Tag Archives: eggplant

The Color Purple

Purple Kohlrabi. Healthline.com states that
“kohlrabi packs nutrients and antioxidants that may support immune health and lower your risk of chronic disease. Also, its fiber content supports a healthy gut microbiome.”

While today’s Andy’s Corner is a laugh-out-loud discussion of the color BLUE, the color purple has been on my mind lately. And the reason is not what you’d guess. It’s not that I’m thinking of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Certainly, given today’s news, it would not be surprising to be thinking about this both sad and joyful novel. Rather I’m looking up info on purple vegetables and fruits – which I’ve learned are particularly good for you because they are high in anthocyanin, which has a positive effect on brain health, inflammation, and heart disease.  And I’m also thinking about politics and how red and blue blended together makes purple.

Back in 2009 professors from Cal State, Syracuse, and the U of Michigan published results of their research the gist of which was that “Colored maps depicting electoral results may exacerbate perceptions of polarization, rather than merely reflecting them.” Or to put it another way – red and blue maps make us believe that the country is more polarized than it actually is. The map above is a 2020 map showing what happens if you use shades of purple to indicate political preferences, rather than the starker red and blue. Does it make things seem a slight bit more optimistic?

from Santa Rosa’s Press Democrat, July 4, 2022

On a cheerier note, I am happy to report that these anthocyanin-rich purple foods are good for you.

You know I’m always looking for ways to keep my (our) brain healthy – and purple may be the direction to go! The Cleveland Clinic states:

Research shows that anthocyanins can help protect and improve your brain function: one study reported anthocyanins increased blood flow to and activated brain areas that control memory, language and attention.

We have lots of fun purple food choices. In our house we always have a head of red (which looks purple) cabbage in the fridge and use it regularly for quick and easy salads, so I’m happy to see that high on the list. Blueberries are ripening along our back fence (they’re beautiful bushes to have in your yard – in addition to their berry’s nutritional value). And I recently planted more elderberry bushes, which have yet to produce much for us but are wonderful for attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators – and sambucus caerulea, also known as blueberry elder or Mexican elderberry, is even drought-tolerant.

There have been no major studies showing exactly how many anthocyanins we should have per day – so just eat lots of these.
This reminds me of the almost weed-like elderberry bush we had growing at my Colorado home.

If you look through our BigLittleMeals recipes for purple eggplant, you’ll find slim pickings. Even though one of my favorite-cookbook-writers of all time, Yotam Ottolenghi, seems almost obsessed with aubergines, as he calls them, I don’t share his enthusiasm. But after seeing that eggplant – with its purple skin left on – is so high in anthocyanin, I decided to give it another try.

I definitely recommend that you search for varieties other than the common “Globe” eggplant which we see most often at the grocery store.
If you’re into vegetable gardening, consider planting the eggplant variety Orient Express next summer. It’s long, slender, tender – and doesn’t need peeling, so you keep that beautiful, nutritious skin on it

After searching for an eggplant recipe which might satisfy even those who swear they hate eggplant (it appears I’m not the only one who has some negative feelings about this veggie), here’s what I’ve come up with. Give it a try. And when you pull those hot, roasted, crispy, purplish, well-salted eggplant bits from the oven, nibble on a few of them. Even I found them d-lish!

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