Eggplant, technically a fruit, is a low-calorie nightshade often used as a staple in many plant-based, Mediterranean, and low-carbohydrate diets. There is a persistent myth that nightshades (a family that includes eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers) are bad for arthritis because they contain solanine, a type of alkaloid which is known to be toxic and thought to promote inflammation. The solanine is mostly found in the leaves and stems of these plants, not the part we eat, so they are fine to eat in moderation.
Eggplants have a low glycemic index and contain antioxidants, both of which have been shown to reduce inflammation in your body. The type of antioxidant that they contain is called anthocyanin, which is responsible for the vibrant, purple colour. They are also a rich source of fiber, which is needed to regulate digestion and promote gut health.
Nutritional information (per serving*):
Calories: 191; Protein (6g); Total Fat (2g); Saturated Fat (2g); Monounsaturated Fat (0g); Carbohydrates (27g); Fibre (3g); Sodium (325mg).
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
*Servings: 7 (approx. 2 polenta slices and 2 eggplant slices)
1 18-oz tube polenta
1 large eggplant
2 large eggs
¾ cup oat flour (see note below, or substitute 3/4 cup whole-grain breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon parsley, dried
1 tablespoon oregano, dried
1 ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 425 °F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Slice polenta into ½ inch thick slices. An average tube yields about 14 slices.
Slice eggplant into ¼ inch thick slices.
Whisk or beat eggs with a fork in a shallow bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the oat flour, parmesan cheese, parsley and oregano.
Dip each polenta and eggplant slice in the egg, covering all sides. Lift each slice up and let any excess egg drip off back into the bowl.
Next, dip each slice into the parmesan and oat flour mixture. Press the mixture into the top, bottom and sides of the slices.
Place the polenta slices on one baking sheet and the eggplant slices on the other baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the polenta and eggplant appear crispy and golden.
To get rid of the potential bitter taste that eggplant can have, soak the slices for 30 minutes in a large bowl filled with cold water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pat the eggplant slices dry with a paper towel before proceeding with the recipe.
Grind oat flakes in a food processor for quick homemade oat flour. Use certified gluten-free oats to make the recipe 100% gluten-free.
Look for a ripe eggplant by pressing your finger against the exterior – if an imprint is created, it is ripe!