in the Mediterranean, an appetizer
Baba Ganoush is often considered a mezze or appetizer, but I commonly pair it with veggies to make a meal! It is so simple, delicious, healthy, and a go-to in our household! Learn more about How To Make A Mezze Platter here.
What does the science say?
The findings suggest that nasunin is a potent O2 scavenger and has protective activity against lipid per-oxidation.
Yasuko Noda, Toxicology
Lipids? Per-oxidation? Toxicology? If these words don't pique your interest, then let's start with the basics. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, eggplants are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese. They also contain almost no cholesterol or saturated fat. A bonus, eggplants are one of the less expensive vegetables!
Vitamins and minerals are essential, but antioxidants in eggplant are also a consideration here. Antioxidants in eggplant are known for boosting cognitive activity and general mental health. Specifically, research suggests that nasunin, an anthocyanin in the eggplant skin is a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cell membranes.
Research shows that anthocyanins help prevent neuroinflammation and facilitate blood flow to the brain which could help improve memory and prevent age-related mental disorders.
Megan Ware RDN LD, Medical News Today
The summary: eggplants can help you have a balanced mind, a balanced body, and don't break the bank. I focused here on some of the nutritional and antioxidant benefits of eggplant. For more inspiration, ranging from blood sugar control to weight loss, check out 7 Surprising Benefits of Eggplants.
so let's get cooking!
Baba Ganoush has become one of my favorite dishes to have in the fridge at all times. The eggplant, herbs, a hint of tahini, and a dash of citrus helps it to pair incredibly with naan, cucumbers, tomatoes, salads, feta, and so much more. The is my take on the traditional Mediteranean dish. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time:45 minutes
- 4-6 Servings
- One medium to large eggplant
- 2-3 tablespoons tahini
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- Pepitas, cilantro, and paprika can be used for garnish
- Serve with cucumber, toasted naan, over a salad, or whatever is your favorite!
- Preheat over to 450℉.
- Dice eggplant, brush with olive oil, salt, and pepper then bake until tender (~30-40 minutes).
- Let eggplant rest after baking to reduce moisture.
- Add all ingredients (including remaining olive oil) into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add additional oil if too thick.
- I believe that ALL recipes are very adaptable. Please use these guidelines as a foundation and then play with spices, herbs, and flavors to cater to your taste! I used cilantro but it could be replaced with flat-leaf parsley for a more traditional flavor.