Eggplant is a vegetable that comes in many variations. The most common eggplant seen in markets and supermarkets is round or oval shaped, dark purple, and has a smooth skin.
Some varieties have striped or spotted skin, and some can even be white! Like tomatoes, there are different types of eggplant depending on size and shape.
Unlike tomato, the skin of eggplant is not considered edible. Many people ask the question: is the skin of eggplant edible? Well, let’s find out!
Many people are unsure of whether or not the eggplant skin is edible due to its texture. It can be somewhat tough and leathery, making it difficult to know if it is cooked all the way through.
However, if you are sure that your eggplant is cooked through, then the answer is yes! The skin of eggplant is edible and tasty. Try frying it up in some oil to make it more flavorful.
Nutrition of eggplant skin
When you eat the eggplant skin, you get to enjoy not only the meaty texture of the vegetable, but also its vibrant purple color. More importantly, you get some nutrition from the skin.
Eggplants are low in calories and contain no cholesterol. A half cup of cooked eggplant contains only 22 calories! Eggplant is also a good source of manganese and vitamin B6.
The skin contains some antioxidants and fiber. Antioxidants help fight free radical damage in your body, helping to lower your risk of diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
You can eat the skin whether it is baked, grilled, or fried. If you choose to bake or grill it, make sure to cook it long enough so that it gets soft.
Are the seeds in eggplant edible?
Yes, the tiny black seeds in eggplant are edible. You just have to make sure you do not get any of the white gelatinous substance that surrounds the seed in your mouth.
Otherwise, they are cleanly cut off when slicing the eggplant. Once cooked, the seeds can be a bit crunchy, which some may like or dislike.
If you do not like the texture or feel that it is not cooked fully, then you can bake it with some sauce or sprinkle salt and pepper on it to enhance the taste. It will be good either way!
Some people choose to leave out the seeds completely or put in less because of this question. If you like the texture and taste, keep them in! It is up to you.
How to cook with eggplant skin
Once you have decided to use the skin, there are a few ways to cook with it. If you have baked or grilled your eggplant, you can brush the warm skin with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
You can also sauté the skin in a bit of olive oil until browned and crispy. Then add your cooked meat substitute and let it brown slightly in the crusty eggplant skin.
For recipes where the eggplant is baked, like our Eggplant Parmesan, simply leave the skin on when baking. It will get slightly soft and crispy like toppings on pizza.
If you want to make a traditional baba ghanoush, simply grill or roast the whole eggplant until soft, then scrape out the flesh.
What is the texture of eggplant skin?
When eggplant is growing, the skin of the vegetable is what keeps it protected. As such, the texture of the skin depends on how it was grown.
If the eggplant is farm-raised, then its skin will be thinner due to the fact that it is protected by a growing container and soil. Farm-raised eggplants also grow faster due to improved conditions.
If the eggplant is homegrown or greenhouse-grown, then its skin will be thicker due to the longer growth time. Homegrown eggplants also have a stronger flavor due to the lack of artificial nutrients and water used for growing.
Either type of eggplant can have different textures of skin as well. Depending on if it is veined, fluted, or prickly affects its texture and how it protects the vegetable inside.
What color is eggplant skin?
When looking for eggplant in the store, you will also want to pay attention to the color of the skin. Most varieties of eggplant have purple skin, but some can have white, golden, or striped skin.
Although it is not necessary, some people prefer eggplant with lighter colored skins due to its attractive appearance. It is also up to personal preference if someone likes the taste of lighter colored eggplant or not.
All skin types are edible, although it may be harder to tell what color the flesh is inside if the skin is white. The darker the skin, the more visible the flesh inside will be.
Where do you find eggplants?
Eggplants are not native to the Americas, and therefore, are not widely cultivated in the United States. Eggplants thrive in warm weather and sunny conditions, making southern states like Florida a prime location to grow them.
However, since they are from the same family as tomatoes, they can also be grown as a plant. Luckily for you, if you are looking to try eggplant and do not have a green thumb, you can buy it at the store already grown!
At the grocery store, eggplants can be found either individually wrapped or in a plastic container with water. Keep this in mind if you plan on cooking it that night! You can also find it fried or baked at some restaurants.
If you are having trouble identifying whether your eggplant is a females or males, look at the stem of the plant. A male plant will have a longer stem with flowers on it.
Are there any other ways to eat eggplant?
Yes! You can bake, grill, or fry eggplant. Depending on how you cook it, eggplant can be a healthy meal option. For example, if you bake it with some tomato sauce and cheese, it becomes a healthier pizza alternative.
Unlike pasta, eggplant contains no carbs. It is simply pureed vegetable meat. Once baked, it becomes dry and crumbly like crust. What can you put on it? More tomato sauce and veggies!
You can also fry eggplant slices in a pan with some oil or butter. This makes a delicious side or topping for other meals. Either way, eat eggplant in more than one way to get the most out of this veggie!
Finally, if you do not like the taste of eggplant, try tasting different varieties. Some have different flavors that may appeal to your palate.
What is the inside like?
When you get to the eggplant interior, you will find a few things. Most commonly, you will find t he seeds of the plant. These are the embryonic plants that eggplants use to regrow a new plant.
You can also find a creamy, white substance that resembles butter. This is what gives eggplant its nutrition and texture, and it is called seedy cream.
Sometimes you will also find thin, darker strips in the interior of the vegetable. These are usually pieces of the skin of the eggplant that were cooked into the inside.
Unfortunately, none of these parts of the inside are edible. Even if you peel off the skin before cooking it, the internal cream will not come out easily due to it being cooked for a long time at high temperatures.