By Bridgette Ruge Barlow, MA, CPT, RHC
VEGAN, NUT-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, CREAMY, & BURSTING WITH NUTRITION!
Spotlight on Eggplant-While this beautiful purple veggie is available throughout the year, its peak season is August through October. Eating with the seasons not only is more affordable and tastes better, but it contains more nutrients than foods grown out of season due to its natural maturation and ripening process. Eggplant contains a phytonutrient called nasunin a potent antioxidant which helps rid the body of free radicals. In animal studies, nasunin protects cell membranes of the brain from damage. Nasunin also act as an iron chelator. Iron is an essential nutrient but for men and post-menopausal women, iron is not easily excreted and can accumulate, thus promoting cellular damage which can promote cancer and increasing free-radical damage in joints-a primary factor in rheumatoid arthritis. Choose eggplants that are smooth, heavy, and shiny.
- 1 medium eggplant or 2 small
- ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- ¼ cup olive oil + 1-2 tbsp for pouring over top
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 medium garlic cloves (or use roasted garlic or garlic powder for a milder flavor)
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground smoked paprika
- Chopped fresh herbs (any) for garnish
- Optional: 2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides —This is not vegan but adds a good source of gut healthy, easily digested protein without altering flavor
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
- Halve the eggplant and brush cut sides slightly with olive oil.
- Lay the cut sides down on prepared pan
- Roast the eggplant 35-40 min until the interior is very tender and the skin is collapsing.
- Let the eggplant cool for a little while.
- Flip over the eggplants and scoop out the flesh, leaving the skin behind. Honestly, you can make this easier by leaving the skin on. It will taste just as good, but the color will be darker and not as pretty.
- If your eggplant has a lot of liquid dripping out, put into a mesh strainer and squeeze the liquid out. It’s fine if you don’t, it just won’t be as thick.
- Add all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth!
- Put into a pretty dish and top with olive oil and chopped herbs.
- Serve with warm pita bread wedges or cut up vegetables