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Aubergine, Solanum melongena / Solanaceae
Note: Composition for 100 g. of fresh product
Values in ( min. - max. ) format.
Energy: 15.00-17.08 kcal
Fats: 0.18-0.40 g
Fibres: 2.00-2.82 g

Fat Acids

Saturated: 0.10-0.10 g
Polyunsat.: 0.20-0.20 g

Minerals

Calcium: 10.00-13.10 mg
Zinc: 0.200-0.280 mg
Chlorine: 14.00-55.00 mg
Phosporus: 16.00-21.40 mg
Iron: 0.300-0.420 mg
Magnesium: 10.80-11.00 mg
Manganese: 0.100-0.190 mg
Potasium: 210.00-224.00 mg
Selenium: 1.00-1.00 µg
Sodium: 2.00-3.17 mg
Iodine: 0.800-1.00 µg
Proteins: 0.90-1.24 kcal
Carbohidrates: 2.20-2.49 g

Liposoluble Vitamins

A Retinol: 0.00-7.21 µg
A Carotenoids: 43.25-70.00 µg
E or Tocoferol: 0.030-0.030 mg
K or Filoquinone: 0.50-0.50 µg

Liposoluble Vitamins

B1 or Thiamine: 0.020-0.038 mg
B2 or Riboflavine: 0.0100-0.04450 mg
B3 or Niacine: 0.100-0.100 mg
B5 or Pantothenic Acid: 0.0800-0.230 mg
B6 or Piridoxine: 0.07533-0.0800 mg
B9 or Folic Acid: 4.00-5.00 mg
C or Ascorbic Acid: 4.00-5.00 mg
Note: Composition for 100 g. of fresh product
Values in ( min. - max. ) format.
Energy: 302.00-302.00 kcal
Fats: 31.90-31.90 g
Fibres: 2.30-2.30 g

Fat Acids

Saturated: 4.10-4.10 g
Monounsat.: 7.90-7.90 g
Polyunsat.: 18.50-18.50 g

Minerals

Calcium: 8.00-8.00 mg
Zinc: 0.10-0.10 mg
Chlorine: 16.00-16.00 mg
Phosporus: 25.00-25.00 mg
Iron: 0.50-0.50 mg
Magnesium: 8.00-8.00 mg
Manganese: 0.20-0.20 mg
Potasium: 170.00-170.00 mg
Sodium: 2.00-2.00 mg
Proteins: 1.20-1.20 kcal
Carbohidrates: 2.80-2.80 g

Liposoluble Vitamins

A Retinol: 0.00-0.00 µg
A Carotenoids: 125.00-125.00 µg
E or Tocoferol: 5.50-5.50 mg

Liposoluble Vitamins

B1 or Thiamine: 0.00-0.00 mg
B6 or Piridoxine: 0.07-0.07 mg
Aubergine
Aubergine is a vegetable of variable shape, from spherical to ovoid and oblong. It is of a purple and more or less dark colour, white with white purple stripes, yellow, orange or even black. The firm and smooth flesh is always white and contains multiple edible seeds of the same colour. Its meat is consumed as a vegetable, fried or sliced and fried in batter.
Nutrition and eating
Aubergines are very healthy. They are low in calories and carbohydrates. They are easily digested, even for delicate stomachs; they contain a large amount of zinc and potassium, apart from magnesium, iron, phosphorus and calcium. With respect to vitamin content, they mainly incorporate vitamin A, C and folic acid, apart from small amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.

Aubergines offer diuretic, laxative and relaxing properties. If cooked with a small quantity of fat they stimulate the hepatobiliary function, reason why they are recommended to people who suffer from arthritis and gout.
The fruit
Aubergine(Solanum melongena) is a vegetable of variable shape, from spherical to ovoid and oblong. It is of a purple and more or less dark colour, white with white purple stripes, yellow, orange or even black. The firm and smooth flesh is always white and contains multiple edible seeds of the same colour. Its meat is consumed as a vegetable, fried or sliced and fried in batter.

It has a high percentage of water and a very low content of glucids, proteins and lipids. It is highly digestible when cooked and peeled. The most tasteful aubergines are usually the most tender and firm, around 5-8 cm of diameter. The largest and ripe aubergines are usually more fibrous and bitter. Thus, the vegetable is usually harvested when still unripe in order to avoid bitterness, the growth of seeds and the hardness of the skin.

It is extremely sensitive to temperature changes, reason why it is recommended to keep them in the fridge. It must never be wrapped in plastic film, since it prevents respiration. It must be kept as isolated as possible, since it reacts with the ethylene produced by other vegetables and fruit, accelerating its ageing and causing the loss of the green colour in the peduncle, which is a symptom of freshness. At temperatures of 4-6ºC they are kept in perfect conditions for 7 days or so.

Their caloric value is scarce, providing with 15-17 kcal for each 100 g of fresh produce; they are used in slimming diets. They are a good source of potassium.

Aubergines are characterized by their smooth taste and their versatility of use. It is recommended to put salt on them before cooking to remove the bitter juice and reduce moisture. In this way the pulp is denser and absorbs less quantity of oil. A little bit of lemon juice is also added with the purpose of eliminating the bitter juices. It is a very traditional ingredient in Greek and French cookery. In Spain, it is part of the Catalan dish known as escalivada, roasted with other vegetables like pepper and onion. They are usually eaten stuffed with meat, vegetables, ham, etc, cooked au graten with cheese before they are served. They can be used to make purée and multiple preserves, both sweet and salty, like aubergine jam; they are also preserved in oil.

Aubergine is also a classic in the Arab cooking. In the southern areas of Spain its consumption is also very usual.
The plant
The plant belongs to the family of Solanaceae and its scientific name is Solanum melongena L. Its root system is strong and deep. Its stem is rigid and generally erect, reaching up to 0.5 and 1.5 m. It is a herbaceous plant, although the stems show woody tissues that confer a shrubby appearance to the plant. The leaves are alternate, large, whole, with slightly lobulate borders, covered by a greyish hair on the lower surface. It is also frequent to find thorns in the nerves of the leaves. The root system is extremely powerful and deep.

The flowers are of a greyish colour and usually solitary, although sometimes with the first flower the second or even more flowers are inserted. In some varieties 2-5 groups of flowers bloom, forming cymes. The calyx is persistent and prickly.

The fertilization of the ovaries is usually carried out with pollen of the flower or the plant, although there are also cross pollinations through insects. Botanically, the fruit is classified as a fleshy berry, of extremely variable shape (rounded, elongate, pear-shaped, etc) and very diverse colours (white, purple, black, mottled, etc).

The seeds are small, flat and brown. A fruit may contain up to 2,500 seeds and 1 g includes up to 250 seeds. Its average germination power is around 4-6 years.
Tricks and tips

Boiling the aubergines

: If they are to be boiled, drizzle a little vinegar to avoid darkening

Choosing the aubergines in the shop

When buying them, better choose those that are not soft and the ones with the shining skin

Cooking aubergines

It is recommended to use gloves when preparing aubergines, as it dirties the hands

Frying aubergines

When fried aubergines usually absorb much oil, and therefore digestion may be heavy. This can be avoided if aubergines are dipped in egg white before frying them; thus they do not absorb much oil

Peeling the aubergines

If not small, they should be peeled

Removing the bitterness of the aubergines

Before cooking them, dust with cooking salt and leave to drain so that they loose the bitterness. Then rinse and dry with a dishcloth

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