Food Profile - Garden Eggs

Garden Egg / African Eggplant
pic courtesy ethono.botanik.org

The world knows about the large oval shaped deep purple vegetables called aubergines...well the equivalent in West Africa is Garden Eggs, also known as African Eggplants.

In Nigeria, the garden egg is seasonal and although technically a fruit, it is harvested and utilised as a vegetable. Garden eggs are well known across the country and commonly sold in open markets, but they are more prevalent in southern Nigeria.

Aubergines vs Garden Eggs
Unlike aubergines, African garden eggs are smaller in size, and come in a variety of mixed colours ranging from green to light orange to white. Some varieties have a perfect round to oval shape while some shapes can be likened to tomatoes. Due to this and the fact that some garden eggs do have a bitter taste, they are at time called bitter tomatoes. Also unlike aubergines, they are mostly eaten raw even though they also taste great cooked and added stews or soups.

There are several studies carried out particularly in Nigeria which claim that garden eggs are nutritionally beneficial to health. 
  1. Garden eggs are considered to be high in soluble dietary fibre which are known to help remove bad cholesterol from the body. 
  2. They are also believed to be capable of supporting weight loss. 
  3. Some clinical studies have concluded that garden eggs can help lower pressure in the eyes especially in those suffering from Glaucoma.
  4. Garden eggs are loaded with vitamins (e.g. A, B & C) and minerals (such as iron, phosphorus and potassium). 
  5. They can of course also add to our daily ration of fruits and vegetables.

Nutritional Data for Garden Eggs 100g of raw fruits
Calories - 27 kcal
Dietary fibre - 1.9g
Carbohydrates - 4g
Protein - 1.4g
Fat - 0.2g
Vitamins: A, B, C
Minerals: Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Potassium


Check some of my exciting Garden Egg Recipes

African Eggplants / Garden Eggs
pic courtesy ethono.botanik.org

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