Eggplants are a funny vegetable, a bit like coriander, I think you either love them or hate them. For me, it needs to be cooked right and given the attention it deserves. If you do give it that extra love and attention, eggplant becomes wonderfully rich and nutritious vegetable that is particularly versatile in adding bulk to gluten free diets.
So unique is Eggplant that it contains a rare antioxidant known as Nasunin. Found under the peel of Eggplant’s intensily purple skin, Nasunin has been shown to protect brain cells from free radical damage.
Eggplant also has vitamins and minerals in spades, rich in manganese, folic acid and the ever-important thiamine, the mineral that helps convert blood sugar into glucose for energy. More importantly is the fibre content of eggplants, with a single cup serving of eggplant containing 3g of beautiful, filling, detoxifying fibre. Load up on the stuff guys, when you think your reaching your target (30 grams a day) look at the fibre you’ve eaten and double it!
The addition of Tahini in this Middle Eastern spread is a vital component for texture and taste. Thankfully it comes with a dose of goodness to boot. Did you know that just 2 tablespoons of the stuff gives you a whopping 130mgs of calcium? Not bad for something that tastes so good.
Tahini is a nutrient dense food source containing Vitamins E, F and T as well as broad spectrum of B vitamins. It also contains a true treasure trove of essential minerals and amino acids. Indeed one serving of tahini is 20% complete protein. This makes it a denser form of protein than milk, soybeans and most seeds and nuts!
And now onto one of my favourite spices….cumin.
Cumin is an essential ingredient in my kitchen spice draw; it’s been used extensively in many cuisines throughout history. In Ayurvedic medicine particularly, it's seen to be increasingly helpful with digestive disorders. Cumin seeds appear to stimulate the pancreas to release valuable enzymes and allow nutrients to be absorbed into our bodies.
Baba Ganoush makes a wonderful topping or dressing for salads, or a dip for crunchy veggies. You can also team it with quinoa and use as a chunky sauce to add flavour.
- 1 large eggplant 9 TBS tahini
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- Sea Salt to taste
- ½ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- Chopped parsley to garnish
- Preheat Grill
- Prick the eggplant with a fork to allow steam to escape
- Grill eggplant for 15 mins turning frequently until eggplant skin is charred
- Remove and let cool
- Split eggplant in two lengthwise and remove pulp discarding the skin
- Squeeze out excess moisture
- In a bowl combine pulp, tahini, garlic, sea salt, cumin and lemon juice and adjust seasonings if need be.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley
- Serve with gluten free crackers