Season: June to October

Description: Eggplant provides potassium and fiber. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, and fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps bowel movements regular. Eggplant is also a source of folate, which may reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating foods with folate before pregnancy helps lower the risk of delivering a baby with neural tube defects.

Vitamins: Potassium, Fiber, Folate

Selection: Choose deeply colored eggplants with bright green stems. The skin on the eggplant should be taut, shiny, firm and without wrinkles. Eggplant should be firm and heavy for their size.

Storing: In the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Preparation: Trim off the ends. You may also want to peel the eggplant as the skin can be tough and bitter.

Serving: Prick skin and bake whole eggplant at 400 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes. To stuff, bake eggplant for 20 minutes, then scoop out seeds. Stuff and cook again for 15 minutes. To saute, place in oil and saute until browned. Eggplant can be steamed in more than 1 inch of water for 15 to 30 minutes. To grill or broil, cut eggplant into 1/4 inch slices, brush with olive oil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. To microwave, prick and cook for 10 minutes on high. Turn over halfway through cooking time.

Recipes containing Eggplant: