Garden eggplant is a relatively valued fruit and an essential component of the African food. Referred to as Obe-Igba by the Yoruba’s and Afufa or Anyara by the Igbo’s, and botanically named as Solanum Melongena.
Garden Eggplant Meaning?
It is a kind of African fruit that is put together as cash crops in several countries in Africa. Garden eggplant also called Eggplant, mad apple or garden egg varies in sizes and they come in colours of cream or white, yellow and green.
Nigerians love to feed on this plant. They are amazingly adaptable and fit well into many dishes.
Solanum Melongena is either enjoyed fresh alone or with peanut paste or cooked into a splendid sauce, which is eaten with boiled yam, rice or plantain.
African eggplant leaves is always used as a vegetable to garnish our foods like in stews and soups or other forms of eggplant recipes.
Traditionally, most gatherings, meetings, and traditional weddings, especially in Eastern Nigeria cannot be complete without ose-oji (peppery groundnut paste) with kola nut or eggplant to go with it.
It is actually, a rich and cultural practice which shows respect, unity, peace and sincerity.
Ose-Oji (peppery groundnut paste) is the African version of peanut butter but with African spices added to it. I always cherish the taste of ose oji (I am yet to find who doesn’t) especially when eaten with eggplant.
I used to nibble on the eggplant and lick the peanut paste that is usually served as a dip with Garden eggs. This wholesome snack is normally enjoyed by everyone no matter where they come from.
Solanum Melongena is in its peak season usually from August through October and it usually takes over more than few tables at the market place.
The greenish-colour eggplant has a pleasantly bitter taste (due to the presence of small amounts of nicotinoid alkaloids) and spongy consistency.
The best part about eating Garden egg is that they are a healthy inclusion and delicious additions that can help you live a healthier life.
Health Benefits Of Garden Eggplant
Eating garden egg has a lot of health benefits which include the following:
- First, garden egg contains a notable array across the board of many vitamins and minerals, such as remarkable amounts of fiber, folate, potassium, and manganese, as well as vitamins C, K, and B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and pantothenic acid.
- Secondly, it contains some health benefits from all these ingredients, in addition to traditional uses. Occasionally, the leaves and roots are juiced or boiled to make a tonic for throat and stomach issues, asthma, coughs, anorexia, toothache, skin sicknesses, rheumatism, irritation, intestinal hemorrhages, or as a stimulant.
- Thirdly, it aids in Digestion- Garden egg like many other vegetables, are rich sources of fiber, an essential element in any balanced diet. Fibers are crucial for gastrointestinal health, in addition to regular bowel movements.
- Next, these fruits have a minimal quantity of fat or cholesterol, which is good for weight loss or obesity. Since garden egg contains fiber that is very filling and greatly helps in reducing overeating, weight loss is more successful.
- In addition, garden egg has high amounts of iron, potassium, and calcium, which are integral to healthy bone and strength, making it a comprehensive and highly useful booster for osteoporosis and bone health.
- Regular consumption of Garden egg helps prevent blood clots—thanks again to Vitamin K and bioflavonoids, which strengthen capillaries.
Also Read: Monkey Kola And Its Health Benefits
From reducing the risk of heart disease to helping with blood sugar control and weight loss, Garden eggs are a simple and delicious addition to any healthy diet.
The good thing is that you don’t have to wait to attend a party before thrilling yourself to some garden egg and peanut sauce. Just as it is cheap and affordable, you can make it a part of your daily menu especially when it is in season.