In various cultures, eggplant is also known as aubergine and brinjal. The existence of egg-shaped fruit on this plant is how eggplant received its name. Along with potatoes, tobacco, tomatoes, and peppers, eggplants belong to the Solanaceae family of plants, including the nightshade family.
For many years, traditional medicine has used eggplants. In India, eggplant was once a common vegetable used to treat diabetes because it contains polyphenols, which are organic substances known from plants.
Eggplants are a good source of fiber and antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which work to combat free radicals and shield the body from their harmful effects. While you usually eat cooked eggplant, you may wonder, can eggplants be eaten raw, and is raw eggplant poisonous, like eating a green raw potato would be?
In our guide, you can find all you need about the flavor and texture when eating the raw form of eggplant. By the end, you can learn how to eat eggplant raw if you prepare it correctly and take precautions. (Read Can You Eat Brussel Sprouts Raw)
Studies show that while eggplants may not be the healthiest vegetables, they offer a lot of benefits. The vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid are all present at reasonable levels.
These vitamins exhibit the ability to scavenge free radicals. As a result, eggplants can provide antioxidants. Because of the sufficient amount of dietary fiber it contains, it can help people with diabetes feel better.
It is a reasonably guilt-free vegetable because there are few calories and hardly any fat, so you could eat relatively large quantities without weight gain.
Many health benefits arise with eating eggplant. In traditional medicine, raw eggplant was a component used to treat conditions like diabetes and asthma.
Since eggplant contains phenol, which helps efficiently process sugar, diabetes is less likely to develop. Vegetable is also an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins A and C, which might lessen the risk of cell deterioration.
Even cancer-causing DNA is claimed to be shielded from the body by eggplant.
Can Raw Eggplant Be Eaten?
Raw and cooked eggplant is equally safe to eat. It also contains the nightshade’s solanine alkaloid; however, the concentration is not high.
As a result, it’s safe to eat raw eggplant occasionally. However, certain people could be sensitive to solanine, making it toxic to them when ingested in excessive doses. Therefore, those who are allergic to solanine should avoid eating eggplants.
In actuality, the substance can be found in cooked eggplant. As a member of the nightshade family, eggplants contain the solanine alkaloid, which, in sensitive individuals, can induce stomach distress. Other members of the nightshade family, especially raw vegetables such as green tomatoes and even potatoes, contain the same toxin.
If a person complains of worsening joint pain, arthritis, or GI problems after consuming them, they should stop eating this food and other vegetables, such as green tomatoes, in the future. However, there is no hard evidence linking raw eggplant to these, yet the recommendation is to avoid eating raw eggplant. (Read Will Strawberries Ripen After Picking)
What Does Raw Eggplant Taste Like?
Eggplants’ morphology, flavor, and texture differ. Some are nice to eat, while others are unpleasant. Because they’re mass-produced, people only encounter bitter eggplant.
Solanine, a toxic alkaloid, causes a bitter taste, so moderate consumption is safe for most people.
How To Prepare Eggplant For Eating Raw
Japanese eggplant is one of the popular Asian varieties that is excellent for eating raw due to its sweet and less bitter taste.
Because of its bitter flavor, most people dislike raw eggplant, so eggplant can be salted to deal with the bitterness.
It involves salting the eggplant pieces and rinsing or pressing the extra salt out.
- The slices should be spread out and covered evenly in salt.
- They should be placed in a colander set in a dish to catch the juices and let drain for 30 minutes.
- Place the colander in the sink and rinse each slice to remove all the salt.
- Take the pieces out when drained and pat them dry with a paper towel.
In a salad, people can also eat eggplant raw. An excellent and delectable salad is created by making small pieces of eggplant with carrots, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Compared to round-shaped eggplants, Asian long eggplants are softer and are recommended for salads.
Not many recipes call for eating eggplant raw, although you can eat it without cooking it.
