I love eggplant. I roast it. I stuff and bake it. I stir-fry it with mushrooms and onions. I also love all sorts of eggplant dips. The problem with so many of them is that they are full of fat. Eggplant is like a sponge, soaking up the oil that it’s cooked in – so much so that the typical chef adds more oil during cooking to keep it from sticking to the pan.
Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family, which also include potatoes, sweet peppers, and tomatoes. Rich in vitamins and minerals, eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, many which have antioxidant activity. Phytonutrients contained in eggplant include phenolic compounds, such caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin.
One cup of cooked eggplant (cubed) contains 28 calories and 2.5 g dietary fiber. It is a very good source of potassium, manganese, copper, and vitamin B1.
Being that I love to cook and am inspired and challenged to come up with new dishes that are not only nutritious but delicious, I decided to make an eggplant dip that was full of flavor rather than fat. The bonus – it’s so quick to make and only requires 4 ingredients. Try it spread on whole wheat pita, spelt crackers, as a dip for veggies, or as a spread for a sandwich.
SMOKEY EGGPLANT DIP
- 1 medium sized eggplant
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Pierce the eggplant a few times with a knife. Wrap it in a paper towel and place in the microwave oven. Cook on HIGH for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
- When cool, split the eggplant open. Using a large spoon, scrape away the flesh from the skin and place the eggplant flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, paprika, and lemon juice and blend until the mixture is smooth.