
- Drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper, red chili flakes, and fresh thyme.
- Place onto a baking sheet and put into 375-degree oven for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Eggplant should be extremely soft to the touch, almost mushy.
- Allow eggplant to cool slightly before handling. Scrape all of the insides into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until extremely smooth. Add cumin and coriander. You may also add a tablespoon of olive oil to achieve this smooth texture while pulsing. Add in the zest and juice of lemon.
- Add feta cheese and olives to food processor and pulse two or three more times. Allow cheese and olives to remain slightly chunky.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Garnish with thinly sliced basil and serve with freshly cut vegetables, crostinis and warm pita bread.
Every Thursday, our Envision Optical blog brings you ‘Nutrition Thursday’ – news about nutrition for your eye health. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and like us to receive the reminders once they are posted. Each week we also include a delicious recipe for you to make: www.facebook.com/envisionoptical