Eggplant has several health benefits and is good for human consumption. It is a fat-free, high-fiber vegetable that contains antioxidants and nutrients that help with metabolism and brain health.
When cooking eggplant, first peel the tough skin off in a striped fashion, leaving strips of skin behind to hold the flesh together when cooking. An eggplant should be appropriately salted before cooking to remove the bitter juices and collapse any air pockets.
Start planting eggplant seeds indoors, and plant them outdoors in a sunny outdoor spot once outside temperatures have warmed to at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Add compost to the soil after tilling it.
To grow an eggplant, start the seeds indoors, transplant the seedlings to a sunny location, pinch off the terminal growing points, water and fertilize the plants, stake the plants and pinch off buds. You need containers with potting soil, a trowel, seeds, stakes, water and fertilizer.
Dogs can eat eggplant, but the leaves and stems of the plant can be harmful. If served, access and portions need to be limited to avoid health issues.
Eggplants should be picked 16 to 24 weeks after they have been sowed. Eggplants should begin indoors, roughly two months before the last frost in spring. In many areas of the United States, harvest occurs in August or early September.
The skin of eggplants can generally be eaten, although larger eggplants can have tougher skins that may not be flavorful. Thicker skin should be peeled before cooking.
Some eggplant varieties are Italian, Japanese, graffiti and tango. Other varieties include Santana, Bianca and Chinese. When people refer to eggplant, they usually mean Italian eggplant, as it is the most well-known.
Eggplant can be easily frozen for future use, and freezing is the recommended way to preserve the vegetable long-term. Eggplant can be frozen using the blanching method, or it can be frozen after being cooked.
Eggplant can be made into a tasty dip very easily by roasting with a number of vegetables (such as onions and peppers), before blending in a food processor and serving with bread or crackers. The dip makes a great entree or snack.