Eggplants or Aubergine are a well known food in West Africa. Known for their ability to curb elevated blood sugar, research also supports their contribution to preventing Type 2 diabetes and improving liver function. (Nwanna et al, 2019). This is good to know if you can’t sleep, because your liver health during menopause might be just the thing keeping you awake at night.
I like them for a different reason though. High in fibre and potassium, they are beneficial for your heart. Diets rich in fibre, especially soluble fibre, help to lower blood cholesterol levels, thus contributing to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
The liver uses cholesterol to make bile, a substance that digests fats. Bile is stored in the gallbladder, and releases the substance into the small intestine during meals. The liver then recycles bile components to make new bile.
When you eat foods that are rich in soluble fibre, this recycling process is interfered with. Soluble fibre binds to the bile components in the intestinal tract and prevents them from being absorbed.
Hence, why the bile components complete with cholesterol fragments are then eliminated in bowel movements. For those of you with high LDL cholesterol, this is an important strategy for you. It’s why I encourage women on the MyMT™ programmes to have adequate fibre.
If you are stuck for something to eat this weekend and if Aubergine isn’t too expensive in your part of the world, then give this recipe a go. Happy stuffing!
Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side
- 2 aubergines (cut in half sideways)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
1 capsicum (cut into large chunks)
3/4 cup of brown rice or quinoa
¼ cup of olives (chopped)
¼ cup of apricots (chopped)
A sprinkle of seeds or chopped nuts.
Yoghurt sauce: 3tbsp Low fat Greek yoghurt, a small handful of chopped herbs (e.g. coriander or basil), a squeeze of lemon juice, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp olive oil.
- Preheat the oven to bake 150° While it is preheating, you can chop up all your ingredients.
- Rub the olive oil over the eggplant and capsicum so they are well coated.
- Place the eggplant onto a baking tray into the oven. Set your timer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, turn the eggplant and add the capsicum to the same baking dish. Place the dish back inside the oven and leave to cook for a further 30 minutes (turn at halfway).
So, the eggplant should bake for around 45 minutes in total. At the end of 45 minutes, check to see if the eggplant is soft all the way through. If not, place back into the oven for another 10 – 15 minutes.
- While the eggplant and capsicum are cooking, you will also need to cook your rice or quinoa according to the packet instructions. You can also make your yoghurt sauce at this time.
- Once the eggplant is cooked, make an incision about 1cm inwards from the side. Then cut all the way around the eggplant, being careful to make sure you don’t cut through the base of the eggplant. Slowly remove the flesh, and place into a bowl. Your eggplant should look like a hollowed-out boat.
- Now dice the big chunks of capsicum so they are a bit smaller.
- Mix the rice/quinoa, apricots, olives, chopped capsicum and seeds into the flesh.
- Place the mixture back into the hollowed-out eggplant.
- Serve with the yoghurt sauce.