However, there are ways to use eggplant to your advantage. For instance, since eggplant will absorb flavors and sauces, you can eat eggplant raw in grain and vegetable salads.
When using raw eggplant to be eaten in a salad with greens, choose foods like lettuce or other leaves with a milder flavor. Pasta with a raw sauce and raw eggplant pairs well because the heat from the noodles warms the other ingredients without really cooking them.
Cubed fresh mozzarella, diced raw tomato, and add diced raw eggplant are all added. Add hot noodles, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil before tossing. (Read Can You Freeze Mozzarella Cheese)
Eggplant Salad Recipe
- Asian eggplant
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 tbsp – Fresh basil
- 2 tbsp – Lemon juice
- 1 tsp – Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut off the ends of the eggplant.
- Cut the eggplants into quarters, about 1/4 inch thick, lengthwise and across.
- The eggplants should be salted, then set aside.
- To prepare a vinaigrette, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Over the eggplants, drizzle the vinaigrette, and toss.
- Re-toss after adding the carrots and basil.
What are the benefits of eating raw eggplant?
Traditional medicine employed eggplant for thousands of years. In Ayurvedic medicine, eggplant roots treat diabetes and asthma. Eggplant’s antioxidants, particularly vitamins A and C, protect cells.
High in polyphenols, which may help diabetic cells absorb sugar. Early laboratory study on cells shows eggplant protects against cancer-causing DNA damage.
Can undercooked eggplant make you sick?
In moderation, undercooked eggplant won’t make you sick. While the leaves and flowers can be harmful, the eggplant is a safe food to eat, raw or cooked.
Some people are sensitive to the chemical solanine, which is only toxic in large concentrations. Raw eggplant can cause digestive issues, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in sensitive people.
Which vegetables should not be eaten raw?
Most of the toxin is in “young eggplants,” Also, avoid green potatoes because they contain solanine, which causes headaches and nausea. People with hypothyroidism should never eat cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and sprouts. Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers may have trouble digesting raw vegetables.
What are the healthiest cooking methods to eat eggplant?
To gain the advantages, consume raw eggplant in salads. Similarly, cooking techniques like grilling, sautéing, baking, or stir-frying can prepare eggplant healthily. The most important step in cooking eggplant is to heat or boil it at a temperature of at least 425F.
Is raw eggplant poisonous?
Yes, eating raw eggplant is safe to eat. However, the plant’s blooms and leaves can be dangerous.
The nightshade family of plants, which also includes eggplants, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos, contains the toxic chemical solanine. It can be highly toxic when consumed raw or cooked in such plants.
Raw eggplant, or those picked early in growth or immature eggplants, contain most toxins. (Learn How Long Do Bell Peppers Last)
What Can I Eat Raw Eggplant With?
Raw eggplant is a tasty and healthy food that is simple to cut into bite-sized pieces and eaten with other foods.
Several other recipes, though, go nicely with it and enhance its peculiar taste. Why not incorporate little raw eggplant cubes into a salad?
With your choice of salad leaves and other vegetables, eggplant can function similarly to squash, a preferred element in salads because of its vibrant hues. It will give your dish an intriguing texture.
Vegans love raw eggplant bacon, which can be prepared in the same way as pork bacon to create a delicious plant-based version.
Many recipes show you how to make it, and most call for using a dehydrator to dry the vegetable and give it its distinctive crispness.
Salting is another method to reduce the bitter taste and change the texture before you cook or eat them raw.
Eggplants are purple, teardrop-shaped vegetables in the nightshade family, like potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers.
Almost all include the alkaloid solanine. Moderate doses are safe. In excess, eggplants are toxic to anyone who would have an allergic reaction or pregnant women.
Many types of eggplants with various morphologies are grown globally. Despite not being one of the healthiest vegetables, eggplants provide vitamins A, C, and K.
Antioxidants are present, and polyphenols aid diabetics. People now use it in salads, according to current trends. When garnished and seasoned, Eggplant salads are delicious and a good salad option.