Can You Eat Eggplant Skin – 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Eggplants are great vegetables, full of nutrients and other goodness. On top of the many health benefits, their unique earthy flavor can amp up any dish with the right preparation and seasoning. This vegetable is exceptionally versatile, and you can use it in many ways, from a pizza topping to sandwich stuffing to regular eggplant parmesan.

When you cook them right, eggplants are soft and juicy in the middle and tender on the outside. But getting this perfect consistency isn’t always easy. If cooked incorrectly, the skin can quickly become chewy.

You might wonder if you can even eat eggplant skin! Read on to get the answers you need to know and learn everything you need to know about eggplant skin.

Can You Eat Eggplant Skin?

For many years, people considered eggplant unsafe to eat because it is part of the nightshade family, which has a reputation for including some deadly varieties.

But eggplant is not one of them. So, yes, you can eat eggplant and eggplant skin without worry.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Eggplant Skin?

Everyone knows that vegetables give us much-needed nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. These purple vegetables are a fantastic source of nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and iron.

half peeled eggplant

Eggplant skin is rich in nutrients, and it contains dietary fiber, which can help with digestion and improve overall gut health.

Research has also indicated that eggplant skin has many antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, linked with lowering the oxidative damage that can lead to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

So overall, eggplant skins are extraordinarily beneficial and worth keeping on your plate!

What Does Eggplant Skin Taste Like?

Eggplant skin tastes the same as eggplant. It has the same earthy flavor, but it’s a little more intense, resembling a courgette. And depending on the eggplant, the skin might contain a bit of bitterness, adding more depth.

That said, cooking the eggplant can mellow the bitterness, so you may need to cover it in your favorite spices to mask the skin’s bitter flavor profile.

How to Eat Eggplant Skin – 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Are you also tempted to try eggplant skin? If so, these are the five mistakes you should avoid to ensure you have the best flavor.

1. Pick the Right Size

If you plan to eat eggplant skin, it is best to pick out a smaller eggplant. They have a much better chance of being less bitter, soft, and easy to eat.

Larger varieties tend to have tough skin and are hard to eat. They also have a higher content of bitter-tasting compounds and a less appealing flavor profile.

bunch of fresh eggplants

It is always a good idea to select smaller eggplants that smell and taste fresh and have shiny, deep purple skin. These have the best taste and the best skins to eat.

After picking the perfect eggplant, you can chop it, grill it, or roast it for a delicious, hearty meal.

2. Steer Clear of Spoiled or Overripe Varieties

Although it is safe to eat eggplant skin, there are some potential risks that you should know about. Eggplant skin contains a harmful compound called glycoalkaloids that can upset your gastrointestinal system and cause stomach cramps, dizziness, diarrhea, and other problems.

The concentration of these toxins is specifically high in spoiled or older eggplants, so make sure you choose a fresh one.

When buying an eggplant, always check the skin. It should be taut and glossy. Give it a slight press to check its firmness. The flesh should feel firm and provide a little bounce if it is a fresh eggplant.

But, if the eggplant is mushy and soft to the touch, that is a sign that it is beginning to spoil. Other common indicators of a rotten or stale eggplant are dull-colored and wrinkly skin, rotten odor, and squishy texture.

3. Remember to Wash Thoroughly

Eggplants are known for their bitter taste, but cleaning and salting the vegetable can help draw out bitter juices, including a chemical called solanine, found in the flesh.

washed eggplants

You can wash an eggplant, similar to how you wash other vegetables. Rinse the eggplant slices and cubes under pure, cold water to wash out salt remains on its body. Then, dry it by squeezing the water or using a paper towel.

After washing, it is time to sprinkle salt on it to eliminate toxins. We suggest using coarse salt for this process since it is not easily absorbed. Let the eggplant sit like this for 30 minutes before wiping the salt away with a clean, wet cloth.

4. Soak in Water or Milk

Soaking the eggplant in water or milk is another easy way to prepare the eggplant for cooking. Slice off the stem and the bottom part of the eggplant, then cut it into cubes or slices. Place the slices in a water bowl and let them soak for thirty to sixty minutes. Or, you can use milk for an extra creamy flavor.

eggplant slices without skin

Soaking the eggplant will enhance the flavor and moisture by osmosis, and the skin will hold up well when grilled, fried, or baked eggplant recipe.

5. Avoid Overcooking

Nobody likes eating mushy food. Since eggplant is about 90% water, you must cook it evenly, or you won’t get the right texture.

Cook the eggplant until it’s tender instead of waiting for it to look crunchy. If your cooked eggplant looks slightly white, it is likely undercooked. A black and charred color likely means you have cooked for too long.

A perfectly cooked eggplant looks juicy, and its skin has a custardy texture. It takes about five to seven minutes to thoroughly cook the eggplant, given that you have already heated the oil.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, eggplants are highly nutritious vegetables with numerous health benefits. However, there are some things you need to remember when eating and cooking it with the skin on.

We hope our tips and tricks add flavor to your eggplant dishes and help you make the most of their unique bitter-sweet taste.

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